You know, it’s a bit of a happy coincidence that we have today’s first reading on this feast of St. Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony, of course, is best known for his intercession on behalf of all of us who are forgetful and lose track of things from time to time, or, if you’re like me, even all the time! But it is today’s first reading that really highlights the lost and found-ness that Anthony wants to help us with.
St. Anthony himself was one who longed to seek after God. He became an Augustinian as a young man. Later, seeing the bodies of Franciscan martyrs brought back to his city, he became a Franciscan in order to be closer to God. He wanted to be sent out on mission to preach to the Moors, but an illness prevented his doing that. Instead, God had plans for Anthony to become a great man of learning, study, prayer and preaching. Throughout his life, Anthony often found himself at the precipice of something new and adventurous. God always had plans for Anthony’s life, and often, they were different from what Anthony expected. But he was always willing to follow.
One could see him in that cave with Elijah, finding God not in the heavy wind, or the fire, or even in the earthquake. But knowing that the still, small voice, that tiny whispering sound, was undoubtedly the Lord doing a God-thing in his life.
Maybe we find ourselves today having lost track of our relationship with God in some way. Maybe our prayer isn’t as fervent as it once was. Or maybe we have found ourselves wrapped up in our own problems and unable to see God at work in us. Maybe our life is in disarray and we’re not sure how God is leading us. If we find ourselves in those kinds of situations today, we might do well to call on the intercession of St. Anthony. Finder of lost objects, maybe. But finder of the way to Christ for sure.