Saturday 13 June 2020

About Today Readings

St Anthony of Padua

1 Kings 19:19-21. You are my inheritance, O Lord – Psalm 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-10. Matthew 5:33-37.

‘Say ‘yes’ if you mean yes, ‘no’ if you mean no’.

St Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is commemorated today, is the patron saint of lost things. In my family, as with many other families, he’s the saint most called on, usually with success. But he is more than the finder of lost things. A Doctor of the Church, St Anthony was renowned as a powerful preacher with an expert knowledge of scripture.

Today’s Gospel is powerful in its own right. It does not contain any ‘weasel words’ or ambiguous statements. Do we say ‘yes’ if we mean yes and ‘no’ if we mean no? Or are there equivocation, half-hearted promises? Do we intend to do what is asked but know in reality that other commitments will result in us reneging on our promise? Are we honest and direct? Sometimes it seems easier to tell people what they want to hear, but failure to keep commitments may lead to misunderstanding, bitterness or regret. Perhaps we should remember the words of the elephant Horton (Dr Suess’ Horton Hatches the Egg). Tricked into sitting on an egg for a lazy bird, teased and tormented, Horton sticks to his task, repeating ‘I meant what I said, and I said what I meant’.

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