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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

January 17th: St. Anthony, the Abbot

Gospel text (Mt 19,16-26): A young man approached him and asked, «Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?». Jesus answered, «Why do you ask me about what is good? Only one is Good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments». The young man said, «Which commandments?». Jesus replied, «Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself». The young man said to him, «I have kept all these commandments, what is still lacking?». Jesus answered, «If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you possess and give the money to the poor and you will become the owner of a treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me» (…).

St. Anthony, the Abbot

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today we go back to the Egypt of the III and IV centuries (250-356). There San Antonio Abbot was a pioneer of the Christian hermitic movement. After giving up his property, he did not "take refuge" in the desert to "flee" from the people, but to give himself to God and, in God, to give himself to men. There where many who came to him to share his way (and / or receive his guidance). He is considered as the illustrious father of the monks.

He was full of ascetic spirit and endowed with a deep religious knowledge. St. Athanasius, a contemporary friend of St. Anthony, describes his life of praying without interruption: "He was so attentive in reading that he did not miss anything from the Scriptures, and he retained everything: memory was his book." St. Anthony lent a good help to Bishop Athanasius in the fight against arianism and suffered for the Church, encouraging the confessors in the persecution of Diocletian.

-Oh Lord, grant us by the merits of Saint Anthony that, renouncing to ourselves, we love you above all things.