Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence are words of St. Augustine of Hippo. The great conversion of St. Augustine is well known by most people and sets an example for all of us to seek out the mercy and love of God. Augustine was a 4th century Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity’s theology and philosophy. We honor this great man on Monday, August 28.
In the reading from Matthew 16:13-20 we have a strong acknowledgement that Jesus is the Christ. Every time we say the name, Jesus Christ, we are affirming that Jesus is the Messiah, the savior. In Matthew’s account Jesus asked his disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? They name all sorts of famous ancestors, including John the Baptist, whom we honor tomorrow. However, Jesus was more interested in what they thought. But who do you say that I am? Of course, Simon Peter jumps in immediately, but this time under the influence of Jesus’ Heavenly Father. YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. What an astounding proclamation. I’m sure all the disciples hung around with their mouths open in awe. Then, on top of that, he appoints Peter as the rock on which he would build his church. Much conversation must have followed, both in Jesus’ presence and behind his back. After all they were poor, uneducated men who were to be part of a new church. What could this mean? It took quite awhile after Jesus’ death for them to understand and witness the development of this concept.
In Romans 11: 33-36 Paul tells us that God is inscrutable and unsearchable…who has known the mind of the Lord. We certainly see that in the manner in which God’s Son, Jesus, lived his life and introduced a new way of honoring and praising God.
Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, Who do we say Jesus is and do we whole heartily believe and live it?
Something new and wonderful may come out of the answer.
The Passion of St. John the Baptist remembrance occurs on Tuesday, August 29. John is an example of a person who fully lived a life of firm commitment to justice. Because he was not afraid to speak out against corruption in government, he was imprisoned and beheaded. He had spent his life calling people to repentance to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. He knew who Jesus was, when he called him the Lamb of God at his baptism. Scripture tells us in the story of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, he even recognized him in the womb. Luke 1: 39-45
Let us hold in prayer all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. May all the responders be blessed in a special way and kept save.
May you journey with peace and mercy,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF Director