ST ANTHONY OF PADUA P.D., (Memorial) White
He was from a noble family but chose to be a poor Franciscan priest. He evangelised in Morocco. Anthony lived in a cave at San Paolo leaving only to attend Mass and sweep the nearby monastery. One day when a scheduled preacher failed to appear, the brothers pressed Anthony into speaking. He impressed them so much that thereafter, he began to travel for evangelisation and preaching, teaching theology throughout Italy and France. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.
First Reading: 1Kgs 21:1-16; Psalm: 5. R. v. 2b; Gospel: Mt 5:38-42
THE EVIL OF GREED
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
King Ahab was not a wicked king. There was at least something good in him. This was evident in his reaction when Naboth refused his request. Ordinarily, most leaders just like Jezebel will throw their weights around if their subjects refused any of their desired requests. But King Ahab acted differently. When Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to him, he only felt very sad and left the presence of Naboth without threatening him or exerting force to get what he wanted. His only sin was greed. In fact, sheer greed. He obviously had numerous vineyards but still had his eye on the only vineyard Naboth had. What better way to understand greed?
Greed or avarice is blind to agony, pain, loss and every detrimental effect sequel to it. Did you observe King Ahab’s immediate reaction when he heard of the death of Naboth? He did not ask what happened or expressed any sympathy but rose up immediately and went down to the vineyard of Naboth to take possession of it. He was so impassive about the death of Naboth as if to say nobody actually died. This is how evil greed can be. It can objectify a human person. It is for this reason that Jesus admonished us to learn how to let go. To give and not to hoard.
Greed is like a bottomless abyss. It can never be filled up. We gradually nurture this vice in us when we begin to feel so unsatisfied with what we have and start to think that the possessions of others is better than what we already acquired. We should be wary of this kind of feeling in us lest it snowballs to greed. Also, if we have formed the habit of always wanting to be contented first before reaching out to others, this selfish attitude can also breed greed. Selfishness is the baby of greed. The earlier we begin to handle it, the lesser hold greed losses its grip on us. St Anthony was a devout man, generous and dedicated to selfless service in feeding the poor. He did this without thinking first of his pocket. He remains an example to us.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, purify the intentions of our hearts. Amen.