“Seeking the intercession of St John Maria Vianney, and placing our trust in the Power of God!”
(Based on Num 13:1-2,25-14:1, 26-29, 34-35 and Mt 15:21-28 – Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time – Feast of St John Maria Vianney)
St John Maria Vianney is the patron saint of priests.
As a priest, he made it a point to help all the needy in his parish or in the region around him.
Once, word was sent to him that a very sick man of his parish was seeking to make confession.
However, this man was pretty far off from the place where the church was.
It was a time when vehicles were too sparse.
The climate was bitter cold and the rain storm was blowing in.
But the zeal in the heart of the saintly priest was still greater.
So, he picked up his cloak and started his walk to the sick man’s house.
The freezing cold pierced through his frail bones
The lashing winds wrenched his body in frosty pain
Yet, St John Vianney trekked on!
Finally he reached the house of the sick man.
By the time he arrived, St Vianney himself was shivering and wobbly with high fever.
He fell so ill, that he had to hear the confession, lying down, beside the sick man’s bed.
Many in fact, even thought, that the priest was more sick than the penitent ill-man!
The determination and the willingness of the Saintly Priest made sure that the sick man would experience God’s immense mercy and forgiving love.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St John Maria Vianney, the patron saint of all the priests!
As a young son, he had to face resistance from his father, who was opposed to his being a priest, due to financial difficulties as well as the strained political climate of his time
As a young seminarian, he had to face hardships in the seminary, due to his difficulties in studies
As a young priest, he had to face isolation from the parish at Ars, where he was first appointed, due to the indifference and the secular lifestyle of the people in the village.
But despite this harsh experience…
… he held on to “Doing the Will of God, and be His faithful follower!”
St John Maria Vianney placed His entire trust in the Power of God
The Gospel of the Day also presents to us a person who had to experience a lot of harsh experiences.
We are presented today with the powerful and challenging incident of the Canaanite woman, whose daughter was possessed by a demon
She had to face the mental agony of concern for her sick child
She had to face the societal discrimination, being a woman and a Gentile
She had to also face an “apparent” rejection and refusal by the Lord
But despite these challenges and harsh experiences, she held on to her faith…
… and remained hopeful of receiving a miracle!
Yes, God’s Love and Mercy is always available, when there is a sense of openness and willingness of a docile heart!
Are we facing a problem in our life, right now?
Do we think that there are hurdles that are hard to overcome and mountains that are tough to surmount?
… let’s be inspired by the tenacious faith of the Canaanite woman
… let’s learn to imitate the fortitude and perseverance of St John Maria Vianney
St John Maria Vianney and the Canaanite woman in the Gospel, placed their entire trust in the Power of God
This would turn their “rejection and dejection” into a “celebration and jubilation!”
On this Feast Day, let us specially seek the intercession of St John Maria Vianney…
… to remain “faithful and firm”, in moments of “dejection and rejection”
And thus, seek to imitate our Blessed Lord.
May the words of the Saintly Priest motivate us:
“You cannot please both God and the world at the same time; they are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions.”
“I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the cross than in serving the world and its pleasures.”
Let us also pray specially for Priests all over the world, that their Patron Saint – St John Maria Vianney – may intercede, to help all priests…
… to be more holy and faithful to their Noble Vocation
… to be more zealous in administering the Sacraments and giving His Word
… to be more passionate in Loving the Lord and bringing many more to His Love
Happy Feast to all the Priests!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
OUR PARTICIPATION IN CHRIST’S SACRIFICE
The Cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “One Mediator between God and men”.
But because in His Incarnate Divine Person, He has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men.
He calls His disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow (Him)”, for “Christ also suffered for (us), leaving (us) an example so that (we) should follow in His steps.”
In fact Jesus desires to associate with His Redeeming Sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.
This is achieved supremely in the case of His Mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of His Redemptive Suffering.
Apart from the Cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to Heaven. (Cf. CCC # 618)