13 June – Memorial for St. Anthony of Padua, priest, religious, doctor
St. Anthony’s (1195-1231) wealthy family wanted him to be a great nobleman, but for the sake of Christ he became a poor Franciscan. When the remains of St. Berard and his companions, the first Franciscan martyrs, were brought to be buried in his church, Anthony was moved to leave his order, enter the Friars Minor, and go to Morocco to evangelize.
Shipwrecked at Sicily, he joined some other brothers who were going to Portiuncula. One day when a scheduled speaker failed to appear, the brothers pressed him into speaking. He impressed them so that he was thereafter constantly travelling, evangelizing, preaching, and teaching theology through Italy and France.
A gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went, speaking in multiple tongues. Legend says that even the fish loved to listen. He was a wonder worker. As one of the most beloved saints, his images and statues are found everywhere. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
- Patron Saint Index
2 Corinthians 3:15-4:1,3-6
If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven
In life, we are given the gift of knowing what is right and what is wrong. The question is, are we choosing to do the right thing?
There were many times in my life that I questioned myself if I did the right thing. Several years ago, I used to work for a software company. I helped our Sales team convince our potential customers to avail of our product. I always did ‘forced’ work around with our software just to impress our clients. And also, most of the time I ‘oversold’, which closed the deal. Our sales representatives were happy and the boss was happy. I always had mixed feelings about what I did. I was happy because I received commissions for every sale that I had a hand in; but, I was also guilty at the same time because I knew that eventually the customers would have a lot of complaints.
Yes, we always received a lot of complaints after sales because as the clients used the software, there were a lot of promised features that were not included in the availed package. They still had to make additional purchases for this and that just to suit their needs.
It made me sad to think that even though I knew I was not being totally truthful, I continued doing it. I kept convincing myself I was just doing what I was instructed to do and that I was paid by the company to do that.
My own personal beliefs did not matter until I attended a Catholic seminar. There was this module about how we should look at our career. That module reminded us about how everyday, we go to work and it consumes most of our waking hours. That is why our jobs are not just to make a living but also has to be our way of life.
Because of how I felt with work, I began to harbour intentions of leaving it. I prayed to God so hard for guidance as to what to do next. I reflected on everything — how did my current job make me feel? Did it contribute to my relationship with Christ? After a few months of discernment, I left that company. It was not an easy decision. I needed to give up so many things (mostly material) and transition to another career, which was quite challenging because it meant I had to start all over again.
As I reflect on today’s Gospel, I now confidently proclaim that it was worth my sacrifice. The scribes and Pharisees were considered hypocrites. As long as we are on par with them, we are not moving forward towards God.
What are you doing right now? Is it a path towards God or away from Him?
I am still in the process of figuring out if my current career will take me closer to God. I am praying that I am making progress with the decisions that I took and will take.
(Today’s Oxygen by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Father God, in this world full of earthly desires, please grant us the grace to resist temptations and to choose to live a Christian life.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father God, for giving each day a new chance for us to renew ourselves and become closer to You.