Friday, X Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us!

Readings: 1st: 1 Kg 9:19-21; Ps: 15; Gos: Mt 5:33-37

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: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, Saturday of the tenth week of ordinary time, the Church honors one of her most popular saint, Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal and given the name of Fernando at Baptism. At the age of 15 he entered the religious order of St. Augustine and was ordained priest after 9 years of study.

After some challenges from the prior of the Augustinians, he was allowed to leave that priory and receive the Franciscan habit, taking the name Anthony.

He was recognized as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar. Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars.

Later he was sent to preach to the Albigensian in France. This was in order to use his profound knowledge of the Scripture and theology to convert and reassure those who had been misled by their denial of Christ’s divinity and of the sacraments.

After, he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua where he eventually died after being ill for some time.

Anthony was canonized less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946. Anthony of Padua, is the patron saint of lost and stolen articles.

In today’s Gospel, Christ continues to interpret the Law in a new way. Through this, he continues to invite us to a higher standard of spirituality and morality.

Today, he reinterprets the commandment: “Do not take a false oath.” Rather, he said: do not swear at all by anything. He concluded: Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.

Hence, the goal of this commandment is total transparency in our relationship with one another. That is authentic Christian life.

So, today, let us ask God to keep us faithful to his word, so that through it, we might be transparent and truthful to one another.

Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us!

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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