St. Augustine Catholic Church     314-385-1934

What shall we do about the people and situation at the end of our street?

Pastor’s Pen
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Times


Dear Archbishop and the Joyful Family of St. Augustine,

God is good all the time. All the time God is good. We especially feel that way when our chief shepherd comes to pray with us. In the 28 years that we have been a church family, we have not had Archbishop Carlson with us, although some of the other bishops were with us on occasion.  Archbishop Rozanski, we certainly welcome you with all our hearts. We are striving to be a giving, praying community that wants to reach out with our significant outreach program which we earnestly want to keep going. So, speaking on behalf of everyone, we are more than happy to have you with us today. Alleluia!

The Gospel especially today has this little parable that does not seem to important, but it is about being humble. Here the father says to the two sons, “Would you go and work in my vineyard?”  The first one says, “no”, but then he reconsiders, and a humble spirit changes his mind. In the meantime, the other one says “Yes”, but drifts off into his own world and does not consider the importance of helping his family. Well, I want to be in the first group, but there are some haunting words about people who are tax collectors and prostitutes. We have a situation down at the end of the street with people involved in the human trafficking trade including pimps, prostitutes, and drug addicts.  This degrading situation for women and our community is pretty much there and seems like very little is being done about it. However, we hear these words of Jesus that He looked favorably on these people.  He said, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you.  When John came to you in the way of righteousness you did not believe him, but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even when you saw that you did not later change your minds and believe him.” Those folks at the corner of our street, through the many years when this Gospel is read, make me feel a little guilty because all I feel like I can do for them and all the evil that goes along with their lifestyles is honk my horn and wave at them. I sort of give them a blessing prayer for their situations. I feel that’s all I am capable of doing, but I am humbled by some of them, turning their lives around and trying to live right.  When they do, Jesus is really welcoming them into the kingdom.

So, we will see these people, sitting around on the broken steps of houses, making their deals, but still I feel I should make some response other than just blowing my horn and waving. I am humbled by that phrase that has made me more aware in some way of the plight of my brothers and sisters, and I pray that all of you will be humbled also. So the word of God is to enter in to the spirit of being “Migrant and Refugee” Weak and thinking about all the troubles of people throughout the world—the Pandemic, weather disasters, crime, and the welfare of our country—with life almost disappearing from them in some instances. So, Church Family, continue to humbly say, “What can I do through this whole situation that is out there almost under our eyes?” Amen!! Praise God!! So, my question to you and me is, “What shall we do about the people and situation at the end of our street?” Maybe some of them have spiritual lives, but because of addictions and circumstances they are unable to turn it around without help. We have to pray over this tough situation and then make a plan to change it

Love,  Father Bob


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