The Parish of St. Augustine

As a man of 32 years, Augustine of Hippo was the despair of his mother Monica. His life to that point had been full of trouble, of searching and half-hearted praying that God save him---but not too soon, O Lord. As he wept, tormented by his lack of faith, in the garden of a house in Milan far away from his hometown near Carthage, he heard a child's singsong voice, repeating "Tolle, lege, tolle, lege..." ("Take and read, take and read..."). He again picked up the epistles of St. Paul and saw this: "... put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh." (Romans, chapter 13:13-14)

He felt as if the words were directed to him: "It was as though my heart was filled with a light of confidence and all the shadows of my doubt were swept away." Now ready to open his heart to God's will, he was baptized by St. Ambrose at Easter the following year, 387, along with his son Adeodatus and his friend Alypius. (St. Augustine's Confessions, VIII, 12)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Second Sunday of Easter + + + April 23, 2017

Gospel                     John 20: 19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

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