HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF SAINT JOHN MARIA VIANNEY, Patron Saint Of All the priests
THEME: When the heart is pure and simple it cannot help loving, because it has discovered the source of love which is God.(St John Maria Vianney)
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 4 2022
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Dear brethrens, today in a special way we celebrate the Feast of St. John Vianney, the renowned patron of all the priests and especially all the parish priests.
*WHO WAS ST JOHN MARIA VIANNEY?*
St. John Vianney, in full Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, also called Curé d’Ars, (born May 8, 1786, Dardilly, France—died August 4, 1859, Ars; canonized May 31, 1925; feast day August 4 [formerly August 9]), French priest who was renowned as a confessor and for his supernatural powers. He is the patron saint of parish priests.
*FROM THE GOSPEL OF THE DAY?*
In this morning’s gospel reading, Jesus addresses Peter in two very contrasting ways. He initially addresses Peter as the Rock, ‘You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church’. However, within the space of a few verses, Jesus then addresses Peter as Satan, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle in my path’. Having addressed Peter as the rock on which he can build, Jesus then identifies him as a stumbling stone, an obstacle on Jesus’ path, because he was not thinking in God’s way.
*WHAT THE GOSPEL OF THE DAY TEACHES US*
The fact that Peter could be a stumbling stone did not mean that he ceased to be the rock. Peter, like every human being, was complex. He was a mixture of wheat and weeds, to use an image from one of Jesus’ parables. In spite of his failings, Jesus appointed Peter as the rock, the focal point, of the new community he came to form. The Lord keeps faith in us even after we have failed him. The Lord can work powerfully in and through flawed human beings. What he does ask of us is that we keep striving for God’s way, as against a merely human way.
Dear brothers and sisters, the calling and the mission of priests are really not an easy one, as they are expected to do even more than what we have been expected to do as the Christian laypeople and laity. There is a great need all over the world for more holy and devout priests, in the manner that St. John Vianney and many other holy priests of the past had done and there is a need for more of those holy priests who placed their flock and the needs of their flock ahead of their own needs. That is why today we should pray for all of our priests and ask for the intercession of St. John Vianney, that all of our priests may continue to serve the Lord and His people wholeheartedly, full of faith and love.
May the Lord continue to guide us all, and especially our priests, that all of them and all of us may commit ourselves ever more to the good works and missions of the Church, now and always, evermore.
As you comment, you may mention the names of the priests as i dedicate this morning mass for them, Let us all pray for them.
HAPPY FEAST DAY TO ALL MY BROTHER PRIESTS.
Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA