Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Love Your Enemies

The selected Gospel passage for today comes from Matthew where we read about loving one’s enemies:
‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt. 5:38-48).
In a world that is very polarized today in all areas, politically, religiously, economically and any other number of ways, Jesus’ words may seem to be especially difficult to live out.  I can hear people saying, “But how can I love my enemy; they are evil, horrible and maybe not even human!”  Yet the very people we may despise are also made in the likeness and image of God, and the Son came to redeem them as well. 
Let us pray: O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Please remember everyone one our Prayer List, and especially, Lee, Gladys, Robert, Evelyn, Jim and Shirley.  We also especially remember Duane who celebrates his birthday today.
Although she was not known to the people of St. Augustine personally, I would ask that you please pray for Amy who died of cancer and especially her 16 year old son.  The father is not present in his life, and his only living relative is his grandmother who has dementia.  Let us pray: O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our sister Amy. We thank you for giving her to us, her family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console those who mourn, especially her 16 year old son. Give him faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence he may continue his course on earth, until, by your call, he is reunited with his mother who has gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The 5th Annual Art Show at St. Augustine’s begins this weekend on Saturday, 28 September at 6 p.m.  This year’s theme is “Joy.” 
Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, 6 October at 11 a.m. Bring your cats, dogs, birds, lizards, fleas, or whichever of God’s creatures are a part of your home to be blessed.
The BBQ at Grace is back!  After being interrupted by Ike, the tradition is back again.  Saturday, 12 October 2013 from 11-3.  There will be a silent auction with all sorts of wonderful items including James Avery jewelry and a bird watching cruise.  Come and support our brothers and sisters at Grace Episcopal Church.
St. Vincent’s House Day, Saturday, 28 September at 10 a.m. at St. Vincent’s House with Bishop Fisher and continuing on Sunday, 29 September, with the celebration of the Eucharist at St. Augustine’s at 9 a.m. where the Rev. Kern Huff will be our main celebrant.  We will follow with breakfast for all. Please come to the celebration of St. Vincent's Day and say "hello" to Kern and Becky Huff.
Adult Christian Formation: this Sunday at 11 a.m. This will be the last in the series.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550 

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