Saint John Mary Vianney Curé d’Ars

Mardi 4 août 2020

Saint John Mary Vianney (the saintly parish priest of Ars) Feast day : 4th August

Jeremiah 30, v.12-15 Ps.101 Mth 12, 1-2, 10-14

‘Listen carefully and understand !’

« Then Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said,’Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders ? They eat without washing their hands.’

Today is the feast day of the saintly Priest, Saint John Vianny, the parish priest of Ars in France. Both his heart and his limpid way of life fill us with huge admiration.

In this Gospel reading we can see the zeal of the pharissees, intent on observing a certain number of external traditions and commandments and not seeing beyond the law. Nothing in St John Vianney would have wanted to appear pious before men, nothing in him of this false piety which could not deceive God.

How often did this saintly priest unveil the hardness of hearts, and nastiness within heart in others, only to restore these hearts once more in God’s merciful Grace.

In this Gospel we see how scribes from Jerusalem ask Jesus why he allows his own disciples to eat without them having perfomed hand purification rituels. Then Jesus calls the crowds and reminds them how inner purity is far more important than exterior washing.

It is the truth within this holy priest that little by little came to convert the village of Ars in France.

Just as the poor would come to the Jordan to seek John the Baptist to ask for help, so do the poor and lttle ones look to John Marie Vianney and begn to walk with the Gospel teachings.

‘Jesus called the people to Him and said ‘Listen, and understand. What goes into the mouth does not make anyone unclean ; it is what comes out of the mouth that makes someone unclean. »

People could have doubted the arrival of such a poor priest in Ars. People had rejected religion for some unknown reason in this town.

The prophet Amos had already warned of those who didint love God from the bottom of ther hearts.’ I hate, despise your celebrations ! and can’t stand your offical meetings…Take away your music… I don’t want to hear the sound of your harps ! »

Jesus’ teachings joins the words of the prophets. Jesus doesn’t attack the observances of the scribes and pharisees. He accuses them of ignoring the importance of caring for others, and of their parents, and of lookng rather to exterior laws.

So Jesus reminds the crowds how first and foremost purity comes from the inside, and without ths any form of exterior purifcation loses its meaning.

It was well in line with Jesus’ teaching on the mountain that st John Vianney would give simple and deep teachings, following in the footsteps of Jesus, as he would annonce God’s Kingdom.

« Then the disciples came to him and said’ Do you know that the Pharisees were shocked when they heard what you said ?’

He replied ‘Any plant my Heavenly Father has not planted wll be pulled up by the root. Leave thema lone. They are blind leaders of the blind ; and if one blind person leads another both will fall in the pit. »

Jesus uses a quote that Isaiah had already made use of… »This people honours me wth ther lips but their heart is far from me. »

The priest of Ars proclaims a religion of the heart, just as so many poor people are in need of. The Word of God can in this way work in peoples’ hearts.

Through Father John Vianney, the Word is close to everyone, it is in the hearts and mouth of those who put it into practice.

The beauty of this priest is that he lives from this Living Word. It reminds each one of us the lost tradition of the elders, at the same time it is the revelation of God and their response we can give him for our happiness.

Thus God’s Word has mulitplied miracles for the good of those who love God.

Feast day : 4th August

Jeremiah 30, v.12-15 Ps.101 Mth 12, 1-2, 10-14

‘Listen carefully and understand !’

« Then Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said,’Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders ? They eat without washing their hands.’

Today is the feast day of the saintly Priest, Saint John Vianny, the parish priest of Ars in France. Both his heart and his limpid way of life fill us with huge admiration.

In this Gospel reading we can see the zeal of the pharissees, intent on observing a certain number of external traditions and commandments and not seeing beyond the law. Nothing in St John Vianney would have wanted to appear pious before men, nothing in him of this false piety which could not deceive God.

How often did this saintly priest unveil the hardness of hearts, and nastiness within heart in others, only to restore these hearts once more in God’s merciful Grace.

In this Gospel we see how scribes from Jerusalem ask Jesus why he allows his own disciples to eat without them having perfomed hand purification rituels. Then Jesus calls the crowds and reminds them how inner purity is far more important than exterior washing.

It is the truth within this holy priest that little by little came to convert the village of Ars in France.