Homily (Reflection) for Memorial of Saint Athanasius, B.D. (2nd May, 2016) on the Gospel and the memorial
(Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter)


Acts 16:11-15;
Ps 149:1-6.9. (R. v.4);
Jn 15:26–16:4.

St. Athanasius was born at Alexandria about the year 296 of Christian parents and was educated under the eye of Alexander who later became his Bishop. He spent some time in the desert with St. Anthony. Athanasius was ordained a deacon in 319. He assisted his Bishop at the Council of Nicaea in 325, where his influence began to be felt. On Alexander’s death bed, he recommended St. Athanasius as his successor which paved way to his unanimous election as Patriarch in 326.

His refusal to tolerate the Arian heresy was the cause of many trials and persecutions for St. Athanasius. He spent seventeen of the forty-six years of his episcopate in exile. St. Athanasius died on May 2, 373.[1]

Topic: God sustains His people.

In today’s gospel, Jesus told His disciples things as they would be to prevent them from stumbling:

They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me.

When we juxtapose Christ’s message with what many give today in God’s name, one wonders. We must remember always that this work is God’s, cf. Jn 14:10. And the task of protecting the flock is the Lord’s, cf. 1Sam 17:47; 2Ch 20:15. As a result, there is no need for all the false promises, prophesies, messages, and so on.

Saint Athanasius never mixed-up God’s message with his. He rather exposed them as Paul admonished, cf. Eph 5:11. Let us follow His example.

Bible Reading: Ps 25.

Thought for today: God is not yet tired for the work.

Let us pray: Lord, lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long – Amen (cf. Ps 25:5).

Saint Athanasius – Pray for us.

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