Monday, 27 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture in which we are reminded that each and every one of us must be connected and attuned to God all of our lives, as the one and only True Vine from Whom all life and all peace and glory comes. This was the parable of the True Vine which the Lord used to reveal all of these to the people, so that they might understand the truth of God.

A vine of grapes is a plant which is connected to each other and to the roots via the vines, which deliver the important nutrients, water and all the things that the plant need in order to live and survive. If the fruit or any of the parts of the plant were to be separated from the main vine and the roots, those parts of the plant cannot possibly survive and grow, and eventually they will die. It is only by remaining attached to the vine that the whole body of the plant will remain alive and well.

The True Vine is Christ, the centre and source of all life. The parts of the plant are all of us, each and every one of us as members of the Church. The Church is the vine, united in its roots to Christ, as the Head of the entire Church. And unless we remain in good standing in faith within our Church, and remain firmly united with Christ through the Church, by our good and faithful lives, we are in fact separated from the True Vine of Christ.

In the same way therefore, if we remain separated from the Vine, there can be no life in us. And as the Gospel passage mentioned today, that the Lord pruned the vine from time to time to keep it growing and producing fruits well, unless we bear good fruits in our lives, eventually we shall be sundered and separated from that vine. These fruits are the fruits of our good labour in faith, of our loving commitment and dedication in serving God and in loving our fellow men.

In truth, God has given us all the skills, the abilities, the resources and all that is necessary for us to bear good fruits of faith. He has planted in us the good seeds of faith, of hope and of love, since the moment when He created us and reaffirmed through our baptism, by the Sacraments of the Church that we received. But whether these seeds will grow well and healthily and produce good fruits depend on whether we allow the Lord to enter into our lives, and by being connected to Christ, the True Vine.

Today, we celebrate the feast of one of our holy predecessors whose life and examples may become a source of inspiration for us in how we ought to live our own lives. St. Augustine of Canterbury was a great missionary who was sent by Pope St. Gregory the Great to begin the effort of the re-Christianisation of the land later on known as England, after decades of pagan invasions that destroyed much of the earlier Christian communities there.

St. Augustine of Canterbury worked tirelessly among the people, the nobles and their kings, preaching to them the word of God and showing them the truth of the Gospel, while caring for the need of his flock and reestablishing the foundations of the Church in England. Through his efforts and much time spent at working among the people and caring for the needs of his flock, many converted to the Christian faith and the mission flourished quickly.

The fruits of the works and labours of St. Augustine of Canterbury can be seen from the reestablishment of the Christian faith in England, although it would take many more decades after the time of St. Augustine of Canterbury before the whole England could be converted back to the Christian faith. His dedication and commitment to the Lord is an example to all of us, in how we ourselves should act in ways that follow the Lord’s path.

Let us all therefore be fruitful as Christians, devoting our time, effort and attention to be as loving, committed and be as Christ-like as we can in our every words and actions, in all the things we do, so that our lives will truly be filled with the fruits of God’s love and grace. May God bless us all and may He continue to guide us in our path. Amen.

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