Thursday of 18th Week of the Year, August 04, 2022

>>>> John Mary Vianney – Pray for Us!
Here we have a priest, a humble country man, with very limited abilities for book learning, yet a contemplative, open to the Spirit and things supernatural, a real man of God (1786-1859). He was made the parish priest in a God-forgotten little town, where he could do little wrong. And no wrong he did. After a few years, everyone knew where the little town of Ars was, and the learned and the great as well as the poor and the little one came to seek his counsel, absolution and help. When his ordination was discussed, he said: “If Samson could defeat and kill a thousand Philistines with a donkeys’ jawbone, who knows what the Lord could do with a whole donkey like me?”
Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
thank you for giving us
St. John Mary Vianney
as the patron saint of parish priests.
Give to all priests the zeal,
the wisdom and the compassionate heart
of this humble, self-forgetting man.
Let them be great in goodness
and give them open arms for sinners.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
1 Reading – JEREMIAH 31:31-34
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers: the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant, and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
Responsorial PSALM 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me. R.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you. R.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. R.
Alleluia – MATTHEW 16:18
Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel – MATTHEW 16:13-23
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
A Schizophrenic Faith
Peter’s declaration of faith in Christ came as a revelation from the Father, as Jesus points out to him. However, did he comprehend what it meant for Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God? The latter events tell us that Peter had no idea. If he had, he would not have played “Satan” and opposed the plan of God. It is one thing to receive a revelation; yet another to receive the grace of understanding and living the same. How many times we toss around phrases such as: “Jesus is my Lord and Saviour” and “I believe in God”; but do they translate into flesh and blood in our lives? If Jesus is the Lord and Saviour, how willing are we to let this Lord take the reins of our lives and lead it wherever he wishes? Does our faith suffer from a schizophrenic split between what we proclaim in the Creed and how we live our lives? St John Mary Vianney, the Patron of Parish Priests, lived-out his faith.
– That we may be very grateful to God for remaining always faithful to the covenant he made with us even if we have been unfaithful, we pray:
– That we may be very much aware that in the name of the covenant, we have also to be just, merciful and good to our neighbor, we pray:
– That we may appreciate that Jesus renews the covenant of love with us in every Eucharistic celebration, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Tender and compassionate God,
you give us Jesus’ food and drink
to sustain us on the road of life.
See how many people today
are needy and rudderless.
Give them shepherds to guide them in life
and to nourish them with your living word
and with the food of everlasting life.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
your Son Jesus, still goes around today
to our cities and towns far and near.
Let his word be to all of us
Good News of liberation
from the diseases of our hearts and bodies
and make us pass on this message
to the people around us,
at least by the way we live it.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
“I will write my law on your hearts. I will be your God and you shall be my people.” If only we could be more aware of these words and this marvelous reality! May the Almighty and loving God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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