ST VINCENT DE PAUL, P. (Memorial) White
Vincent was born in 1581 in southwest France to a peasant family. As an intelligent youth, he spent four years with the Franciscan Friars getting education and studied theology in 1596 at the University of Toulouse. He was ordained at the age of 20 and was taken into slavery to Tunis and was freed in1607. He returned to France and there started organisations to help the poor, nurse the sick, and find jobs for the unemployed. With Louise de Marillac, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. He died in 1660 at Paris, France. His body is incorrupt.
First Reading: Job 3:1-3. 11-17. 20-23; Psalm: 88. R. v. 3a; Gospel: Lk 9:51-56
THE TOLERANCE OF LOVE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” (Lk9:54).
The personality of James and John were somewhat revealed by their reaction in today’s gospel. They exhibited an aggressive and intolerable personality. Although they were not the ones directly rejected by the Samaritans, they desired to send down fire to consume the city. One can imagine what they would have done if they had the power to send fire upon this people. However, the response of Jesus to them was the sound of reason. It is the kind of voice we need especially in our moments of anger and impetuous reactions. And God has offered us this by the gift of reason.
Jesus was denied entry into the Samaritan town because the Samaritans and the Jews were long-time enemies. But notwithstanding this rejection of Jesus’ offer of friendship by the Samaritans, Jesus loved them still and wished them well. He took them as friends and not enemies. This was obvious by Jesus’ outright reprimand of the ill feelings of James and John towards the Samaritan people.
Tolerance is a virtue; it accommodates human imperfections by recognising that growth is a process. People will not always understand issues from our own perspective. And they are entitled to their opinions which we must also respect. Jesus wants us to pay attention to this because sometimes we feel that things must always go our own way either by dialogue or by imposition. We can be more accommodating to people. St Vincent the Paul, the saint we celebrate today was a priest who devoted his life in service to the poor, the sick, and the dying. He did this with love, patience, and tolerance. Jesus calls us today to tolerate one another not out of pretense or duty but out of love.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, teach us love and tolerance. Amen.