ST ANTHONY, ABBOT (Memorial) White

At age 35 Anthony moved to the desert where he lived alone for 20 years in an abandoned fort. He based his life on the Gospel, miraculously healing people and acting as spiritual counsellor of others. Word spread, and so many disciples arrived that Anthony founded other monasteries. His sister too directed a community of nuns. Anthony retired to the desert again after moving into the world to fight Arian heresy. Anthony is the Father of Western Monasticism. His example led many to take up the monastic life, and to follow his way. 

First Reading: Heb 6:10-20; Psalm: 111 R. v. 5b; Gospel: Mk 2:23-28



January 17 Saint Anthony of Egypt – Catholic Telegraph

Jesus was taking a walk through the grain field with his disciples who felt famished and began to pluck ears of grain and ate. The Pharisees who saw this were very quick to condemn this action of the disciples. It appeared sudden how the Pharisees came into the picture. Were they with Jesus together with the rest of the disciples? Or were they tailing Jesus in search of something to hold against him? Whatever be the case, these men appeared to have conditioned themselves as fault finders.  

There are still people like this in life. Those who look out for faults or points of criticism. Those who are silent to the good things we do but are very loud in condemning what to their judgement is wrong. Jesus gave us the best lesson on how to handle people like this. We should not allow their criticism to get the better of us. As long as what we do promotes the good or the wellbeing of the human person; every criticism meted out at that good action should be overlooked. The wellbeing of the human person is above every law or criticism.

So, keep doing good if your good is good enough. People need our help and support in life especially the vulnerable and poor. Our passion to help, love, and care for people like this would likely be judged as motivated by ulterior motives. Such kind of perceived judgement to the things we do can be very discouraging. But we must not let evil conquer good. We must not back out. That would be the worst decision. Let our good actions always prevail over condemnatory sentiments. Because if we leave the good we do to those who condemn them; we can be sure that they will not raise a finger to do the things we dare to do.


Lord Jesus, may love always motivate our words and deeds. Amen.

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