Friday, XXI Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Augustine, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 1:17-25; Ps: 32; Gos: Mt 25:1-13

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Friday of the twenty first week of ordinary time, the Church honors Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor.

He was born in North Africa in 354. As a youth, he chose to live a wayward lifestyle, and false beliefs. Through the constant prayers of his mother and the preaching of St. Ambrose, he was converted.

He later, he became a priest, a bishop, and the founder of a religious order. Today, he is one of the greatest saints that has ever lived.

He was a famous theologian. Two of his most popular books include: “The City of God” and, “The Confessions of Saint Augustine.”

In his “Confessions,” he wrote soberly: “I have loved you late, O Lord…You touched me, and I burned for your peace. You created us for yourself. Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in you.”

The life and story of Saint Augustine teaches us that, there is a chance for everyone to change and be better. So, we must not stop praying for the conversion of sinners, as Monica did for her son. Augustine is the product of Monica’s womb, as well as the product of her prayers.

In today’s gospel, Christ used the parable of the ten virgins to teach us how we must be prepared and vigilant at all times. What separates the two groups is the same line that separates wisdom and foolishness.

There is no doubt that today’s gospel provokes a very important question about Christian charity: Why were the wise virgins not charitable to the others in need of oil for their lamps?

Of course, that would have been the most stupid or foolish thing to do at that moment. This is because, half way into the party, all the oil will finish, and everyone would be left in darkness.

Second, the foolish virgins had all the time to prepare, but chose not to take advantage of the moment of grace. It is the duty of the servant to prepare, and wait patiently for his master to return.

So, rather than a time of weary, the waiting time should be a moment of grace for us to prepare well. So, we must not become victims of the eleventh hour.

Saint Augustine, pray for Us!

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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