St Anthony, Monday of Week 2. Ephesians 6:10-13,18; Psalm 15(16):1-2,5,7-8,11; Matthew 19:16-26

St Antony is the originator of the monastic life.
He was born in Egypt: when his parents died, he listened to the words of the Gospel and gave all his belongings to the poor. He went out into the wilderness to begin a life of penitence, living in absolute poverty, praying, meditating, and supporting himself by manual work. He suffered many temptations, both physical and spiritual, but he overcame them. Disciples gathered round him, attracted by his wisdom, moderation, and holiness. He gave support to the victims of the persecutions of Diocletian, and helping St Athanasius in his fight against the Arians. He lived to be over a hundred years old, and died in 356.
Must we follow St Anthony's example and give over all we have?
Jesus often has confrontations with the Pharisees. These can be about many things but so often, as we see in today's Gospel, we see Jesus confronting hypocrisy. The Pharisees were very resistant to change, and would insist on all the old rules being observed, whatever the cost to those in their thrall. But Jesus would have none of this - new wine, new wineskins - a new way of life, needs new rules. Jesus also said that not one jot, not one iota of the old covenant would be swept away (Matthew 5:18) - contradicting himself? No - as what Jesus was warning us about is the slavish application of rules irrespective of the effect of them on those applied to - not the rule itself.
In this week of synodal activity, let us pray for the grace to hear each other, listen deeply, and for the time to participate in the meetings, both actual and virtual.
Posted in Daily Reflection.