Saint Athanasius, pray for us!
Readings: 1st: Acts 9:31-42; Ps: 115; Gos: John 6:60-69
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, Friday of the third week of Easter, the church celebrates the memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church.
St. Athanasius was born around 297, in Alexandria. He is well known for his holiness and doctrine. He courageously defended the Catholic faith from the time of Emperor Constantine to Valente.
So, he had to put up with a lot. Having fought and suffered greatly with heroic patience, Athanasius, a faithful disciple of Christ, died in the peace of Christ on the forty-sixth anniversary of his episcopal ordination.
Today, we have finally come to the end of the very long discourse on the bread of life. The objective is to show the exigencies of faith and the need for a serious commitment to Jesus.
Of course, many of Christ’s disciples left him. At the end, only the twelve remained with Him. He asked them, “do you want to go away also?” For Christ, it is not a question of having many followers.
So, he did not change the discourse, even when it did not please the people. He came to reveal the will of the Father, and not to please them. So, He prefers to remain alone, than to be accompanied by people who are not committed to the Father’s plan.
Peter’s response is beautiful: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
This should be the response of all true disciples of Christ. This was what Athanasius. He remained faithful to his master until the end, even in the midst of much suffering.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us! Alleluia, Alleluia!
Peace be with you all!