Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Augustine, B.D., (28th August, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
2Thess 2:1-3.14-17;
Ps 95:10-13. (R. v.13);

Matt 23:23-26.

Saint Augustine of Hippo (13th November 354 – 28th August 430)[1] was son of Saint Monica. Although he was brought up a Christian and also one of the most intelligent men who ever lived, he spent many years in wicked living and in false beliefs (Manichaeism and neo-Platonism). Through the prayers of his mother and the preaching of Saint Ambrose, he became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. But he was not converted immediately because he thought he could never live a pure life. On hearing that two men were converted after reading the life of Saint Anthony, he was filled with bitter sorrow and cried to God, “How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?” He was baptized in 386, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests. Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, and the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church. He overcame strong heresies, was very devout, practiced great poverty, and was also charitable. Augustine preached very often and prayed with great fervour right up until his death. He is the patron of the Augustinians, brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Among his most important works are The City of God and Confessions. [2]
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.
Unfortunately, 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). Let no one be deceived; everyone will reap what he/she sows, cf. Gal 6:7.
Finally, Saint Augustine we celebrate today was brought back to the true faith through the prayers of his mother and the preaching of Saint Ambrose. The story would have been different if these did not perform their roles well. Augustine attested to this in these words, “If I am your child, it is because you gave me such a mother.”
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 Augustine – Pray for us.
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