A humble friar teaches the simple way to Christ our Redeemer
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (June 13, 2018): 1 KGS 18:20-39; PS 16:1-2, 4, 5, 8, 11; MT 5:17-19
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
People around the world turn to St. Anthony of Padua to help them find things that they have lost.
In contrast, he spent his own life losing himself in the will of God. Born in Lisbon in 1195, he entered the Augustinians as a youth, but then joined the Franciscans. He wanted to become a missionary and – he hoped – a martyr. Our Lord guided his vocation as a member of the Order of Friars Minor, but denied Anthony’s desire to die in His name. Anthony spent several years in quiet prayer and scripture study before he was chosen by Francis of Assisi to become the order’s first teacher of theology. St. Francis had recognized in the young man someone as dedicated to service of the poor and sick as he was to learning and preaching. Anthony’s priestly career was spent in revealing the truth, goodness and mercy of our Savior to laypeople and clergy alike.
In the Gospel reading on this day honoring St. Anthony of Padua, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.… Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17, 19). Anthony, who was dedicated to simplicity and discipline in his own life, encouraged it in others, especially his fellow friars. Like St. Francis, St. Anthony considered nothing lost if instead he found our Lord by freely offering up his own will.