Intention: For all who live in the darkness of poverty, violence, abuse, or neglect, that they may know the light of God’s comfort through our acts of solidarity.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 23:13-22
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.”
From the Meditation on Saint Augustine | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Having become bishop of Hippo, Saint Augustine devoted himself with all possible zeal to the guidance of his diocese, but God did not restrict his zeal to so limited a field. Because God had given his spirit a generosity at least equal to the depth of his knowledge, God made him useful to the whole Church. Saint Augustine was consulted by Popes and Councils and by nearly everyone in the world, even by several unbelievers to whose conversion he contributed a great deal. From all sides, people came to him to ask for clerics formed under his guidance to become pastors of the Church. Yet, so holy a manner of life was strongly opposed and condemned by the heretics, who considered him as their greatest enemy, the one among the Doctors of the Church whom they feared the most. They said everything they could against him to ruin his reputation, but because it was founded on the solid base of piety and humility, they were never able to do him any harm. He showed, in fact, extraordinary humility in leaving an account of his sins to posterity.
Our Community can be very useful to the Church, but be convinced that it will be so only to the degree it is based on these two foundations, piety and humility, which will make it indestructible.
Eternal Father, we pray today for the grace of integrity. Your spirit dwells inside of us, teaching us to do justly, to love mercifully, and to walk humbly before you. Even when life brings the temptation to be judgmental or arrogant, help us always to behave compassionately and respectfully. Fill us with care and vigilance and show us the way to each other’s hearts. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.