August 4 2020
Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Reading 1 JER 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.
For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound?
your pain is without relief.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.
Thus says the LORD:
See! I will restore the tents of Jacob,
his dwellings I will pity;
City shall be rebuilt upon hill,
and palace restored as it was.
From them will resound songs of praise,
the laughter of happy men.
I will make them not few, but many;
they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.
His sons shall be as of old,
his assembly before me shall stand firm;
I will punish all his oppressors.
His leader shall be one of his own,
and his rulers shall come from his kin.
When I summon him, he shall approach me;
how else should one take the deadly risk
of approaching me? says the LORD.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.
Responsorial Psalm 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23
R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared on Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Alleluia JN 1:49
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 14:22-36
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
63 Israel is the priestly people of God, “called by the name of the LORD”, and “the first to hear the word of God”, The people of “elder brethren” in the faith of Abraham.
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 4TH Mt. 15: 1-2, 10-14 “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.”
“Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt. 12:34). Is my heart good or bad? In honesty, we have to say both! This is a good daily Examen Prayer for us. Add to this, not only what came out of my mouth, but what was I thinking that I did not say. We will be judged not only on our words and actions but on the thoughts we willfully entertained. We will also be judged on what we failed to say or do — sins of omission!
The Good News of the Gospel is that there is a Doctor in the house! “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ez. 26:36) The Doctor most often works through His representatives on earth beginning with the Vicar of Christ on earth — our Holy Father, the Bishops, and our priests!
PART 1: Excerpt from a Homily on today’s Gospel by Pope Francis
PART 2: Excerpt from Pope Francis’x Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate – On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World
Let the Vicar of Christ open our minds and hearts…
Excerpt from Sunday Homily by Pope Francis (From Inside the Vatican Staff 4.30.2015)
“You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” (Mk.7:8)
These are words that fill us with admiration for our Teacher: we feel that in Him is truth and that His wisdom liberates us from prejudice.
But, pay attention here. With these words Jesus wants to put us on guard today, don’t you think? Thinking that an exterior observance of the law is sufficient for being a good Christian. Just like back then for the Pharisees, there is also for us the danger of considering that all is well with us or that we’re better than the others because of the simple fact of observing certain rules or customs, even though we don’t love our neighbor, are hard of heart and proud.
The literal observance of precepts is sterile if it doesn’t change the heart and if it is not translated into concrete attitudes: opening oneself to the encounter with God and His word, seeking justice and peace, helping the poor, the weak and the oppressed.
In this way, He emphasizes the primacy of the interior of the “heart”: exterior things are not what make us holy or not holy, but rather the heart that expresses our intentions, our desires and the desire to do everything for love of God.
We can ask ourselves: Where is my heart? Jesus said, your treasure is where your heart is. What is my treasure? Is it Jesus and His doctrine? Or my treasure is another thing? Thus, it is the heart that we must purify and convert. Without a purified heart, we can never have truly clean hands and lips that speak sincere words of love, mercy and forgiveness.
Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin, to give us a pure heart, free of all hypocrisy — that’s the adjective that Jesus used with the Pharisees: hypocrites, because they say one thing and do another. Free from all hypocrisy so that in this way we are able to live according to the spirit of the law and reach its goal, which is love.
End of Homily Excerpt.
The purpose and end of purifying our hearts is to become saints! Remember, everyone in heaven is a saint!
Again, let us be taught and encouraged by the Vicar of Christ… If we take these words to heart and live them, we WILL become saints!
PART 2: Excerpt from Pope Francis Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate – On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World (3/19/2018)
FOR YOU TOO…
14. To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.
Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain. 
15. Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in a path of holiness. Let everything be open to God; turn to Him in every situation. Do not be dismayed, for the power of the Holy Spirit enables you to do this, and holiness, in the end, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life (cf. Gal 5:22-23).
When you feel the temptation to dwell on your own weakness, raise your eyes to Christ crucified and say: “Lord, I am a poor sinner, but you can work the miracle of making me a little bit better”.
In the Church, holy yet made up of sinners, you will find everything you need to grow towards holiness. The Lord has bestowed on the Church the gifts of scripture, the sacraments, holy places, living communities, the witness of the saints and a multifaceted beauty that proceeds from God’s love, “like a bride bedecked with jewels” (Is 61:10).
This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures.
Here is an example: a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbor and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone”. This is a step forward in holiness.
Later, at home, one of her children wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams, and even though she is tired, she sits down and listens with patience and love. That is another sacrifice that brings holiness.
Later she experiences some anxiety, but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary, she takes her rosary and prays with faith. Yet another path of holiness.
Later still, she goes out onto the street, encounters a poor person and stops to say a kind word to him. One more step.
17. At times, life presents great challenges. Through them, the Lord calls us anew to a conversion that can make His grace more evident in our lives, “in order that we may share His holiness” (Heb 12:10).
At other times, we need only find a more perfect way of doing what we are already doing: “There are inspirations that tend solely to perfect in an extraordinary way the ordinary things we do in life”. 
When Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên van Thuân was imprisoned, he refused to waste time waiting for the day he would be set free. Instead, he chose “to live the present moment, filling it to the brim with love”. He decided: “I will seize the occasions that present themselves every day; I will accomplish ordinary actions in an extraordinary way”. 
18. In this way, led by God’s grace, we shape by many small gestures the holiness God has willed for us, not as men and women sufficient unto ourselves but rather “as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet 4:10).
The New Zealand bishops rightly teach us that we are capable of loving with the Lord’s unconditional love, because the risen Lord shares His powerful life with our fragile lives:
“His love set no limits and, once given, was never taken back. It was unconditional and remained faithful. To love like that is not easy because we are often so weak. But just to try to love as Christ loved us shows that Christ shares His own risen life with us. In this way, our lives demonstrate His power at work – even in the midst of human weakness”. 
YOUR MISSION IN CHRIST…
19. A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for “this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess 4:3). Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel.
20. That mission has its fullest meaning in Christ, and can only be understood through Him. At its core, holiness is experiencing, in union with Christ, the mysteries of His life. It consists in uniting ourselves to the Lord’s death and resurrection in a unique and personal way, constantly dying and rising anew with Him.
But it can also entail reproducing in our own lives various aspects of Jesus’ earthly life: His hidden life, His life in community, His closeness to the outcast, His poverty and other ways in which He showed His self-sacrificing love.
The contemplation of these mysteries, as Saint Ignatius of Loyola pointed out, leads us to incarnate them in our choices and attitudes. 
Because “everything in Jesus’ life was a sign of His mystery”, 
“Christ’s whole life is a revelation of the Father”, 
“Christ’s whole life is a mystery of redemption”, 
“Christ’s whole life is a mystery of recapitulation”. 
“Christ enables us to live in Him all that He Himself lived, and He lives it in us”. 
21. The Father’s plan is Christ, and ourselves in Him. In the end, it is Christ who loves in us, for “holiness is nothing other than charity lived to the full”.  As a result, “the measure of our holiness stems from the stature that Christ achieves in us, to the extent that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we model our whole life on His”.  Every saint is a message which the Holy Spirit takes from the riches of Jesus Christ and gives to His people.
22. To recognize the word that the Lord wishes to speak to us through one of His saints, we do not need to get caught up in details, for there we might also encounter mistakes and failures. Not everything a saint says is completely faithful to the Gospel; not everything he or she does is authentic or perfect. What we need to contemplate is the totality of their life, their entire journey of growth in holiness, the reflection of Jesus Christ that emerges when we grasp their overall meaning as a person. 
23.This is a powerful summons to all of us. You too need to see the entirety of your life as a mission. Try to do so by listening to God in prayer and recognizing the signs that He gives you. Always ask the Spirit what Jesus expects from you at every moment of your life and in every decision you must make, so as to discern its place in the mission you have received. Allow the Spirit to forge in you the personal mystery that can reflect Jesus Christ in today’s world.
24. May you come to realize what that word is, the message of Jesus that God wants to speak to the world by your life. Let yourself be transformed. Let yourself be renewed by the Spirit, so that this can happen, lest you fail in your precious mission. The Lord will bring it to fulfilment despite your mistakes and missteps, provided that you do not abandon the path of love but remain ever open to His supernatural grace, which purifies and enlightens.
End of Excerpt from Pope Francis Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate – On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World
LAST WORD: Pope Francis is a Jesuit, a son of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Please look at the last two pages which give the INDEX for Gaudette Et Exsultate – on the Call to Holiness in Today’s world. It is totally Ignatian! Prayerfully consider reading the whole document. It is magnificent. It is available on-line!
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD
« Rejoice and be glad » [1-2]
The saints who encourage and accompany us [3-5]
The saints “next door” [6-9]
The Lord calls [10-13]
For you too [14-18]
Your mission in Christ [19-24]
Activity that sanctifies [25-31]
More alive, more human [32-34]
Contemporary Pelagianism [47-48]
Going against the flow [65-66]
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” [67-70]
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” [71-74]
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” [75-76]
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” [77-79]
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” [80-82]
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” [83-86]
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” [87-89]
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” [90-94]
The great criterion 
Combat and vigilance 
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA