Saint Anthony of Padua

“Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.” (Matthew 5:41.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“Do you grasp the excellence of a Christian disposition? After you give your coat and your cloak, even if your enemy should wish to subject your naked body to hardships and labors, not even then, Jesus says, must you forbid him. For he would have us possess all things in common, both our bodies and our goods, as with them that are in need, so with them that insult us. For the latter response comes from a courageous spirit, the former from mercy. Because of this, Jesus said, “If any one shall compel you to go one mile, go with him two.” Again he leads you to higher ground and commands you to manifest the same type of aspiration. For if the lesser things he spoke of at the beginning receive such great blessings, consider what sort of reward awaits those who duly perform these and what they become even before we hear of receiving rewards. You are winning full freedom from unworthy passions in a human and passible body.” (The Gospel of Matthew: Homily, 18.)

Almighty ever-living God,
who gave Saint Anthony of Padua
to your people
as an outstanding preacher
and an intercessor in their need,
grant that, with his assistance,
as we follow the teachings
of the Christian life,
we may know your help in every trial.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the
unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen