Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Readings: Nm 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35; PS 106:6-7ab, 13-14, 21-22, 23; Mt 15: 21-28
Notes: Today we celebrate Saint John Vianney. He was an outstanding parish priest by preaching, mortification, prayer and good works. He was known to be a wonderful confessor and people came from far and wide to give their confession and accept his counsel.
In today’s readings we can see that continuous movement forward – that is to say growth in one’s spiritual life and righteousness toward others is a process and a journey. We cannot sit still. We must always move forward.
Saint Thomas Aquinas describes sloth: sloth is a sin of omission of desire and/or performance.
In the first reading the people became fearful of moving into the promised land due to the reports given by a part of the reconnaissance team.
They told Moses: “We came to the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit.
However, the people who are living in the land are powerful, and the towns are fortified and very large. Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there.
The Lord’s soluton was to move forward.
The people said something else which we have encountered before:
Why is the LORD bringing us into this land only to have us fall by the sword? Our wives and little ones will be taken as spoil. Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”
So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Setting aside the military motif of the reading we can see that when faced with obstacles we sometimes want to digress to the past, to past habits and other difficulties.
Trust the Lord to get you to the promised land.
Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
A Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.
She did not let the difficulty of her task to weigh her down more substantially than the faith in the living God who has love even ‘for the dogs’.
You too. Keep moving forward.
Let your faith guide you in all things, pray for good outcomes and keep moving!
Peace be with you,