Monday, 4 June 2012

feast of St Anthony of Padua


Feast of St. Anthony of Padua
Mark 12: 1-12

Dear Friends
                   Today we are celebrating the feast of St Anthony. He was great preacher. He dedicated his life for God. He found the real corner stone in his life. So he preached the truth to the people so that they might also understand the true corner stone of their life. During the mass we read the Gospel according to St Mark. 12; 1-12. In the gospel we listened Jesus is telling a Parable of wicked servants of Vineyard. This is very beautiful parable that Jesus told them concerning the salvation intended by God.

            There is very famous drama written by William Shakespeare “The Tempest” the story of this drama is thus, there was Lord in Milan. His name was Prospero his brother was Antonio. Prospero decide to entrust the ruling of the land to his brother Antonio and indulge in reading books. But the Antonia was cunning he dismissed all the trusted servants of Prospero from the governing and he began to rule over them inhuman.  Not only he did but he planed to kill his brother Prospero with help of Naples king. Knowing this conspiracy by the help of some trusted servants who remained in the palace he fled to Remote Island and he began to plane to revenge his brother from there. This story is telling us the cheating and it revenge story. In many literature we read that there is cheating and its revenge flows.  Like wise today’s gospel also says that God is cheated by who were trusted by him so he will punish them.
           
            Jesus is telling this parable to the people who were believed to be the custodians of true faith and kingdom of God. God is conveying them that they failed to be the good workers of God. So he is telling the story of Vineyard and its servants. He said that there was man planted a vineyard and he made a fence and a watch house to protect and he entrusted that beautiful vineyard to the selected servants. In the fullness of the harvest season he sent his slaves to collect the land lords share. They beat them and some were killed and others were mocked. So finally he sent his only Son thinking that they may respect him but they were inhuman with him too. They killed him cruel.  It hurt the land Lord thus he came and punished the wicked servants. This parable was most convincing that Jesus is going to be rejected by the trusted servants of God. He is going to be brutally killed by his own people.  Perhaps this may be the fourth prediction of his passion and death. He is reached Jerusalem already. When he set a journey to Jerusalem he was convincing his disciples to the tragic death he is to face in Jerusalem. In the Jerusalem he is declaring his knowledge of his life and death.  

            Jesus is telling parables which most famous for them because in the history of Israel there was similar story, they have heard before. In the book of Isaiah chapter 5 says about the Lord’s vineyard. God of Israel planned a vineyard his right hand planted. He did everything for the well of this vineyard. But it produced only bad grapes. It was a proto Isaiah doom prediction. Because Israelites were not trust worthy to Yahweh, They went after the gentile God and deceived God of Israel. Thus they failed to produce the good grapes. But in the New Testament Story of Vineyard it is different from the past. Here they knowingly disregarded the true owner of the vineyard. This was failure of the Jewish people that they could not understand the original and only son Jesus who was sent to them by God. Or they knowingly disregarded him. Therefore he is giving them a historical data.  They killed many prophets, Jeremiah was beaten and Queen Jezebel killed and mocked many prophets.  Hereby Jesus is acknowledging them failed servants. He told them that there is a miracle yet to happen, that the labourers rejected the stone happen to be the corner stone of the building. He quotes this from the Psalm [118: 22-23] 

            This corner stone is Jesus himself. He mentions that he is going to be the foundation of the kingdom of God.  There is story heard about the Jerusalem temple. Now we can see reminiscence of temple as Wailing Wall. In the starting of the construction the some stones were found disfigured and huge so they rejected them and placed aside of the temple at last they took these stones to construct that wall after beautiful construction of statues and beams of the temple. But those rejected stones are still remaining as miracle. This was the fact that Jesus was telling them.  Jesus reminded them not to be failed to accept the corner stone of your life.

             We are celebrating a feast of saint who was well aware of the corner stone of his life, he regarded Jesus as the center of his life therefore he preached his life till the death. He tried to convince others that Jesus is the center and corner stone of everyone’s life.  In the life history of St Anthony, we read a story that he was arguing with a Jew named Boonville. He particular Jew told Anthony that there is no miracle in the Eucharist. He said that it is mere bread. Then St. Anthony asked him to starve his donkey for three days and he agreed to that. Then Anthony told him on the third day let us carry each other Eucharist and Food for the Donkey. St. Anthony carried Eucharist and Jew carried Ouds food. But the donkey bowed before the Eucharist. Thus that Jew was convinced of the Eucharistic presence. We understand that Donkey was well aware of the corner stone Jesus.

            We have to be convinced of the presence of Jesus. Jesus is the corner stone. He told that Peter that you are the rock. I will build my house on your rock. It is very clear that Jesus is the first and prime stone that the church is built. Therefore my dear friends let us be conscious of the real stone and be united to the church that strong build built on Peter’s rock. May God Bless us.        Amen.

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