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Tuesday, June 13, 2000

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St. Anthony of Padua

1 Kings 17:7-16
Psalm 4
Matthew 5:13-16

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"you can't out-give god"

"I have designated a widow there to provide for you." —1 Kings 17:9

The Lord designated a widow to provide for Elijah during a famine. The Lord chose someone to provide for Elijah who was so poor that she and her son were about to die of starvation (1 Kgs 17:12). The Lord continues to designate people to provide for His Church, His poor, Presentation Ministries, and all of His other ministries. Also, the Lord continues to designate not only rich people to fund His Church but also very poor people.

These poor people don't see how they can support the Church because they have almost nothing. However, if they give their "almost nothing" — all that they have "to live on" (Lk 21:4) — the Lord will miraculously multiply the poor's flour, oil (see 1 Kgs 17:14), pennies and dollars, and loaves and fish to provide not only for the Church but for themselves. Consequently, the poor are fed not just by receiving but by giving.

We all are poor in various ways. To get help, we may need to give help to those the Lord has designated as our responsibility. "Give, and it shall be given to you" (Lk 6:38).

Prayer:  Father, You gave Your Son to save us. May I live and give accordingly.

Promise:  "Your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father." —Mt 5:16

Praise:  St. Anthony's first few years as a Franciscan friar were spent in humble and quiet works of service. At an ordination he attended, no one had prepared a homily because of a misunderstanding. The Superior turned to Anthony, who was nearby, and told him: "Say whatever the Holy Spirit will inspire you." Anthony delivered a powerful sermon, and was then commissioned to a ministry of public preaching, which resulted in many thousands of conversions.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999