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Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Monica (27th August, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
 
1Thess 2:1-8;
Ps 138:1-3.4-6. (R. v.1);
Matt 23:23-26.

Saint Monica was born on 331 AD in Thagaste and was married to a pagan, Patricius at a very tender age. Her children were Saint Augustine (August 28), Navigius, and Perpetua. She endured her husband’s and her mother’s-in-law bad temper.  Although Patricius criticized her for her charity and piety, but he always respected her. She later won him and her mother-in-law to Christianity. She stopped Augustine from eating and sleeping in her house when he accepted the Manichean heresy and was living immoral life. Monica readmitted him after a vision that assured her that Augustine would return to the faith. She stayed too close to Augustine with prayers and fasting than he wanted. Augustine tricked her and left for Rome. On her arrival, she learnt that he had left for Milan. She did not give-up. In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, Saint Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. Saint Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends at Easter, 387. Soon after, they left for Africa. She became ill and suffered severely for nine days and died on 387 AD in Ostia Antica. She is the patron Saint of Alcoholics, Married women, and Mothers.
Topic: Nothing is hidden from God.
Jesus further denounced the scribes and the Pharisees,
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind leaders! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
This corroborates with the words of Prophet Micah in chapter 6 verse 8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Many erroneously think like the scribes and the Pharisees that by doing tithing and other offerings they hide their atrocities from God.
Activities in churches today also downplay these weightier matters of the law. Almost every bit of energy is geared towards offerings. There are several strategies for achieving this and new ones are coming up daily. Yet little or no effort is channelled towards conversion. Saint Monica we celebrate today on the contrary worked successfully for the conversion of her son, husband, and mother-in-law. We ought to follow her example.
No one can hide his/her sins from God, cf. Ps 69:5. 139:15; Heb 4:13. He will bring everything to light, cf. 1Cor 4:5. Hence Jesus tells us, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known” including our sins (Lk 12:2).
There is need for total transformation, cf. Rom 12:2. We ought to avoid “eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph 6:6). And unless we become true servants of Christ, we might do worse things. Let no one be deceived; everyone will reap what he/she sows, cf. Gal 6:7.
Bible Reading: Rom 12:9-21.
Thought for today: Do not please humans.
Let us pray: May God help us serve Him with our whole being – Amen.
Saint Monica – Pray for us.
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