Gospel Thought for Today
4th August Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Gospel: Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14
Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”
He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
“Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?”
He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Anne F’s Intentions
Jesus is different from the Pharisees and scribes. While the Pharisees and scribes give more emphasis on the “Love of the Law”, our Lord upholds the “Law of Love”. Because of the Pharisees and scribes go by the book, their teachings have become more of a burden than a power for the people. Blinded by their rigidity and pride, they have been described by Christ as “blind guides of the blind”.
Today we remember St John Vianney, patron of priests. As parish priest of Ars, “[he] brought Christ to his parishioners through fervent celebration of the Eucharist, assistance to the poor, and above all, the Sacrament of Penance”. It has been said that he spent eleven to sixteen hours a day hearing confessions. He was still administering this sacrament from his bed days before he died.
• How do we look at people around us? Do we see them through the eyes of Jesus or through the eyes of the Pharisees and scribes?
• Have I led others to Jesus or away from Him?
• St John Vianney once said that for an action to be pleasing to God, it should be sincere and perfect, humble and without selfishness, and steadfast and enduring. Do our actions meet these criteria?
Lord, thank You for Your Word today. Through the example and prayers of St John Vianney, help me become an authentic witness of Your love. Bless all our priests that they would faithfully lead Your people back to You. Amen.