Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, August 28, 2019


Gospel

MT 23:27-32

Jesus said,

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,

but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.

Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,

but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You build the tombs of the prophets

and adorn the memorials of the righteous, 

and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,

we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'

Thus you bear witness against yourselves

that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;

now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"

Reflection:

Today is the Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.  Saint Augustine did not start out as a saint, it was a journey.  His mother Saint Monica spent much of her time praying for him.  How powerful is prayer?

I had a beautiful conversation with one of our priests.  We were talking about St. Augustine.  He said that when he was in the Seminary, they all took a course where they had to read, “The Confessions of St. Augustine” among some of his other works.  He said that in that course St. Augustine helped him to learn a lot about humanity.

In the Gospel today, we hear, “Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,

but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.”  

I think Jesus’ words in this Gospel speak loud and clear, even today in the light of all the scandals in the Catholic Church.  I have been reading “The Confessions of St. Augustine” and the book so far is St. Augustine confessing who he was and the sins he committed.  By the grace of God he was able to turn his life around and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God.  St. Monica and her prayers had a lot to do with this conversion.  St. Augustine repented for the rest of his life after his conversion.  

Can you imagine if everyone who reads this reflection asked for the intercession of St. Augustine for all our priests and would say the PAPA Prayer for Priests everyday, how powerful would those prayers be?  

St. Augustine - Pray for us

St. Monica - Pray for us

St. John Vianney - Pray for us


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