August 4, 2014

John Vianney

August 4, 2014:  St. John Vianney, priest

  • Jer 28:1-17  Hananiah told me before priests and people:  “God says, ‘I'll break the yoke of the king of Babylon and return the king of Judah and exiles.’”  Jeremiah:  "A prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as authentic only when his prediction is fulfilled."  Then Hananiah took and broke the yoke from Jeremiah's neck, saying, “God says:  ‘I'll break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”  Later, God told Jeremiah to tell him: "God says:  'By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron one I'll place on the necks of the nations serving Nebuchadnezzar.'  The Lord didn't send you.  This year you'll die, because you preached rebellion against God."  That year, Hananiah died.
  • Ps 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102  "Lord, teach me your statutes."  Take not the word of truth from my mouth.  Sinners wait to destroy me, but I pay heed to your decrees.
  • Mt 14:22-36  Jesus made the disciples get into a boat then went to pray.  When waves tossed the boat, he walked on the sea toward them.  Seeing him, they were terrified:  “It's a ghost!”  Jesus / Peter:  “Don't be afraid.” / “Lord, if it's you, command me to come to you.” / “Come.”  He walked on the water toward Jesus but became frightened and started to sink:  “Lord, save me!”  Jesus, catching him:  “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  They got into the boat, and the wind subsided.  “Truly, you're the Son of God.”  At Gennesaret, people touched his cloak and were healed.
    • Creighton:  People sought St. John Vianney (one of few canonized diocesan priests) for spiritual help; he helped them open up to God’s grace and mercy by recognizing their sin. / Jeremiah's yoke was a symbol of what was to fall on the people through the Babylonians' oppression.  False prophet Hananiah said Babylon would be defeated soon; God wasn't happy he allowed the people to slip back into indifference.  Jeremiah and Vianney both heard and saw God’s way, revealed the truth, and freed people by awakening them from lies. / Jesus:  to manage storms, keep your eyes on me and walk towards me.  Jeremiah stayed attuned to God's will, Peter saw how important it is to look to Jesus, and Vianney kept proclaiming God’s mercy.  May God instruct me in the way of truth.... / As a disciple, I must get out of my boat and step into the waves...
    • One Bread One Body:  History is full of examples of false confidence resulting in disaster.  God has sent prophets to afflict the comfortable by challenging those who place their confidence elsewhere.  How is the Lord challenging me?
    • Passionist:  Jesus met the disciples' fears and strengthened their faith, and the mission continued.  Faith in Jesus' unlimited reconciling love for all motivated John Vianney to serve; Pope Benedict XVI named him patron of all priests.  Jesus tells us to not be afraid.  We may be tossed about, but God inspires us in the lives of our spiritual leaders and fellow companions.
    • Universalis:  St Jean-Baptiste Vianney, Curé of Ars, peasant's son, unpromising priesthood candidate, preacher, full-time confessor; see Catholic Encyclopedia.
    • 'Heart' tie bar:  "Let my heart be perfect in your statutes" (psalm)
    • 'Boat' tie bar:  the boat (gospel); Jesus withdrew in a boat (Sunday gospel)
    • Blue shirt:  the water on which Jesus and Peter walked (gospel)
    • 'Hands' tie:  Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter (gospel)
    • "Love" suspenders:  St. John Vianney proclaimed God's merciful love; What can separate us from God's love? (Sun. 2nd reading)
    • 'Grain' pin:  come, receive grain and eat (Sun. 1st reading); Jesus took the five loaves (Sun. gospel)
    • 'Sword' tie pin:  Will the sword separate us from God's love? (Sun. 2nd reading)
    • 'Fish' pin:  “Jesus took the [loaves and] fish (Sun. gospel)

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