Today we honour the memory of Saint John Vianney, who struggled in his efforts to become a priest. Against all the odds he responded to God’s call and was reluctantly ordained to the priesthood. His bishop dispatched him to the most remote parish in the diocese where his holiness of life and sound preaching saved many souls. The Church honours him today as the patron of parish priests.
The first reading is interesting because it gives us a summary of the liturgical year observed by the ancient Jews. Feasts were established so that the Israelites might never forget the great events of their history in which God saved them from slavery and established them as his own people. These events are also important to us, not only because they are part of our own salvation history, but because they are the foreshadowing of our own liturgical feast days.
Within the cycle of a year the Church unfolds for us the whole mystery of Christ, from his Incarnation all the way through to his Ascension.
The people of his hometown rejected Our Lord; but perhaps even worse than being rejected is to be accepted and then forgotten. We are not from Our Lord’s hometown, but we are part of his family as members of the Church. Through the faith granted us in Baptism, we have accepted him and all he has done for us. The Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is eager that we don’t forget any of the great events of Our Lord’s life – events that lead to our salvation.
In our own lives we want to be remembered. In the same way, throughout the course of the liturgical year we are called to remember and to celebrate the great events of Our Lord’s life.