Thought of the Day, 28th day of August, 2020.
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10: 24-25: NIV)
Today the 28>span class="s8"> day of August, we celebrate the feast day of St. Augustine of Hippo, one of early church leaders. Augustine was born of a Christian mother and like most of us Christians and church goers his mother wanted him to be a Christian as well. A Christian not being one who just attends church and say their prayers but one who is in Christ but Augustine resisted and would have none of it. He wanted to enjoy the riches of the world just like others around him. He wanted to enjoy the material riches around him like the rich man in the parable above spoken to by Jesus in Mark 10: 24-25. A man who wants to enjoy >span class="s8">God’s spiritual wealth which brings everlasting joy in Christ.Eventually, at the age of thirty two after studying under Bishop Ambrose of Milan and with a burning desire to know the truth of Christ, Augustine heard some children singing “ tolle lege”((take up and read); feeling that this was a divine call to him, hetook the Bible and read these fateful words: “ clothe yourselves with Christ Jesus” ( Romans 13: 14) and from then on, Augustus turned and became a true follower of Christ -not one whose conversion was influenced by his mother, family or other connection but one influenced by solely by Christ. Augustine from this point on dedicated his enormous intellectual abilities in the defense and consolidation of the Christian faith in his writings as a Theologian and as the Bishop of Hippo or Annaba in modern day Algeria.
>span class="s8"> Augustine should inspire us to think about our Christian faith. Even though, the “shared space” we call a church might contain both wheat and tares, both growing near each other and taking in the nutrients of the soil (the Word of God), we should hope our faith is not choked by the material riches of our world but rather we should stand firm in the true faith of Christ and that church becomes a place made holy and sanctified by Christ. A holiness which is being perfected and that perfection being realised at the second coming or Parousia of Christ.
During >span class="s8"> the corona virus pandemic which has affected our world and led to so many loss of lives and ill health, may the song “ tolle lege” from the children who inspired Augustine, also inspire as to take up the word of God and read and may those words clothe us in Christ so that, at the last we may be His and His alone. Amen.
Let us Pray:
Augustine once wrote the words: “leave the past to God’s mercy, the present to his love and the future to his providence”. Lord we give you thanks for the assurance that the past can be left to your mercy and the present to your love and the future to your providence. Help us grow more aware of your loving presence and that we may live authentically to proclaim by our words and actions the good news of the fullness of your love. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Another Prayer of Augustine based (Psalm 73: 23-24)
And He to whom we have said: You held my right hand and you guided me by your counsel and afterwards will receive me with glory [Ps 73:23–24].
May God raise our hearts to clearer insight, and may His mercy and grace aid us in speaking and in making our judgement about you, Lord. Amen.
O God who hast enlightened your Church by the teaching of your servant Augustine, enrich it evermore, we beseech you with your heavenly grace and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine may set forth to all men the truth of your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.