Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, P.D., (13th June, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
2Cor 1:18-22;Ps 118:129-133.135. (R. v.135);
Saint Anthony of Padua was born Fernando Martins into a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal on August 15, 1195. At the age of fifteen, he was sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then capital of Portugal where he learned theology and Latin, and was ordained a priest. He later joined the Franciscan Order and changed his name to Anthony. Saint Francis of Assisi saw in him a friend and entrusted his friars' pursuits of studies to him in 1224. His teaching was simple and resounding. He died at the age of 36 on June 13, 1231, at Padua and was canonized less than a year afterwards by Pope Gregory IX. Pope Pius XII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1946. He is commonly referred to as the “finder of lost articles.”
Topic: Not just to be.
Jesus explained call to be His followers in today’s gospel with two imageries; salt of the earth and light of the world. The importance of these commodities cannot be neglected even in our daily lives. However, there is a follow-up to Jesus’ teaching that we are the salt of the earth: “but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot”. Again, Jesus referred to His followers as the light of the world and a city built on a hill which cannot be hid. He concluded,
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
These teachings call for sober reflection on our call as Christians. In the words of Saint Peter this call made us, “... a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Pt 2:9). And for Saint Paul, “... if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2Cor 5:17; cf. Rom 7:4).
Just as salt ought to be salty and light ought to give light Christians ought to live out their call. No Christian can either make the world tasty or give light for others to see without living the life. Whoever fails will be thrown away. No one is called just to answer Christ follower but to live as such, cf. Jn 15:16. Saint Anthony of Padua is a very good example. He continues to be light and salt of the earth. Let us live as Christ commanded us, cf. Matt 5:48.
Bible Reading: 1Pt 2:1-17.
Thought for today: Christianity is not a name be a way of life.
Let us pray: God help us to be Christians in deeds and not just in name – Amen.
Saint Anthony of Padua – Pray for us.
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