August 28, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

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 (Sem. Ivan Joseph Feniquito):

            Today, we celebrate the memorial of St. Augustine who is a Bishop and a Doctor of the Church. He was born in 354 in Africa. I got to know him because of his unbelievable conversion story. St. Monica is his mother, who prayed untiringly for the conversion of his son. St. Augustine is one of the examples that it is possible for a sinner to repent and to become a changed man, holy and loving to God.

            In today’s Gospel, the Scribes and Pharisees somehow pretend to be righteous and holy. In our community or parishes, there are a lot of people who wish to serve the Church. Serving for the Church requires integrity and purity of intention. One should serve and love others and to have a genuine relationship with God. A service with purity of intention in serving in the Church can be an inspiration for others and not for personal gratification.

            All of us are sinners; we need to accept our shortcomings and weaknesses. Sometimes we fall to do evil things and to become hypocrite. The calling for us is to have a humble heart, to repent, to go to confession, and to receive the mercy and forgiveness of God. Then, through our prayers, either communal or personal, we are building and strengthening our relationship with God.

            Let us be hopeful that even if we fall into sins, God is still merciful, compassionate and loving. We can imitate St. Augustine as our model for he succeeded from his dark past and after his conversion he became a good and faithful Christian. He was one of the honored and renowned Saints of the Church.  God never rejected anyone who comes to Him with sincere and contrite heart. He never ceases to love us. Come to Him…

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