Monday, August 29, 2016

Homily for St Augustine day August 28th


Do you ever get lost in something you are doing, and forget the time even where you are? Its like passing through a door into a whole other world that absorbs us. Would that it was like that in our life with Christ!

Jesus uses two metaphors: sheep gate and shepherd to describe himself;
I am the sheep-gate - enter through me
I am the good shepherd I know mine and mine know me.
If I enter through the sheep gate, I acknowledge that he is boss, He is in charge. 
We are entering his domain.  That is scary, and seems to require that I relinquish 
my freedom, my inner desire to use my talents and gifts as I think best.
But since my shepherd knows me, he wants the best for me. 
And there is the rub.  Much of what I want for me is - when I face it - self serving, 
self-congratulating, self-centered, and that iss not all necessarily bad, for I want 
to do good in the world,  However, it is a good that I have predetermined.
The “I” in this way of living and thinking, is in control, not the Lord that I have 
come to trust, to know.  If I know him, the “I” wants what he wants more than 
what I want.  

Do we enter willingly through His gate or are we like Augustine for much of his 
early life: busily building his own earthly city? He himself tells us his biggest 
struggle was not over sexual desires and temptations, but dealing with human 
ambition.

Even after he was a bishop he writes about his struggle with desiring human 
respect and ambition - to be recognized - which he felt would satisfy some inner 
need. How is the shepherd challenging you, what is the gateway you don't really
want to enter because it will make you change what you are doing or what you 
want for yourself? When Augustine committed himself to Christ, it was a 
conversion of heart, more than mind, and that is what the man from Hippo holds 
out to us, for once we allow our heart to be set on fire, converted, then 
our minds will catch up and the whole person will be ready to be open 
to the God who loves all of who you are.

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