Wednesday, August 19, 2009

AUGUST 19 SAINT JOHN EUDES

“St. John Eudes”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
AUGUST 19

SAINT JOHN EUDES, PRIEST

Biographical Information about St. John Eudes [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. John Eudes

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
Ephesians 3:14-19

Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you, in accord with the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

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Commentary on
Eph 3:14-19

St. Paul is addressing the Gentiles in Ephesus. “The apostle prays that those he is addressing may, like the rest of the church, deepen their understanding of God's plan of salvation in Christ. It is a plan that affects the whole universe with the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love in Christ or possibly the universe in all its dimensions. The apostle prays that they may perceive the redemptive love of Christ for them and be completely immersed in the fullness of God.”
[3]
 
CCC: Eph 3:14 239, 2214, 2367; Eph 3:16-17 1073, 2714; Eph 3:16 1995; Eph 3:18-21 2565
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 131:1bcde, 2, 3
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother's lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
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Commentary on
Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3

Psalm 131 is an individual lament praying for harmony and humility among the members of the community. The singer proclaims trust in the Lord and peace; like children's contented peace, secure in the knowledge of the love and protection of their parents.


CCC: Ps 131:2 239; Ps 131:2-3 370
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GOSPEL
Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus answered:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
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Commentary on Mt 11:25-30


Jesus has just completed a fairly scathing criticism of the people in the places he has been and performed miracles, yet many have not accepted him as the Messiah. He now concludes this section as he reflects that, while the Scribes and Pharisees (“the wise and learned”) have not understood who he is, those with simple faith have accepted him freely. He then issues an invitation to all who “labor and are burdened” quoting an invitation similar to one in the book of Sirach to learn wisdom and submit to her yoke (Sirach 51:23, 26).

“This Q saying, identical with Luke 10:21-22 except for minor variations, introduces a joyous note into this section, so dominated by the theme of unbelief. While the wise and the learned, the scribes and Pharisees, have rejected Jesus' preaching and the significance of his mighty deeds, the childlike have accepted them. Acceptance depends upon the Father's revelation, but this is granted to those who are open to receive it and refused to the arrogant. Jesus can speak of all mysteries because he is the Son and there is perfect reciprocity of knowledge between him and the Father; what has been handed over to him is revealed only to those whom he wishes.”[4]

The final verses of this section are found only in St. Matthew’s Gospel and promise salvation to those who are downtrodden or in pain.

CCC: Mt 11:25-27 2603, 2779; Mt 11:25-26 2701; Mt 11:25 153, 544, 2785; Mt 11:27 151, 240, 443, 473; Mt 11:28 1658; Mt 11:29-30 1615; Mt 11:29 459
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Reflection:

What intercession do we ask of St. John Eudes, a saint in heaven and a priest of the Church? He gave his life to those who needed spiritual graces with which he was so generously endowed. He lived the example of Christ who loved all people and who selflessly gave of his energy so that the poor and marginalized might find salvation.

Do we ask St. John that we be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit which seemed to drive him to attempt greater and greater initiatives to build up the Church and find ways to bring people back to the heart of Jesus whom he dearly loved? Do we ask that he pray to Christ at whose throne he stands that we might be filled with the same love of people that inspired him to preach God’s word so eloquently? Or do we simply ask for his prayers that our love of God and devotion to the Mother of God, Mary, Most Holy, might match his own?

Scripture begs us to put aside our skepticism and disbelief and accept God as a child accepts, with innocence and trust. The Lord asks us to accept his yoke, his guiding hand that we might find peace in this life and an eternal reward in the next. Of all the things St. John Eudes asked of God’s people in his life, this was the message he brought – Come to the Lord with all of your cares and burdens and place them at his feet. Accept the loving hand of Christ; let him guide you and keep you safe on a path that avoids worldly cares.

Perhaps, as we celebrate his Feast, we should ask St John to pray for us that we might as willingly accept that sacred burden as he did and with that acceptance bring about the salvation of souls through our example as he did in is life.

Pax

[1] The picture is “St. John Eudes” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.
[3] See NAB Footnote on Ephesians 3:14-19
[4] See NAB footnote on Matthew 11:25ff

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