Liturgical Colour : White
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today is a direct continuation of the discourse and catechesis of yesterday’s Scripture readings, and we continue on the matter of understanding the Law and the true intention of the Lord as He revealed to mankind. We need to know that the Law of the Lord should not be taken at plain literal meaning, nor should we be proud of ourselves and assume that we know it all about God and His desire, and therefore be judgmental on others.
We need to understand the greater purpose of the Law and the rules of our faith. We cannot be blindly oblige to the rules without first understanding them, and yet we can neither fail to oblige with the excuse that we do not understand them or worse if we decide to ignore them. We must therefore make the conscious effort to understand the Lord and His Law. How do we do so, brothers and sisters?
By obeying the teachings and tenets of the Church, and the regulations established by the Church, and maintaining a good and healthy relationship with our shepherds, that is our priests and bishops. It is because these people are the ones who had been entrusted with our care by the Lord, and they have also been granted teaching authority by Christ Himself, empowered by the Holy Spirit, that they teach the faith and the Law of God in its purest form and in its true meaning.
Today we celebrate the feast day of one of the greatest teachers of the faith, that is St. Anthony of Padua, a very renowned Franciscan friar who was legendary and amazing in his homilies and discourses, so much so that even the Pope at that time employed him as the one to deliver the homilies at his court. St. Anthony of Padua also preached in many places across Europe, and from his teachings, he brought many people closer to God by awakening in them the proper understanding of His laws and purpose.
St. Anthony of Padua was well educated since his youth, and at the same time he was also very dedicated to the Lord, having been educated in the seminary since his youth, and eventually decided to join a sacred religious life. He learnt much about the faith and how to teach it well to the people of God, and through his vast experiences in many situations and stints in various religious orders, he gained great knowledge and ability to teach the faith to the faithful.
St. Anthony of Padua was a great orator and preacher of the faith, and yet he remained truly humble despite his renown and his abilities. In fact, the very first time when St. Anthony of Padua’s preaching abilities was identified, he was reluctant and afraid when he was pointed out to be the one to give a sermon to a group of gathered religious congregations. Yet, despite his reluctance and initial refusal, he made such an eloquent and impressive sermon, that the people who heard him were completely astonished.
St. Anthony of Padua continued to preach from then on, and demands for his sermons are always high, and the Pope even kept a record of his sermons, which was truly valuable for us, for there is truly much wisdom that we can learn from St. Anthony of Padua and his discourses. Through him the word of God and the intentions of the Lord were made clear to many people, who then grew on deeper in their faith because of that.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to keep faithful and true to the deposit of faith that is in the Church. Yes, we have to keep the complete entirety of the deposit of faith, which is the accumulated wisdom, teachings, and revelations that we have received through the holy men and women, who dedicated themselves like St. Anthony of Padua had done. Through them, we gain this precious knowledge and understanding, and therefore, in our lives, we have to continue safeguarding this deposit of the faith and teach it to others.
It is not difficult to do so, and we do not have to be like St. Anthony of Padua, or be as wise and eloquent as him in order to do so. What we need to do is in fact, to practice what we believe in our own lives, that in all our words, deeds and actions we will always reflect who we are, the children and followers of our Lord and God. If we practice genuinely what we believe in, then those who see us and who are still unbelievers, will certainly be touched by the light of Christ and believe in God, and come to believe and be saved.
May the Lord bring about His good works and graces through us, that He may make manifest His truth and love to the world, just as He had once made Himself known through St. Anthony of Padua. God bless us always and strengthen us at all times. Amen.