Feast of St Anthony of Padua

Fr Peter reads from the Gospel of Matthew (5:33-37) in which Jesus talks about making promises. Reflecting on this passage, he says we all make promises from time to time either formally or informally.

Fr Peter invites us to think about our faith and the promises we make when we participate in the sacraments – Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Marriage, Holy Orders, the Anointing of the Sick and Penance. When we interact with God in those encounters, we put ourselves at His mercy. We try to fulfil those promises to the best of our ability but it is never through our own efforts. We need God’s help because we cannot live our life without him. We depend on God. We need him.  He is always there to guide us and today we take this opportunity to reflect on the importance of making such promises to let God know we truly love him.

St Anthony of Padua, whose feast it is today, is someone who truly fulfilled the promises he made to serve as a religious in the (Franciscan) Order of Friars Minor. He lived in the 11-12th Centuries and had the great gift of preaching that enabled him to speak the truth with love and to carry out the Mission entrusted to him by God and the Church all over France and Italy. As he did so he, too, would have faced many challenges and difficulties.

As we think of our own experience when we are asked to speak the truth, are there are moments when we would rather give up, when we would rather hunker down or we would rather be silent?

We recall the life of St Peter in the Gospel where he denied our Lord Jesus three times. Imagine if someone we trusted and called a friend denied they ever knew us.  It would be heartbreaking to know that those we depended upon had let us down.

As we look to St Anthony of Padua, who answered the call of God to serve, and reflect on our own vocation, may we be inspired by him, who never gave up or lost hope and who spoke with truth and love, even at times we would rather not hear it.

We ask, through the intercession of St Anthony of Padua, that may we truly open our hearts to the truth and know that the truth will set us free.