St. Augustine Catholic Church     314-385-1934


“Smell like the sheep” Pope Francis used this image challenging the Catholic

community and all people to get down and dirty by loving, helping and entering into the many hurts and tragedies in our society. We find two stories, 1200 years apart, John telling Jesus that a man was casting out demons in His name. John wanted to stop him but Jesus didn’t seem to have a problem, no sweat with this. He said just let him go. Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us, is for us.” We get


involved in the proper order, the right way of doing things. I think both of these stories tell us to let there be a little mess but the main thing and most important is purity of heart and allowing confusion to happen if it gets down to a deeper level of just simply loving. Now we see our Holy Father calling us in His Church to create “mess.” He had urged us to go out and reach individuals in their needs. “We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes in our communities when so many people are waiting for the Gospel.” We like to have things neat and tidy in our parishes but the Holy Father is asking us to
embrace the messiness that comes when we place mercy, kindness and love ahead of propriety and tradition.
Now, of course, Pope Francis honors tradition. Of course he loves truth but he weeps over the condition of all of God’s children. That’s why he asks us to create the kind of mess that Jesus created when He welcomed a Roman centurion, a
divorced woman, a prostitute and a tax collector, amongst many others. So Church, go out there and get your hands dirty. As Pope Francis stated, “Smell like the sheep.”
 Fr. Bob

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