Monday, July 6, 2009

JULY 5 SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA

“St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria”
Artist and Date UNKNOWN
JULY 5

SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA, PRIEST



Readings and Commentary: [2]

FIRST READING

Beloved:
Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me,
in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit
who dwells within us.

My child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And what you heard from me through many witnesses
entrust to faithful people
who will have the ability to teach others as well.
Bear your share of hardship along with me
like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Tm 1:13-14; 2:1-3

St. Paul exhorts his protégé, St. Timothy, to safeguard what the Apostle has given him; the Good News of Christ.  He tells St. Timothy to hold fast to that word using the indwelling strength of the Holy Spirit and to pass this authentic teaching along through those he finds who can also teach it to others.  He compares this task, in the final verse, to that of a soldier’s duty to a cause.

CCC: 2 Tm 1:12-14 84; 2 Tm 1:12 149; 2 Tm 1:13-14 857; 2 Tm 1:14 1202
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. (2a) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. (92:13-14) The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.

Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.

He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.

Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Psalm 1 serves as a preface to the whole book of the psalms. The psalmist here exalts those who follow the Lord’s commands and reflects upon the blessings they will receive. As in Romans 6:19ff, this selection emphasizes the contrast between the salvation of the just and the punishment of the wicked.

This wisdom psalm begins by extolling the virtue of those who follow the law. The focus is to look to God for guidance and not to trust only in the counsel of men. Those who reject the law will be blown away like “chaff” an image used in the Gospel as well (Matthew 3:12).

This portion of the psalm is later echoed in Isaiah 48:17-19 like an overlapped formula of covenant.  Blessed is the man who “delights in the law day and night” but; “the way of the wicked vanishes.” It also takes up the theme of following right paths and staying true to the teachings of God; “Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GOSPEL

People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
"Let the children come to me; do not prevent them,
for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it."
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mark 10:13-16

The image of Jesus portrayed by this passage demonstrates that those who had seen his works and heard his words saw greatness in him. They brought their children to him instinctively, that these little ones might receive the grace bestowed by his touch. This activity made his disciples indignant. They felt that their master should not be pestered by the children. The Lord, however, used this situation as a teaching moment. Jesus told the crowd that only complete dependence upon God’s support would allow them salvation (“…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”).

CCC: Mk 10:11 2380; Mk 10:14 343, 1261; Mk 10:16 699
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reflection:

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, whose feast we celebrate, was not only devoted to our Lord, Jesus Christ, but also to St. Paul.  He was, without question, devoted to the poor and marginalized of his time.  Educated as a Physician, he devoted his early practice to those who would otherwise have been without help or consolation.  His example of selfless service to the poor illuminates the Gospel call to serve the Lord in the weakest and poorest of his creation.

St. Mark reflects this attitude in his Gospel when he invites the children to come to him and bids his disciples not to bar them from him.  This example of openness is critical to our understanding of the Christian ethic, in service and in catechesis (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was, by all accounts a devoted catechist).  We are called to educate and instruct – there is so much about our faith that can be misinterpreted or misrepresented without exceptional catechesis.

Today, as we remember St. Anthony Mary, let us pledge ourselves to service of those less fortunate and to teach, with our actions if not our words, all we meet of the Glory of our God and the great sacrifice of his only Son.

Pax


[1] The picture is “St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria” Artist and Date UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

No comments: