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Saturday, June 13, 1998

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St. Anthony of Padua

1 Kings 19:19-21
Psalm 16
Matthew 5:33-37

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"make disciples" (mt 28:19) (part 2) (see june 10)

"Then he left and followed Elijah as his attendant." —1 Kings 19:21

Elijah lived a very eventful life. He called down fire from heaven three times, worked miracles, raised the dead, and rocked the government (see Sir 48:1ff). Nevertheless, the most important event of Elijah's life may have been the calling of Elisha to be his disciple (1 Kgs 19:19ff). The ramifications of this call to discipleship brought down the evil government of Ahab and Jezebel.

You also have many important events in your life. Yet none may be so important as making your children disciples of Jesus. The Lord may have put you in a certain job for many years primarily to make a disciple of one fellow worker. The Lord may have placed you in a particular neighborhood to make disciples for Christ of one or more neighbors. Jesus' command that we both be and make disciples explains some of the surprises, joys, and sorrows of our lives. Shortly before Jesus' Ascension into heaven, the climactic moment of His life on earth, Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).

Discipleship was obviously the focus of Jesus' earthly life. Therefore, discipleship is also the goal of our lives.

Prayer:  Jesus, by Your grace I will be Your disciple. I will make disciples who disciple others.

Promise:  "Say 'Yes' when you mean 'Yes' and 'No' when you mean 'No.' Anything beyond that is from the evil one." —Mt 5:37

Praise:  Anthony had hoped to serve the Lord by traveling to Africa as a missionary in hopes of dying as a martyr. However, God repeatedly stopped him through illness and bad weather (cf Acts 16:6-7). The Spirit instead used him as a fabulously successful preacher and miracle-worker in the Franciscan order.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997