Sunday Reflection – 2 September – Today’s Gospel: Mark 7:1–23 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
John Paul and Jean-Marie
When the Curé of Ars spoke of the Sacrament of the Altar, he glowed! He communicated to his hearers the Eucharistic fire that burned in his own heart. Thirty-two years ago, St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) devoted his Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, to Saint Jean-Marie Vianney. I think that today we can read that letter as one saint talking about another. This is what Pope John Paul II said:
“The Eucharist was at the very centre of Saint Jean Vianney’s spiritual life and pastoral work.
He said: “All good works put together are not equivalent to the Sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of men and the Holy Mass is the work of God.”
It is in the Mass that the sacrifice of Calvary is made present for the Redemption of the world. Clearly, the priest must unite the daily gift of himself to the offering of the Mass:
“How well a priest does, therefore, to offer himself to God in sacrifice every morning!” “Holy Communion and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are the two most efficacious actions for obtaining the conversion of hearts.”
Recollection and Adoration
Thus the Mass was for John Mary Vianney the great joy and comfort of his priestly life. He took great care, despite the crowds of penitents, to spend more than a quarter of an hour in silent preparation. He celebrated with recollection, clearly expressing his adoration at the consecration and communion. He accurately remarked:
“The cause of priestly laxity is not paying attention to the Mass!”
Let us always, daily, pray for all our Priests!
St John Vianney (1786-1859) Patron of Priests
Prayer for Priests
By St John Vianney
God, please give to Your Church today
many more priests after Your own heart.
May they be worthy representatives
of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves
to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining models of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers
of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of Your grace
in the sacraments.
May their loving devotion to Your Son,
Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary His Mother,
be the twin fountains of fruitfulness
for their ministry.