Saturday, October 24, 2009


“St. Anthony Mary Claret”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN


Biographical Information about St. Anthony Mary Claret[1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret

Readings and Commentary:


Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
"Your God is King!"
Hark! Your sentinels raise a cry,
together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
the LORD restoring Zion.
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD comforts his people,
he redeems Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth will behold
the salvation of our God.

Commentary on
Is 52:7-10

At the time of its writing, the Prophet’s intent was to proclaim the joy of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile to Judah. He sees the event as salvation for the Hebrew people. God leads them back to the land he gave their fathers.
“These verses form the famous poem of the ‘messenger of peace’ who ‘brings good tidings.’ The ideas of the first oracle of this second part of the book (40:1-11) are repeated here very beautifully. The messenger's feet are praised - a symbol of his speed and surefootedness when crossing the mountains, which is where important news comes from (cf. 40:9). His message (v. 7) is described very significantly as involving ‘peace,’ which in Isaiah means safety in Israel after the hardships of exile; ‘good tidings’ or, more literally, ‘news of goodness and well-being,’ that is, genuine material and spiritual prosperity; and "salvation", which is permanent renewal on all levels. The three words read together mean the highest degree of happiness imaginable. The core of this message is the enthronement of God: ‘Your God reigns,’ similar to 40:9: ‘Behold your God.’”[4]
From a greater distance and depth of understanding, we see him announcing the coming of the Messiah and the salvation that comes to the New Jerusalem through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

 R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Commentary on
Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8, 10

Announce his salvation, day after day.” This song of praise to the Lord invites all humanity to participate in God’s salvation. “This psalm has numerous verbal and thematic contacts with
Isaiah ch. 40-55, as does Psalm 98. Another version of the psalm is 1 Chronicles 16:23-33.”[3]
CCC: Ps 96:2 2143
 Mark 1:14-20

After John the Baptist had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel."

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Commentary on
Mk 1:14-20

As it is in St. Mark’s account, it is noteworthy to observe that all of the Gospels show Jesus not beginning his public ministry until after the active ministry of St. John the Baptist has ended. The “Voice” decreases while the “Word” increases. We see the charismatic power of the Lord in the call of the first disciples in this passage. They come to him without inducement beyond his simple invitation to follow him. It is also notable that three of these first four, Simon, James, and John, develop the closest relationships with the Lord of all the disciples.

CCC: Mk 1:15 541, 1423, 1427; Mk 1:16-20 787

The Gospel of St. Mark describes the call of the first four disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John. What the Lord saw in them we can only surmise. They were not what most would have expected. They were not of the class of priests, they were not even Pharisees. They were ordinary men with an ordinary profession. We know from other scripture that Andrew at least was a disciple of St. John the Baptist. Perhaps that is what led the Lord to them. The fact remains, the Lord called them and they accepted his call.

In many ways the saint we memorialize today was the same. St. Anthony Mary Claret was, in his youth, not a person one would have pointed at and said “Ah, there is a future saint and great leader of the Church.” He had humble beginnings and was largely self-taught in the basics. We suspect the same was true of those first disciples. What makes St. Anthony Mary most cherished by the Church is his zeal and vigor in the cause of Christ and the call God placed upon him.

It is this strength of spirit and dedication to the Lord that we see and take to heart. He is a lived example of what it means to hear the voice of the Lord and accept the challenges of living his acceptance to that call. Today we pray for the intercession of St. Anthony Mary Claret; may his prayers strengthen our own will to accept what the Lord calls us to and lead us on the path to holiness.


[1] The picture is “St. Anthony Mary Claret” Artist and Date are 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.
[3] See NAB footnote on Psalm 96
[4] The Navarre Bible: “Major Prophets”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp. 231

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