St. Augustine Catholic Church     314-385-1934


Dear Church Family,

Probably more than any other pastor in the whole Archdiocese, this pastor of yours seems to be around
death more than anyone else. A few reasons: first we offer assistance to families who are struggling to
bury loved ones or don’t have the grave or enough funds. So we help them usually with a gift of $100 to
start them off. We also write them a letter and tell them in a few weeks after the home-going that we are
going to dedicate special memorial prayers and we put it in the church bulletin. When you see all the names in the
church bulletin with significant loved ones that we offer special prayers. That’s what gets your pastor around lots of
death. We also developed a practice of listing whatever woman or man religious, especially the sisters that don’t get
much recognition for all they do so steady in their lives and giving their lives to the Lord. We want to write their loved
ones and tell them we are dedicating a special memory prayer in celebrating all they have done in building up the community
in the name of the Lord. Many of them have been involved in teaching us in years past. So that gets your pastor
around death also. Besides that, I might have the type of personality that has an antenna of being aware of whoever has
died that has been in my life. I take it upon myself to write and tell them I am going to dedicate special memorial prayers
in thanksgiving for their loved one’s life and love and many prayers of strength for those that are still going through

I hear in the Word of God today and maybe in a new way when Saint Paul says in this letter to the Romans, “You too
must think of yourself as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.” You and I want to especially be dead to sin. If
we are dead to sin we constantly claim it whether it be little sins of selfishness, of inconsiderateness, of moodiness and
temper, or just being a little on the ugly side of daily living or those or anything else. It is just the way we want to live
from now on. We are already on the road to continuing to be dead to sin. As a result, we are living for God in Christ
Jesus. What a wonderful attitude for all of us to have being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
Then we hear various messages in the Scriptures like the First Reading where Elisha, who is recognized as the successor
of Elijah, has been gifted with many prophecies and challenges to people to live the right way. In a way he is calling
many, many people to be dead to sin and to be living for God in Christ Jesus. This little story of hospitality that he
offers because of his profound influence with God and his closeness to God he could say to a couple that really wanted a
child because they were overcome with sadness now and then because they couldn’t have children. He could say,
“When I come by next year, you will fondle a little boy, a baby son.”

Another word is if we are dead to sin and living for God then we are doing what the Gospel “says do”. I can just feel
my old sister friend, Sister Antonia Ebo, as many of you know as a wonderful woman of God saying, “Do what the Lord
says do.” Here is what the Lord says do today, “Lose your life, let go of it and then you will really find it, then you will
have a happier disposition and an attitude that constantly reaches out to loving anybody with very little acts of love.”
This is symbolized by offering a cup of cool water for the least of the brothers and sisters, anyone. That’s a very small
gesture in our day, it doesn’t mean much but in a place where everything is not cool. No refrigeration of course!
Offering that little gesture would be somewhat of an effort. It symbolizes any good deed, any little random good deed,
just doing little things to make others feel good. That’s what we are called to be dead to sin and now living for God in
Christ Jesus. Keep yourself living for God in Christ Jesus by every little good deed and loving act. Alleluia!

Love, Fr. Bob


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