Memorial of Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr
Today, we celebrate the memorial of Saint Vincent, deacon and martyr – a late third-century saint and patron of vinegar, wine, brickmakers, and sailors. Deacon Vincent witnessed Christ through a death caused by the refusal to renounce the Christian faith and burn incense to the Roman gods. The act of burning incense is an act of reverence towards the servants of God during eucharistic celebrations and an act of worship to God himself.
Reflecting on the life of Deacon Vincent, we can then try to understand the text given to us from the second book of Samuel. David cannot hold himself before the ark of the covenant. He starts dancing. For him, just like all the Jews, the Ark of the Covenant was a sign of God’s presence amongst his people. It had no divine substance, but holding the Law of Moses was enough. The contents of the law drew people to holiness and reminded them of God’s Love. It was a reminder of their relationship with their God.
Today, we celebrate the Eucharist in our midst, just as the ark of the covenant with the children of Israel. This Eucharist is the fullness of divinity. It is the custodian of the love of God. The reverence that Deacon Vincent desired was that towards God himself and not created gods. It was a reverence like that of David to the ark of the covenant.
It is the reverence that Pope Benedict XVI, in his post-synodal exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, calls to …be able to experience and express the awareness that at each celebration, we stand before the infinite majesty of God who comes to us in the lowliness of the sacramental signs. (Sacramentum Caritatis, 65)
Let Us Pray:
Most loving father, we thank you for the gift of St. Vincent, Deacon, and Martyr. His life reminds us of our obligation to worship and adore you, just like David did before the ark of the covenant. He humbly acknowledged the moments we have not given you the proper reverence, and we are sorry for the times we have turned this veneration to other objects. We therefore ask for the grace to give you the rightful place in our lives. We make this our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ.