1 Corinthians 1: 1-9 “…I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus...”
Psalm 145: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7 “…They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works….”
Matthew 24: 42-51 “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come…”
Memorial of St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church. (354-430) St. Augustine has always seemed like such a great among the Saints because it seems he experienced life on the extreme of worldliness and yet came back to make a great contribution to our faith. Of course we get to see the power of prayer, as his Mother, St. Monica was faithful in her prayer for his conversion. So, today’s Gospel message to be ready for we do not know the day the Lord will come takes on even more meaing when we think of how long St. Monica prayed he would come to know the Lord.
St. Augustine was an intelligent man. You find yourself wondering how someone who had a devout mother like Monica and being so smart, how would he not know the Lord? When I read through the first reading, I found myself in Paul’s long salutation to the people of Corinth. On first glance I thought, “ho hum. What is in here for me?” Then I was reminded of an “aha” experience I had on a mostly silent retreat one year. Our retreat director insisted on utilizing 5 days for this retreat. When on the first night he hardly said anything to us, I found myself wondering why he needed this 5th day for the retreat; he barely said anything. I had organized the retreat, and it is harder to get people to take time off work, so the extra days he needed beyond the weekend, I questioned from the beginning. But, I learned why shortly afterwards. We went on to have one of the best retreats. The message really reverberated with everyone; we edged into the silence slowly and the overall experience of the retreat was felt at a very deep level. The easing in to the silence required us to trust the process of slowing down and eventually we could Let Go and Let God. So, I invite you to read today’s first reading and let the words of praise wash over you. Let them open you up, for the next words in the Gospel.
In this week that I am writing we will bury my Aunt Cassie, who has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for almost 14 years. Her family has wondered many times, why the Good Lord did not take her for she hasn’t known them for many years now. Then we see children whose lives are cut short through gang fighting, accidents or through sickness and we know we really don’t know how long we’ll be here. When will the Good Lord call us home? St. Augustine was given time to figure it all out, but, we know that is not a requirement. There is another theme in today’s Gospel. It speaks of those put in charge of caring for those in the household. The reading speaks of distributing food at the proper time; how about food for the soul? Jesus spoke of himself as being real Food. So, let us soak in today’s message, let it wash over us rather than belt it down like a good drink. Let today’s Word be real food for our souls.
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