Sunday, September 26, 2010


“St. Vincent de Paul”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN


 Biographical Information about St. Vincent de Paul[1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul

Readings and Commentary:


1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
Whoever boosts, should boast in the Lord.

Commentary on
1 Cor 1:26-31

St. Paul continues his attack onworldly wisdomby reminding the members of the church at Corinth that the community is comprised of all strata of society. He points out that all are called to the same Lord, and that the wisdom that is Jesus (“…who became for us wisdom from God”) makes them righteous, sanctified, and redeemed in him. It is for this reason that the only boast a Christian should make is in God. The evangelist does so, paraphrasing Jeremiah 9:23.

CCC: 1 Cor 1:27 489; 1 Cor 1:30 2813

Psalm 112:1bc-2,3-4,5-7,7-8,9

R. (1) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall he mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

An evil report he shall not fear.
His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast;
he shall not fear till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever,
his horn shall be exalted in glory.

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Commentary on
Ps 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, 9

In this section of Psalm 112 the virtues of faithfully following God’s commandments are extolled. The one who follows the Lord will be upheld by God “in everlasting remembrance.” This hymn of praise and thanksgiving commends the people faithful to the Law of Moses. The one who is blameless in the eyes of God does not fear from his community or others since the Lord is his protector.

Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds,
his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."

Commentary on
Mt 9:35-38

This selection emphasizes Jesus' early struggle to accomplish what he came to do by himself. We sense the humanness as he says: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few." Immediately following this discourse the 12 are named and sent.

CCC: Mt 9:38 2611

St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) was born to a peasant family. A highly intelligent youth, Vincent spent four years with the Franciscan friars at Acq, France getting an education. He was a tutor to children of a gentlemen in Acq. He began divinity studies in 1596 at the University of Toulouse. He was ordained at age 20.

He was taken captive by Turkish pirates to Tunis, and sold into slavery. Then freed in 1607 when he converted one of his owners to Christianity.

Returning to France, he served as parish priest near Paris where he started organizations to help the poor, nursed the sick, found jobs for the unemployed, etc. He was Chaplain at the court of Henry IV of France. With Louise de Marillac, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity and instituted the Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Lazarists). St. Vincent worked always for the poor, the enslaved, the abandoned, the ignored, the pariahs.

When Jesus called for laborers to work in his Father’s vineyard few answered that call. Those who did carried out that same tradition; calling those whom God touched to follow in a special way. Few who answered the call to serve did so with such selfless vigor as St. Vincent. His love for the poor and marginalized sets a high standard for those who follow his banner today.

Each of us is similarly called; first to love those who are poor and helpless, unable to fend for themselves in this world. He then calls us to follow the example of St. Vincent and work to provide them food, clothing, and shelter. It is a huge, unending, and thankless task, yet the Lord who sacrificed his life for us asks us, echoing Moses and the Prophets, to share with those in need and see the rewards heaven provides for those who do.


[1] The picture is “St. Vincent de Paul” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] The readings are taken from the New American Bible with the exception of the Psalm and its response which were developed by the International Committee for English in Liturgy (ICEL). This re-publication is not authorized by USCCB and is for private use only. 
[3] The short background is taken from

No comments: