St. Anthony teaches the value of what is lost and what is found
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this feast of Anthony of Padua we venerate a saint known for his dedication to the poor, his ability as a preacher and his teaching of theology to his fellow Franciscans.
This modest young man from Lisbon joined the Order of Friars Minor after seeing the martyred bodies of members of that order who had served as missionaries. Anthony hoped that he could also offer this same sacrifice to His beloved Lord. Instead, despite his modesty and self-effacement, Anthony’s talents and holiness became known and he spent the rest of his life sharing the word of God with people in Padua and elsewhere in Italy as well as in France.
He is known today as patron of lost items. When a young man studying to join the order stole Anthony’s book of Psalms, he prayed for its return. The thief repented, gave back the book and rejoined the Franciscans. Surely, Anthony would have appreciated today’s reading: “I keep the Lord always before me; with Him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken… You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever” (Psalm 16:8, 11). Anthony was determined to serve Christ in all things and to the best of his ability. He died while in his thirties in 1231 and was canonized within a year. In 1946, St. Anthony was named a Doctor of the Church because of his thoughtful, Spirit-filled sermons.
Suggested missionary action: Let us ask St. Anthony of Padua to help us contemplate the opportunities to serve God that we lose to our own wishes. Then let us ask him to help us find new ways to do God’s will.