HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT AUGUSTINE, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.
THEME: Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.(St Augustine)
BY: Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 John 4:7-16
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Augustine of Hippo, a great saint and servant of God who is one of the original Doctor of the Church, a great Church father and role model for all of us, God’s faithful people. St. Augustine of Hippo was indeed very well-known and looked up to as a great man of God, however, he was not always a faithful person from the very beginning.
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*WHO WAS SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO?*
At the start, St. Augustine was born into a Roman pagan noble family, to a patrician named Patricius and his mother, St. Monica, a Christian believer. St. Augustine was raised up as a pagan and brought up well in the ways of the world, and had a great interest in intellectual pursuits, being highly intelligent and curious by nature. However, St. Augustine lived his early youth life in hedonistic pursuits and lifestyle, being swayed by the various temptations of worldly glory and the pleasures of the flesh, even leading to him fathering a child with a woman out of wedlock. All those things brought about a great misery and heart pain for his loving mother, St. Monica, who devoted herself to her son very much, and who prayed daily for the conversion of both her husband and her son. Eventually, St. Monica’s efforts, prayers and actions led to the conversion, first of her husband before his passing, and finally, that of St. Augustine himself, who was called by God, abandoning his earlier wicked lifestyle and worldly pursuits, embracing God wholeheartedly ever since afterwards.
*HIS VOCATIONAL STORY AND SERVICE TO THE CHURCH*
St. Augustine thereafter led a truly faithful and exemplary way of life, as one of the most influential Church rfathers of all time, whose faith and devotion became truly shining beacons of God’s light and truth. He wrote extensively on many aspects of the faith, and his many works influenced many other saints, theologians and others in the Church long after his passing into the glory of Heaven. His works, including that of De Trinitate, a treatise on the Trinitarian nature of God, and others like the famous City of God remained as great literary and theological works, which made him honoured as one of the original Doctors of the Church, having brought so many people to the path of God and his salvation, be it directly or indirectly.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard of all these things, from the Scriptures and from the examples shown by St. Augustine of Hippo, our great and holy predecessor, our brilliant role model, can we all be inspired to live our lives with true faith and dedication to the Lord as well? Can we be truly devout and faithful in our way of life as well, so that by our every words, actions and deeds, our every moments in life, we may help to lead others to God and to inspire them all in their path, that more and more people may come to know the Lord, his love and truth. Let us all therefore do our part so that we may indeed be worthy of the Lord, and be worthy of the eternal glory and true joy that He has promised to all those who are faithful to Him. May God bless all of us in our every good efforts and endeavours.
St Augustine, Pray for Us.
*Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA.*
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