4th August ( Based on Mt 14:22-36)

In 1805, a young man, at the age of 19,  entered the seminary to be a priest.

After several months of study, he was still not prepared to attend lectures in Latin.
He went to live with a friend who was a priest and who personally tutored him.

Life was throwing a mighty challenge to him:
 Whether he could trust in God or not…
 Whether to continue ahead in life or not…
 Whether he could have his focus on God or not…

This priest-tutor finally persuaded the bishop to ordain him not for his learning, but for his holiness.

A few years later, this young man – now already ordained a priest – was assigned one of the most forsaken villages in the Diocese.

People in this place were highly careless about practising their faith.
• Many indulged themselves in dangerous activities and pastimes.
Life as a missionary was being too arduous and difficult.

Life was again throwing a mighty challenge to him:
 Whether he could trust in God or not…
 Whether to continue ahead in life or not…
 Whether he could have his focus on God or not…

Yet, with increased prayers, fasting and penance, the priest was able to revive and nurture the faith in the land.

The name of this priest is St John Maria Vianney.
He is feted as the Patron Saint of all Priests, and today we celebrate his feast day.

At various stages, life  had pushed him to the corners and there would be questions hurled at him: questions on whether he could trust in God, on whether he could continue ahead and on whether he could have his focus on God.

Our own personal lives at crucial and constant junctures of life faces such dilemmas, isn’t it?
How do we handle and go about facing such torrid queries of life?

The Gospel of the Day seeks to instil hope and courage in such “trying” moments of life.

After the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus dismissed the crowds.
He made the disciples to get into the boat, while He went up to the mountains to pray (Mt 14: 22-23)

Here is a great lesson that Jesus teaches us…

There will be many success stories that would be woven in life.
• Yet, all those occasions ought to lead us closer to God  – the source of every success.

Every success in life ought to, not make us proud – instead, in humility, lead us to grow closer to God – in gratitude and for greater strength.

There will also be times when the sun shines bright and there are many admirers thronging our life.
• Yet, all those occasions ought to make us realise that in God alone ought to be my true joy and satisfaction.

Every joy of life ought to, not make us lose ourselves in the thickets of achievements – instead, in meekness, help us to depend more on God – in trust and for greater faith.

As the disciples were lost on the sea, with the winds and waves turning against them, they saw Jesus walking on the sea (Mt 14: 25)

However, Jesus sought to drive away every ‘ghostly fears’ and assured them of His presence.

Peter, however, the leader of the gang took the initiative of going towards Jesus and walking on the water.
He even made his first steps on the waters.

However, when he saw the mighty winds, he got frightened and cried out, “Lord, save me” (Mt 14: 30)

Immediately, the Gospel says, “Jesus stretched out His Hand and caught him and said to him ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'” (Mt 14: 31)

Here was life throwing a mighty challenge to Peter:
 Whether he could trust in God or not…
 Whether to continue ahead in life or not…
 Whether he could have his focus on God or not…

As long as he had his focus on the Lord, things were fine

But the moment, he wavered in this “focus”, Peter began to sink

The boats of our Christian lives often pass through the stormy waters of problems and difficulties.
There will be many moments when our faith makes attempts “to walk on the waters” with the Lord.

• As long as we keep our focus on Him, things would be fine.
• As long as we don’t look at the waters and instead look on to Jesus, things would be good.

But the moment there is a “deviation” in this focus – there will be the “sinking” experience!

Can we grow in our trust… in being always focussed on the Lord?

St John Mary Vianney, whose feast we celebrate today, is an inspiration for us towards building a life of dependence and focus on the Lord alone.
 He had many moments to let go of life, in despair and discouragement.
 He had many stages when it was hard to continue on in life
Yet, he was constantly able to keep his focus on the Lord and live a life of “immense trust and obedience”.

May the intercession  and inspiration of this great Saint – St John Mary Vianney – help us to lead a life ‘focussed’ on the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

2 thoughts on “4th August ( Based on Mt 14:22-36)

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