Thứ Năm, 3 tháng 8, 2017

AUGUST 04, 2017 : MEMORIAL OF SAINT JOHN VIANNEY, PRIEST

Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Lectionary: 405

The LORD said to Moses,
"These are the festivals of the LORD which you shall celebrate
at their proper time with a sacred assembly.
The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month,
at the evening twilight.
The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD's feast of Unleavened Bread.
For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly
and do no sort of work.
On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD.
Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly
and do no sort of work."

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the children of Israel and tell them:
When you come into the land which I am giving you,
and reap your harvest,
you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest
to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the LORD
that it may be acceptable for you.
On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this.

"Beginning with the day after the sabbath,
the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf,
you shall count seven full weeks,
and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day,
you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD.

"The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement,
when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves
and offer an oblation to the LORD.

"The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD's feast of Booths,
which shall continue for seven days.
On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly,
and you shall do no sort of work.
For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD,
and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly
and offer an oblation to the LORD.
On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work.

"These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD
on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly,
and offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and cereal offerings,
sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day."

Responsorial PsalmPS 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11AB
R. (2a) Sing with joy to God our help.
Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel,
the pleasant harp and the lyre.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our solemn feast.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
For it is a statute in Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob,
Who made it a decree for Joseph
when he came forth from the land of Egypt.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.

Alleluia1 PT 1:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever;
this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.


Meditation: "They took offense at Jesus"
Are you critical towards others, especially those who are close to you? The most severe critics are often people very familiar to us, a member of our family, a relative, neighbor, student, or worker we rub shoulders with on a regular basis. Jesus faced a severe testing when he returned to his home town, not simply as the carpenter's son, but now as a rabbi with disciples. It would have been customary for Jesus to go to the synagogue each week during the Sabbath, and when his turn came, to read from the scriptures during the Sabbath service. His hometown folks listened with rapt attention on this occasion because they had heard about the miracles he had performed in other towns.
What sign would he do in his hometown? Jesus startled them with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honor among his own people. The people of Nazareth took offense at him and refused to listen to what he had to say. They despised his preaching because he was a carpenter from the working class, and a mere layman untrained by religious scholars. They also despised him because of his family background. After all, Joseph was a tradesman as well and Mary had no special social distinctions.
Familiarity breeds contempt
How easily familiarity breeds contempt. Jesus could do no mighty works in his hometown because the people who were familiar with him were closed-minded and despised his claim to speak and act in the name of God. If people come together to hate and refuse to understand others different than themselves, then they will see no other point of view than their own and they will refuse to love and accept others. How do you view those who are familiar to you? With kindness and respect or with a critical and judgmental spirit?
The Lord Jesus offers us freedom from sin, prejudice, contempt, and fear. His love and grace sets us free to love others with the same grace and mercy which he has shown to us. Only Jesus can truly set us free from the worst tyranny possible - slavery to sin and the fear of death. His victory on the cross brings us pardon and healing, and the grace to live holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you know the joy and freedom which Christ's love brings to our hearts?
"Lord Jesus, your love conquers every fear and breaks the power of hatred and prejudice. Flood my heart with your mercy and compassion, that I may treat my neighbor with the same favor and kindness which you have shown to me."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersFew miracles done because of their unbelief, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
"It seems to me that the production of miracles is similar in some ways to the case of physical things. Cultivation is not sufficient to produce a harvest of fruits unless the soil, or rather the atmosphere, cooperates to this end. And the atmosphere of itself is not sufficient to produce a harvest without cultivation. The one who providentially orders creation did not design things to spring up from the earth without cultivation. Only in the first instance did he do so when he said, 'Let the earth bring forth vegetation, with the seed sowing according to its kind and according to its likeness' (Genesis 1:11). It is just this way in regard to the production of miracles. The complete work resulting in a healing is not displayed without those being healed exercising faith. Faith, of whatever quality it might be, does not produce a healing without divine power.' (excerpt from the COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 10.19)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, MATTHEW 13:54-58
(Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37; Psalm 81)

KEY VERSE: "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house" (v 57).
TO KNOW: Chapters 13:54 ̶ 17:27 of Matthew's gospel have been given the title: "The Kingdom of God and the Church." God's kingdom was clearly visible in the person of Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man. When Jesus finished his teachings in the towns around the Lake of Galilee, he returned to Nazareth where he was raised. His neighbors were astonished by his teaching and mighty deeds, but they were also skeptical. Jesus was a "hometown boy," and they took offense at his presumption in telling them how to live their lives. Jesus was rejected like the prophets before him. Because his neighbors lacked faith in him, he was unable to perform many miracles there.
TO LOVE: Do I see God at work among my friends and neighbors?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, help me to be open to hearing truth from the teachings of the Church.​

Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney, priest

John Mary Vianney (French: Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, also known as the Cure of Ars), was a farm hand who in his youth taught other children their prayers and catechism. It took several years of seminary study before he was ordained as he was not a very good student, and his Latin was terrible. He was assigned to the parish of Ars, a tiny village near Lyons, which suffered from very lax attendance. John Vianney began visiting his parishioners, especially the sick and poor, and spent days in prayer, doing penance for his flock. Gifted with discernment of spirits, prophecy, and hidden knowledge, John was tormented by evil spirits, especially when he tried to get his two to three hours of sleep each night. Thousands came to hear him preach, and to make reconciliation because of his reputation with penitents. He spent 40 years as their parish priest John Vianney was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1925, the only diocesan priest ever to be canonized. He is the patron saint of clergy throughout the world. 

"The soul hungers for God, and nothing but God can satiate it. Therefore He came to dwell on earth and assumed a Body in order that this Body might become the Food of our souls." ~ The Cure' of Ars ~ ​



Friday 4 August 2017

St John Vianney. DAY OF PENANCE.
Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37. Psalm 80(81):3-6, 10-11. Matthew 13:54-58.
In the week approaching the feast of St Mary MacKillop, we look at the life of Australia’s first saint through the lens of the daily Gospel stories. As you contemplate the daily Gospel reading, reflect on Mary’s story, and consider how your own faith journey can be enriched by her example. 
Sing with joy to God our help — Psalm 80(81):3-6, 10-11.
‘Where did the man get this wisdom?’
It was within the Church that Mary MacKillop encountered her greatest opposition. Some Irish Bishops had difficulty accepting a religious order which was not contained within a single diocese, and under diocesan control. In 1871, Bishop Shiel, in Adelaide, excommunicated Mary for alleged insubordination, lifting it in 1872. Bishop Quinn of Bathurst changed the nature of the congregation to a diocesan religious institute. In 1880, Bishop Quinn told the Josephites to leave Queensland and in 1883, Bishop Reynolds told Mary to leave Adelaide.
There is a form of selective blindness that causes us to reject home-grown prophets, especially if they are women and even more so if they are religious women.
Jesus, you experienced just this kind of opposition. Inspire, encourage and strengthen the prophets among us.


ST. JOHN MARY VIANNEY

On August 4, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. John Vianney, patron of priests.  
John Vianney, also known as the Holy Curé de Ars, was born May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, near Lyon, France to a family of farmers. He was ordained a priest in 1815 and became curate in Ecully. He was then sent to the remote French community of Ars in 1818 to be a parish priest.
Upon his arrival, the priest immediately began praying and working for the conversion of his parishioners. Although he saw himself as unworthy of his mission as pastor, he allowed himself to be consumed by the love of God as he served the people. 
Vianney slowly helped to revive the community’s faith through both his prayers and the witness of his lifestyle. He gave powerful homilies on the mercy and love of God, and it is said that even staunch sinners were converted upon hearing him.  In addition, he restored his church, formed an orphanage, “La Providence,” and cared for the poor.
His reputation as a confessor grew rapidly, and pilgrims traveled from all over France to come to him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Firmly committed to the conversion of the people, he would spend up to 16 hours a day in the confessional.
Plagued by many trials and besieged by the devil, the St. John Vianney remained firm in his faith, and lived a life of devotion to God.  Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, he spent much time in prayer and practiced much mortification. He lived on little food and sleep, while working without rest in unfailing humility, gentleness, patience and cheerfulness, until he was well into his 70s.
John Vianney died on August 4, 1859. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral, including the bishop and priests of the diocese, who already viewed his life as a model of priestly holiness.
The Holy Curé of Ars was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.  He is the patron of priests.  Over 450,000 pilgrims travel to Ars every year in remembrance of his holy life.
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI, commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney’s death, declared the Year for Priests.  The Pope wrote a Letter to Clergy, encouraging all priests to look to the Curé of Ars as an example of dedication to one’s priestly calling.



LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 13,54-58
Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, August 4, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 13,54-58
Coming to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, 'Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter's son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?' And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is despised only in his own country and in his own house,' and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

3) Reflection
• The Gospel today tells us the visit of Jesus to Nazareth, his native community. Passing through Nazareth was painful for Jesus. What was his community at the beginning, now it is no longer so. Something has changed. Where there is no faith, Jesus can work no miracles.
• Matthew 13, 53-57ª: The reaction of the people of Nazareth before Jesus. It is always good for people to go back to their land. After a long absence, Jesus also returns, as usual, on a Saturday, and he goes to the meeting of the community. Jesus was not the head of the group, but just the same he speaks. This is a sign that persons could participate and express their own opinion. People were astonished. They did not understand Jesus’ attitude: "Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” Jesus, son of that place, whom they knew since he was a child, how is that now he is so different? The people of Nazareth were scandalized and do not accept him: “This is the carpenter’s son, surely? The people do not accept the mystery of God present in a common man as they are, as they had known Jesus. In order to speak about God he should be different. As one can see, not everything was positive. The persons, who should have been the first ones to accept the Good News, are the first ones to refuse to accept it. The conflict is not only with foreigners, but also with his relatives and with the people of Nazareth. They do not accept because they cannot understand the mystery envelops Jesus: “Is not his mother, the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? And his sisters too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?” They are not able to believe.
• Matthew 13, 57b-58: Reaction of Jesus before the attitude of the people of Nazareth. Jesus knows very well that “no one is a prophet in his own country”. And he says: A prophet is despised only in his own country and in his own house”. In fact, where there is neither acceptance nor faith, people can do nothing. The prejudice prevents it. Jesus himself, even wanting, can do nothing. He was astonished before their lack of faith.
• The brothers and sisters of Jesus. The expression “brothers of Jesus” causes much polemics between Catholics and Protestants. Basing themselves in this and in other texts, the Protestants say that Jesus had many brothers and sisters and that Mary had more children! Catholics say that Mary did not have any other children. What can we think about this? In the first place, both positions, that of Catholics as well as that of Protestants, contain arguments taken from the Bible and from the Tradition of their respective Churches. For this reason, it is not convenient to discuss this question with arguments which are only intellectual, because it is a question of profound convictions, which have something to do with faith and with the sentiments of both and of each one. The argument which is only intellectual cannot change a conviction of the heart! It only irritates and draws away! Even if I do not agree with the opinion of others, I have to respect it. In the second place, instead of discussing around texts, all of us, Catholics and Protestants, should unite ourselves much more to fight for the defence of life, created by God, a life so disfigured by poverty, injustice, lack of faith. We should recall some other phrases of Jesus. “I have come so that they may have life and life to the full” (Jn 10, 10). “That all may be one, so that the world may believe that you, Father, has sent me” (Jn 17, 21). “Do not prevent them! Anyone who is not against us is for us” (Mk 10, 39.40)

4) Personal questions
• In Jesus something changed in his relationship with the Community of Nazareth. Since you began to participate in the community, has something changed in your relationship with the family? Why?
• Has participation in the community helped you to accept and to trust persons, especially the more simple and the poorest?

5) Concluding Prayer
For myself, wounded wretch that I am,
by your saving power raise me up!
I will praise God’s name in song,
I will extol him by thanksgiving. (Ps 69, 29-30)