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Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abb. (17th January, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (I))
 
Heb 3:7-14;
Ps 94:6-11. (R. v. 8);
Mk 1:40-45.

Saint Anthony was born about the year 260AD in Egypt. When his parents died, he gave his inheritance to the poor, and went into the desert, where he lived a life of penance. Many came to follow him, and he is known as the father of monks. He supported those who suffered for the faith under the persecutions of Diocletian, and helped Saint Athanasius in his fight against the Arians. He died in 356.[1]
Topic: Nevertheless, do good.
A leper came to Jesus and pleaded conditionally: “If you choose, you can make me clean”. After the healing, Jesus warned him sternly in these words before sending him away: “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them” (Mk 1:44). However, the man “went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word ....” (Mk 1:45).
Jesus knows everything including that the man would not adhere to His instructions, cf. Jn 16:30; 21:17. There are many passages in the bible that attest to this fact, cf. Jn 6:61; Lk 11:17; Matt 12:25; Mk 12:15 and so on. Yet He went ahead and healed him.
We do have lots of reasons why we should not do the good we ought to. Jesus came into the world not to do His will, but the will of the Father, cf. Jn 6:38. He is the light of the world, cf. Jn 12:46. Whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life, cf. Jn 8:12. We must follow His example and do good always even when we judge a person unworthy. Whatever good or bad one does to the other is done not to that person but to God, cf. Matt 25:40, 45. And God will repay every person according to his/her deeds, cf. 2Sam 16:12; Prov 19:17. 20:22; Matt 16:27. No one has a reason not to do good.
Bible Reading: Phil 2:1-11.
Thought for today: Look beyond the person you see.
Let us pray: Lord, give us the strength to do good always – Amen.
Saint Anthony – Pray for us.

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[1] The Weekday Missal: A new edition (1995). London: HarperCollins Religious, p. 1377.

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