HALF-LIVES


Memorial of Saint John Vianney, PriestLectionary: 405

Reading 1 LV 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34B-37
The LORD said to Moses,

“These are the festivals of the LORD which you shall celebrate

at their proper time with a sacred assembly.

The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month,

at the evening twilight.

The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD’s feast of Unleavened Bread.

For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly

and do no sort of work.

On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD.

Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly

and do no sort of work.”
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the children of Israel and tell them:

When you come into the land which I am giving you,

and reap your harvest,

you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest

to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the LORD

that it may be acceptable for you.

On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this.
“Beginning with the day after the sabbath,

the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf,

you shall count seven full weeks,

and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day,

you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD.
“The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement,

when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves

and offer an oblation to the LORD.
“The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD’s feast of Booths,

which shall continue for seven days.

On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly,

and you shall do no sort of work.

For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD,

and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly

and offer an oblation to the LORD.

On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work.
“These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD

on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly,

and offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and cereal offerings,

sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11AB
R. (2a) Sing with joy to God our help.

Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel,

the pleasant harp and the lyre.

Blow the trumpet at the new moon,

at the full moon, on our solemn feast.

R. Sing with joy to God our help.

For it is a statute in Israel,

an ordinance of the God of Jacob,

Who made it a decree for Joseph

when he came forth from the land of Egypt.

R. Sing with joy to God our help.

There shall be no strange god among you

nor shall you worship any alien god.

I, the LORD, am your God

who led you forth from the land of Egypt.

R. Sing with joy to God our help.

Alleluia 1 PT 1:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The word of the Lord remains forever;

this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 13:54-58
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.

They were astonished and said,

“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?

Is he not the carpenter’s son?

Is not his mother named Mary

and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?

Are not his sisters all with us?

Where did this man get all this?”

And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them,

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place

and in his own house.”

And he did not work many mighty deeds there

because of their lack of faith.
REFLECTION: HALF-LIVES

“He did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” –Matthew 13:58
The people of Jesus’ native place lacked faith in Him (Mt 13:54ff). Because of their lack of receptivity, Jesus did not work many miracles there.
This pattern is being repeated today. In our secular humanistic culture, many people have a crisis of faith. Under these circumstances, they may deprive themselves of seeing the power and glory of God in their lives. Without faith in Jesus, we live half-lives instead of abundant lives (see Jn 10:10). Our lives are only shadows of what they could be.
Jesus has mercy on those who are lacking faith. He intervenes by visiting them and giving them another opportunity to live life to the full. He gives them grace to have faith. He gives them the opportunity to be saved from faithlessness and its effects.
Jesus may be visiting you now or very soon. You must have faith in Him or die the second death (Rv 2:11; Rv 20:6, 14; Rv 21:8) of everlasting self-deprivation from His love. “All depends on faith, everything is grace” (Rm 4:16). The Lord is helping you to have faith. Cry out: “I do believe! Help my lack of faith” (Mk 9:24, our transl).
PRAYER: Prayer: Father, may my faith move mountains (Mt 17:20) and not vice versa.

PROMISE: Promise: “Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel, the pleasant harp and the lyre.” –Ps 81:3

PRAISE: Praise: St. John Vianney spent at least eleven hours per day in the confessional bringing sinners back to God.

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