Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor of the Churc

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5: 17-19)

Introductory prayer :“My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands. Keep my commands and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye; Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7). Father, teach me your will and write it on my heart. Let me believe your words, placing my faith in them. Let me hope in your promises, which you always fulfill, and learn to love by the fulfillment of your will in my life.

Petition : Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Father, let my life today be a reflection of your will!

1. “Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life? (Mt19:16). To the young man who asked this question, Jesus says: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments." And he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of neighbor: "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." Jesus sums up these commandments positively: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Christ respects the law, building upon it. It is the first requirement for this young man. The law has its place. It is the first expression of our love for God.

2. Jesus then invites him to go further: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." The old law is brought to perfection in Christ.
He calls us to go beyond, from the logic of law to that of love. He would fulfill perfectly all that the law required, and much more, because of his love. “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…” (Philippians 2:8).

3. Jesus substitutes his obedience for our disobedience "For as by one man´s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man´s obedience many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19). By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished our salvation making himself an offering for sin, so that bearing our sin he makes satisfaction for our disobedience. It is precisely in his obedience to the law, and ultimately to the Father, that Jesus works our salvation. The Catechism proclaims that “Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfills Israel´s vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God´s Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil´s conqueror: he ‘binds the strong man’ to take back his plunder. Jesus´ victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father” (#539).

Dialogue with Christ : My King and Savior, you overcame temptation and sin to give me a holy example and to bring me grace to follow your example. Make me a loyal follower of yours in this daily battle against my pride and selfishness. I hope in your assistance, and I shall keep trying to live an intelligent life, a life of obedience to your all-wise will. Teach me to deny myself frequently in order to choose you all the more.

Resolution : Make a visit to Jesus in the Eucharist today and review if I have lived my commitments to him out of love.

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