The appointed Eucharistic reading for the celebration of Sts. Aidan and Cuthbert is taken from Paul’s Letter to the Romans:
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. (Rm. 12: 6-13).
There are times in our families and in church families when we forget that everyone, each member of the family, has his or her certain gifts. Paul reminds us that each person has their part to play in order to make the body whole. Then Paul exhorts us to “love one another with mutual affection.” That is where the rubber meets the road in life. I know that in my own life I often fall short of this. I also know that sometimes Church communities fall short of this because they are made up of people like me, sinners, who from time to time fail to be Christ-like.
Paul is telling us that as the body of Christ, the Church, we must decrease and Christ must increase. When I decrease and Christ increases in me, it becomes less about me and more about Jesus. If I increase and Jesus decreases, the Church becomes more about my ego and emotions and less about the Good News of Jesus, and that is a short route to chaos and the Evil One's favorite road map. We must listen to others as Christ listens to others. We are called to talk to others as Christ talks to others. We must see others as Christ sees others. Sometimes this is hard, and, to be sure, sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. Nevertheless, that is the goal that God has set for us, God asks that our love be genuine just as Jesus’ love is genuine. When we fall short and sin hurting the Body of Christ, let us seek Christ's forgiveness and the forgiveness of those whom we have harmed resolving to build up the Body of Christ as Jesus would have us do holding fast to what is good and loving one another with mutual affection.
Let us pray on the celebration of Sts. Aidan and Cuthbert: Everliving God, you called your servants Aidan and Cuthbert to proclaim the Gospel in northern England and gave them loving hearts and gentle spirits: Grant us grace to live as they did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Family Fun Night, tonight at 6 p.m. Bring a game and snacks to share.
The new Adult Scripture Study starting in September for 6 weeks, the Kerygma study on The Lord's Prayer during the 11 a.m. hour.
The 4th Annual Art Show at St. Augustine’s. This year’s theme is “Peace.”
THE PRAYER LIST: Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially for Shannon Elliott, the family of Charlie Fric, Steve, the family of Ella Boyer, Sherman, Gladys, Kendall, Seth, all of those suffering because of Isaac, our Bishop Suffragan Elect, Jeff Fisher, the clergy of this Diocese, and the vestries and Bishop’s committees of this Diocese.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550
Galveston, Texas 77550