Saint Antônio de Sant’Anna Galvão
Saint of the Day for October 25
(1739 – December 23, 1822)
Saint Antônio de Sant’Anna Galvão’s Story
God’s plan in a person’s life often takes unexpected turns which become life-giving through cooperation with God’s grace.
Born in Guarantingueta near São Paulo, Antônio attended the Jesuit seminary in Belem, but later decided to become a Franciscan friar. Invested in 1760, he made final profession the following year and was ordained in 1762.
In São Paulo, he served as preacher, confessor, and porter. Within a few years, Antônio was appointed confessor to the Rec…Read More
Friends, the statement of Jesus that we have in the Gospel for today is frightening: “I have come to cast a fire upon the earth; how I wish it were already kindled.” He’s throwing fire down, much like the God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
Okay, so how do we make sense of all this? I thought the angels on Christmas morning said that he had come as the Prince of Peace? Jesus is the Incarnation of the God who is nothing but love, but this enfleshment takes place in the midst of a fallen, sinful world. Therefore, it will appear as something threatening, strange, off-putting.
The world, on the Biblical reading, is a dysfunctional family. When Jesus comes, he necessarily comes as a breaker of the peace, as a threat to the dysfunctional family. Now we can begin to understand that strange language about setting three against two and two against three.
This is why Jesus wants to cast a consuming fire on the earth. He wants to burn away all that is opposed to God’s desire for us. He has to clear the ground before something new can be built. Is this utterly painful? Yes!
Gospel Lk 12:49-53
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”