St Augustine, bishop & doctor, pray for us
21st Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 28th August 2023
1Thess. 1:1-5,8-10; Ps. 149:1-6,9;
Mt. 23:13-22 (Ps. Wk. I)
The most convincing proof of the power of the Holy Spirit is how it transforms lives and builds community. Paul was delighted with the Thessalonian community – they had turned from idols to serve the true God. Not only that but their community was also filled with faith and signs of the power of the Holy Spirit. They were so impressive in their faith that they had become a beacon of hope for others. Encountering the Spirit means new life. We can only pray that we might be filled with this same Spirit and that the Church might also experience its renewing power.
The Pharisees were no worse than anyone else. They were the religious establishment and their alleged sins we find in every religion and every age. The most serious charge levelled at them was that they did not enter the kingdom of God themselves – bad enough – but that they prevented others from doing so. Nothing must ever be allowed to hinder someone from approaching God. Rules and authority are to help people – they must never get in the way of one’s relationship with God. It is our birthright. We must always be sure that we are a help to others and never a barrier.
Lord, pour forth Your Spirit into my heart.