21st Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 28th August 2020

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St Augustine, Bishop & doctor

21st Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 28th August 2020

1 Cor. 1:17-25; Ps. 32:1-2,4-5,10-11;
Mt. 25:1-13 (Ps Wk I)

St Augustine is one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church. As a young man, he led quite an immoral life and had a son by a woman to whom he was not married. He later became involved in a heretical sect which was very puritanical.

Thanks to the prayers of his mother, he found Christ. He became a great bishop, and his writings are among the most treasured in the Church.

Today’s readings touch on two aspects of his life. The Gospel, from Jesus’ denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees, speaks about followers of Christ avoiding all titles of honour. As a bishop, Augustine lived almost a monastic life with a community, totally dedicated to the service of his people.

He was also a very passionate man who in his earlier life had gone astray. But in his later years, he spoke eloquently of the place of love in the life of the Christian. That is reflected in the beautiful reading from the First Letter of John.

In a short passage of the first reading, the author uses the word ‘love’ 15 times. He says that ‘love’ is at the very heart of all our Christian living. He says that wherever there is love, God is there because God IS LOVE.

Augustine himself put it in a slightly different way: “Love and do what you like.” If love is there, we cannot go far wrong. And we pray as Augustine prayed:

Lord, our hearts are restless until they rest in You. Amen.

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