Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time


              Have you heard of a public sinner and scandalous man becoming the moral stalwart of the Church?  Augustine of Hippo had his back to the Church.  It was public knowledge that he fathered a son with a concubine.  That was his early life.  Then, he who said ‘no’ to Christ and his Church had a profound conversion.  That led him to become the bishop of Hippo and a great teacher of Christian truth.  His case was an example of the words of Jesus,  ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you’ (Matthew 21:31) .  The tax collectors and prostitutes could make their way to the Kingdom of God because of their conversion.  Many people neglect opportunities for turning to Christ and his Church, not because they are ignorant of their unholy ways of life, but because they find pleasure in leading their ungodly life.  Being a rebel is the trend many in our time want.  Augustine has an insight into the nature of sin.

Augustine in his biography Confessions speaks about his first insight into the nature of sin.  It occurred when he and a number of friends stole fruit they did not want from a neighbourhood garden.  He stole the fruit, not because he was hungry, but because “it was not permitted.”   His very nature, he says, was flawed.  ‘It was foul, and I loved it.  I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself.” [Confessions 2:4]  From this incident he concluded the human person is naturally inclined to sin, and in need of the grace of Christ.

Because of the inclination to sin, reluctant Christians seek justification in science, history, culture and whatever theory they can find to defend their flawed way of life.  You have said ‘yes’ to Christ and his ways through baptism and other sacraments.   Now do you have the courage to make your life a Christian inspiration?  The Kingdom of Heaven is for those who understand their fallen state and are prepared for a change of heart.