Thursday, 13 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the importance for us to be truly faithful in our lives, in how we carry on with our lives and actions, in everything that we say and do, so that we truly show our faith not just in words, but in our every actions, in every parts of our beings, that everyone who see us, will see God being present in our lives.

As what St. Paul wrote to the Church and the faithful in Corinth in our first reading passage today, all of us reflect the glory of God and the truth of God has been revealed to us, His faithful ones, like light shining in the darkness, illuminating everything by the wonders of God’s light. And through us, God’s wonderful love and truth is reflected unto the world, just as He has done so through His saints, all those holy men and women who had been obedient to God and lived their lives virtuously.

In conjunction with this, I would like to compare all these to the stained glasses in our churches and parishes, where we see the stained glasses beautifully adorned and arranged with the imageries of the life of Our Lord and the imageries of the saints and martyrs, the lives of all those who have given themselves to the service of God. And all these stained glasses are truly the epitome of what we have been discussing so far today, as stained glasses gain their beauty not from themselves but from the light that illuminates them.

Without light, the stained glass will remain dark and invisible, as the stained glass does not produce light on its own. Similarly, the saints did not glorify their own power and greatness, they did not proclaim their own wisdom or understanding, or their own ways and paths, but instead, they glorified the Lord by their lives, devoting their whole lives and their whole entire being to be the hands, the feet, the living examples of the Lord’s glory and good works among His people.

That is what the saints had done, making use of their examples and their whole lives to bring glory to God, and by all their actions, their dedications, their tireless giving of their time and effort, everyone who have seen them, witnessed their good works, listened to them and followed them came to know of God and His truth, His love and care for each and every one of them. Truly, like the beautiful stained glass illuminated by the light, the Light of Christ illuminates His saints like wonderful beacons for us all to see.

Today, we celebrate the feast of one of those saints, namely St. Anthony of Padua, a renowned saint whose life is truly an example for each and every one of us. St. Anthony of Padua was born into a wealthy Portuguese family who entered into the priesthood and eventually became one of the Franciscans. He wanted to be a missionary but a serious sickness changed the course of his life. Instead, he worked and preached among the people.

St. Anthony of Padua made wonderful speeches and preached eloquently, teaching numerous people about the faith. And many were moved and inspired by his sermons, as well as his generous and caring nature, in how he spent many hours and days taking care of them and also the younger members of his own Franciscan community. The people of God came to be inspired by the life of this saint, whose life has become an embodiment of God’s glory.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we inspired by the good examples of St. Anthony of Padua? Are we capable of devoting our lives in the same way as St. Anthony had done with his? Let us all therefore from now on strive to be good reflections of God’s truth and love, by our own exemplary and faithful actions in life. Let us devote our whole effort and time from now on, for the greater glory of God. May the Lord bless us all, now and always. Amen.

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