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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

You can do more than the Saints

           
Readings: 1 Kings 18:20-39; Matthew 5:17-19

In the Gospel reading of today, Jesus tells us that he did not come to abolish the law or the prophets, rather, he came to bring them to fulfilment, (Matt. 5: 17-19). The law Jesus is talking about, is the law that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, that is, the Ten Commandments. (Deut. 5: 6-21) These laws are still valid today. And they will always be valid because they are divine law, the conditions that are necessary for us to live a good Christian life. To show that he has not come to abolish this law he said that “love is the fulfilment of the law,” and when he was asked what is the greatest commandment in the law, he summarized everything to the love of God and the love of neighbour, (Matt. 22: 34-40). Thus, we are commanded to love God and our neighbour.

This is exactly what St. Anthony of Padua whom we are celebrating today was known for – the love of God and the love of neighbour. In showing his love for God, St. Anthony of Padua felt a strong desire to die for Christ when he was twenty-five and heard about some Franciscans who had been martyred in Morocco; and later when he joined the Franciscan Order in 1221 he obtained permission to come to Africa to preach to the Moors. Also, as a way of manifesting his love for beighbour, whenever Anthony was not praying in the chapel or in his room, he would be serving the community by doing the dishes after the common meal or doing similar humble tasks.

Dear people of God, our lives are often influenced more by significant persons in our community, than it is influenced just by reading moral laws and instructions. This is the lesson the Church wants us to learn by celebrating the saints. We are challenged to evaluate the way we live our lives as Christians and compare it with that of the saints in order to discover where we have abandoned the commandments of God to follow our own way.

May the good Lord help us to do this faithfully and remain abide by his law of love through the intercession of St. Anthony of Padua. Amen.

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