This year the 22nd Sunday falls on the feast day of St. Augustine.
Greatly gifted, he would learn profoundly the wisdom we hear today from Sirach:
“Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.”
We are nothing apart from God. Augustine had the finest education and very exceptional talents (depicted in the recent movie Restless Heart). He gained great power and prestige in the world and was renowned for his learning and eloquence, but he was not happy with it. He wanted more (or should we say less). He wanted God from the depths of his being. He abandoned the search for happiness in externals and sought it from the God Who dwelt within. There he found his Happiness and famously proclaimed:
“Late have I loved Thee, Beauty ever Ancient, ever knew!”
Only in God will we find happiness. Apart from him we are nothing. So the greater we seem in the eyes of the world, the more we should humble ourselves. The greatest human person the world has ever known proclaimed:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”
How much more should we poor sinners, preserved by His Mercy and Providence proclaim His greatness!
In Christ, Son of Mary,
Every seven years the Diocese permits a “minisabbatical” for prayer and renewal of the priestly ministry. The purpose includes grace for the people we serve as well as the priest. When I participated in this the first time it was a grace for all involved and the parish received blessings as well. Whether it is a sacrifice is left to your discernment! I will be participating at the Redemptorist Retreat Center in August and September (desert in the summer should be good for the soul) and keeping all of you in prayer. You will get the opportunity to hear different voices at Masses here. I have commitments covering all weekend Masses during that time and assurances from the Diocese of help with daily Masses, which is more of a challenge. When you see a different face later this summer, you will know why if you read your bulletin! —
Reprinted from April 3, 2016 bulletin