World Meeting of Families 22-26 June.   A 9 day Family Novena with added eco-family-friendly Daily Thoughts in preparation for the meeting.

June 13.  St Anthony of Padua. WMOF Novena day 1. Focus on Youth.    Giving names to children is a cultural thing, names of relatives or any name that sounds nice or has other significance related to the time of the birth. In Genesis 2 we read how Adam named the animals. This indicates a degree of relationship with them.  At baptism the Church expects babies to have a Christian or saint’s name. Children could explore who their name saint is. That was what Sibusiso Anthony Moloi did and he studied the life of St Anthony of Padua, remembering a little rhyme from his early childhood. “St. Anthony, please look around; something is lost and must be found.” As the story goes, St Anthony prayed intensely for an important book he needed that was lost and it did get found. As a child he wanted to be a missionary but his health was not good enough. He was shipwrecked and ended up in Italy as a humble Franciscan brother and follower of St Francis.  By chance his preaching skill was discovered and that became his life’s work, turning many people away from their sins. A fellow monk found him one night in his room, miraculously holding the baby Jesus, and that is the image we often see of him. This intense love for Jesus can be a real model for all young people but especially for the Anthonys and Antonettes and the other versions of the name.

Reflect, share and act on WMOF catechesis 1. Scripture “God saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel». 2 Tim 1:9-10.   WMOF.  God called us before time began. We are called by the name given to us by our parents and God himself calls us by that name too.  When reading the Bible it is obvious that God continually calls men and women in various ways to establish a relationship with Him and to welcome Him into their lives. Today the Father calls us to follow Jesus, to a  life that, regardless of difficulties, is worth living because it leads towards eternal life. With the strength of the Holy Spirit, we can respond to God’s calling, which is unique to each of us. Let us listen for our calling.