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Monday, June 13, 2022

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St. Anthony of Padua

1 Kings 21:1-16
Psalm 5:2-7
Matthew 5:38-42

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a heavenly perspective

“On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.” —1 Kings 21:16

This life is not the final word. God’s justice prevails, even though it might not occur in this earthly life. Otherwise, it’s hard to make sense of the Scripture readings for today’s Mass.

If we live as if this earthly life is all there is, then it’s easy to get downhearted about the senseless death of Naboth (1 Kgs 21:7-13). Likewise, with only an earthly perspective, it’s easy to scoff at the commands of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading to turn the other cheek, not resist injury, and go the extra mile for those who persecute us (Mt 5:38-42). However, our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20). Jesus declared that His kingdom was not of this world (Jn 18:36). We are called to see everything from a heavenly perspective (Col 3:1-2).

If it’s hard to see the heavenly wisdom of today’s readings, perhaps we are focusing too much attention on this world, and  spending too little on the kingdom of God. To spend more time rooted in heaven, go to Mass daily, or as often as possible. The Holy Mass is the wedding of heaven and earth in the person of Christ (see Rv 19:7; 21:9). Seek first the kingdom of God, and the Lord will take care of your needs (Mt 6:33). “Store up heavenly treasure” (Mt 6:20), and your heart will be focused upon heaven (Lk 12:34).

Prayer:  “Our Father, Who art in heaven...” (see Mt 6:9).

Promise:  “Heed my call for help, my King and my God!” —Ps 5:3

Praise:  St. Anthony’s first few years as a Franciscan friar were spent in humble and quiet works of service. At an ordination he attended, no one had prepared a homily because of a misunderstanding. The Superior turned to Anthony, who was nearby, and told him: “Say whatever the Holy Spirit inspires you to say.” Anthony delivered a powerful sermon, and was then commissioned to a ministry of public preaching, which resulted in many thousands of conversions.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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