My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,1
It’s been a wonderful weekend for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — not just because we had the Oscars yesterday — but because had the relic of St. John Vianney. The heart of St. John Vianney.
So we are very grateful to the Knights of Columbus for helping us to bring this extraordinary relic to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles this weekend.
And this morning we had a special prayer service for the priests of the Archdiocese, that’s why our brother priests and bishops are here. So it was, again, a very very special moment for all of us.
I’m sure it’s going to bring a lot of blessings during this time in the life of the Church, as we continue to be working on the renewal of the clergy, especially. Pope Francis had this special meetings for the presidents of the conference of bishops in Rome. So it is a moment for all of us to be — as I said before — to be united.
Keep praying for our Holy Father, for the Church, an d keep praying especially for the renewal of the clergy in the Church.
I was reflecting this weekend on how St. John Vianney used to say that: “the priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.”
That’s what is in the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. And as we know, as I’ve said before, the priesthood includes all of us — there is the ministry of the priesthood and the common priesthood of all the lay faithful. So we all participate in the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ and that is what is in the heart of Jesus.
So it is beautiful that reflect today on what is it that is in the heart of Jesus. And I will say that those three things that we were reminded of in today’s readings are kind of like a summary of what is in the heart of Jesus and what was in the heart and in the life and example of St. John Vianney.
Wisdom. Faith. Prayer.
In the first reading of today’s Mass, we hear about the Wisdom of God. And we can say we read carefully this beautiful passage of the first reading of today’s Mass how Jesus is the Wisdom of God and the Word of God. He’s sent into the world to reveal the mysteries of God.
And Jesus is bringing that extraordinary, beautiful plan of God for the world and especially for the human person.
The Wisdom of God is that we find peace and joy and happiness in our lives. That’s the plan of God — that we have a wonderful life and that we go to heaven.
Sometimes in our society it’s difficult for us and for people to reflect on what is the plan of God for the human person. We think that we know better. But really we know that God’s plan for you and for me is extraordinary. For each one of us.
That’s the example of St. John Vianney. Humanly speaking, he was not even welcome in the seminary. And he became a saint and the patron saint of priests. That’s God’s plan for the human person.
Then in the passage of the Gospel — beautiful passage of the Gospel — where Jesus reminds us on how his plan, the plan of God, includes faith. And Jesus tells the father that has that child:
“Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cries out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Isn’t that, my dear brothers and sisters, what we should say too? I do believe, help my unbelief!
So today, especially, ask for the grace to increase our faith. That our faith will be stronger everyday.
How will we accomplish that? As Jesus told the apostles:
“Prayer will do it.”
And prayer is what we all need. Jesus tells his disciples that kind of spirit that possessed the boy “can only come out through prayer.”
The strength in our spiritual life comes from that relationship with Jesus — with God — through prayer. Listening to God, talking to God. That was the life of St. John Vianney. Strong prayer.
So today, again, let’s renew our commitment to trust in the wisdom of God. To have strong faith. And to keep working on our prayer life. That way, we can have the certainty that we will do God’s will in our lives.
Let’s ask Mary our Blessed Mother for her intercession and also St. John Vianney that we really renew our priesthood — the sacrament of priesthood, the ministry of priesthood, and our common priesthood cause we all participate in the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Readings: Sir. 1:1-10; Mark 9:14-29.