ST. ANTONY OF EGYPT
1 Samuel 8:4-7,10-22; Psalm 89:16-17,18-19; Mark 2:1-12
IT IS NOT YOU THEY REJECT, THEY ARE REJECTING ME AS THEIR KING
At a point in time in the life of the Israelites, they requested for a king just to be like every other nation around them. Displeased at their request, Samuel prayed to God and got this answer, “Grant the people’s every request.”
▪Samuel enumerated all the rights of the king for them to deter them from their request, but they insisted on their demand. Just as Jesus was moved by the faith of the men that brought the paralytic; God also saw their rejection of Him and granted them their wishes to have a king instead of having Him as their king.
▪Our heart chooses the kind of kings we want; it has a great role in the way we live up to our faith. The heart makes the difference in all of us. It was the same gospel of Matthew 19:22 that sent the rich young man away sad that he rejected the call to discipleship that St. Antony of Egypt, whom we are celebrating today heard and went in search of God in the desert, thus becoming the father of monasticism.
▪After so many centuries of his life, many young men and women are still answering this great call of discipleship by leaving the love of material things behind them. The important question we are to ask ourselves today is: Are we still reading the same scriptures today? Why did St. Antony go to the desert, abandoning all his earthly possessions, while we carry the same scripture running after the things of the world?
▪It is because the heart of the modern humanity has rejected God as king. The Western world has removed everything about God in their schools and public places simply because they want to please the few that have rejected God as their king. Most of the young people grow up not knowing what is right or wrong; their actions end them up prison, where they are sent to read the scriptures to accept God as their king. Most of the crisis of today would have been curtailed if they were taught early to accept God as their king.
▪Dear friend, when we reject those who tell us the truth, remember that we are indirectly rejecting God, (C.f. Luke 10:16). Whatever is our king will take over our heart, (C.f. Matthew 6:21). If God is our king, we will have respect for every human being, no matter their faith, colour, race or nation. Until God becomes our king, peace will always remain illusive. May Christ reign in our hearts today and forever. Amen
“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.” St. Antony of Egypt
May St. Antony of Egypt pray for us today
May God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Stowe and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA