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Saint Athanasius Of Alexandria

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Saint Athanasius Of Alexandria

SAINT ATHANASIUS OF ALEXANDRIA
BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Acts 11:19-26
John 10:22-30

Today, we celebrate the memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. Although he is considered a doctor of the Church today, he did not find it easy among his own people during his lifetime. He was often regarded as a troublemaker by the Roman emperors and even some of his fellow bishops. He was persecuted and threatened; and banished from his people in Alexandria five times. He spent seventeen of forty-six years of his episcopate in exile.

In the fourth century of Athanasius, the obstacle was a heresy called Arianism, which taught that Jesus was not fully divine. There was bitter division in the Church on this issue. St. Athanasius taught that Jesus the Son of God, the Eternal Word through whom God made the world, entered the world in human form. This is the Incarnation, meaning to “take on flesh.”

St. Athanasius experienced intimidation and displacement much like the earliest disciples, whose ministries are described in the Acts of the Apostles. And like Barnabas in today’s reading from Acts, “he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord in firmness of heart” (Acts 10:23) despite all their obstacles.

Nevertheless, St. Athanasius risked his life and his reputation to continue to preach the truth of Jesus’ Incarnation because he believed it so deeply. He challenges us to love Christianity because Jesus the Eternal Word entered our world in human form and shared our reality, loving it ALL

Today, the Lord speaks to us saying, “ I and the Father are one…My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.’ We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ is the Righteous One, the good Shepherd who intercedes for us. The Holy Spirit helps us on earth in our journey back to the Father. This is the mystery of the Blessed Trinity in our lives, This is the truth. Do you listen to the Shepherd? Do you believe and know the Shepherd?

Fr Joseph Osho

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