24 October – Memorial for St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop
Anthony Mary Claret (1807–1870) was a weaver and a seminary student with Blessed Francis Coll. He was ordained on 13 June 1835, and became a missionary in Catalonia and the Canary Islands. He directed retreats and founded the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians). He became Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba on 20 May 1850, and founded the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
Following his work in the Caribbean, Blessed Pope Pius IX ordered him back to Spain where he became confessor to Queen Isabella II and was exiled with her. He had the gift of prophecy and miracles, and was reported to have preached 10,000 sermons, published 200 works. He spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
– Patron Saint Index
You have probably heard how I have been entrusted by God with the grace he meant for you, and that it was by a revelation that I was given the knowledge of the mystery, as I have just described it very shortly. If you read my word you will have some idea of the depths that I see in the mystery of Christ. This that has now been revealed through the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets was unknown to any men in past generations; it means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ, through the gospel. I have been made the servant of that gospel by a gift of grace from God who gave it to me by his own power. I, who am less than the least of all the saints have been entrusted with this special grace, not only of proclaiming to the pagans the infinite treasure of Christ but also of explaining how the mystery is to be dispensed. Through all the ages, this has been kept hidden in God, the creator of everything. Why? So that the Sovereignties and Powers should learn only now, through the Church, how comprehensive God’s wisdom really is, exactly according to the plan which he had had from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is why we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.
The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’
“… when a man has had a great deal given him on trust; even more will be expected of him”
When I first became a banker specialising in selling mortgages (housing loans) to clients, I found myself thrown into the world of running sales numbers on a daily basis. I was tracking these numbers; how many customers I called, how many I met, how many cases I “closed” and how and why I lost cases.
In all honesty, my first few months was spent being troubled; I had moved from being a priority banking manager to handling loans (a first for me!) and was really hungry to bring in business.Soon, I found myself trying to manage my sales numbers; if I had more sales for the month, should I manage these numbers and carry some forward to the next month?
Over time, I realised that I was accountable not to myself, but to my employer, and the clients themselves. It was not right for me to manage these numbers (and being dishonest too!). Only that this is not just about my employer; it was about my faith too. How could I call myself a Christian if I could be so deceptive in the area of my work?Once this was in my consciousness, the only thing for me to do was to stop it.
Like the steward in today’s Gospel, our attention should always be on our master, in this case, our Lord. We cannot wait until we are in a position whereby we are due to be “audited” before we start making changes to the way we behave or live. If we are to be good stewards, we need to behave righteously even if no one was looking at us.
Let us be mindful of this: we cannot simply compartmentalise our lives and live as unbelievers in certain areas and “put on Christian aspects” when we are in church. We need to function, and live as, fully integrated Christians.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: We pray that we may always be open to the Spirit to be as good stewards always. That we may have the strength and wisdom to always do the right things. Help us Father to learn to walk in Your ways.
Thanksgiving: We praise and thank You Jesus for showing us what we should be focusing on. Thank You for showing us the right choices we should be making.