May 26, 2006

Augustine of Canterbury

Category: Communion of Saints — Micah @ 12:00 am

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Good day, and welcome to Communion of Saints from stjeromeschapel.org. I’m your host, Micah Jackson. Today is May 26th, 2006: the feast of Blessed Augustine of Canterbury.

In 596, Pope Gregory had a problem. The once strong Christianity in England had become stale, and was in great need of the revitalizing energy of a group of missionaries. After due consideration, he chose to send an entire monastery to the land of the Angles and the Saxons, with the hope that the holy monks might reinvigorate Christianity in the land, and convert the Pagan rulers to faith in Christ.

The prior of this monastery was a man named Augustine, and when they arrived in Kent in 597, they set about to worship God just as they always had, by regularly coming together for liturgy, by singing the Psalms, by preaching the Good News, and administering the sacraments. At first, Ethelbert, the King, tolerated these strange men, but eventually he, too, was won over and became the first Christian king of England.
From this humble beginning, the Church in England, and all the descendants of it all over the world, spring up in marvelous array. It’s totally appropriate then, that to remember Augustine, we hear again the story of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish. After working all night and catching nothing, Simon (who would soon be called “Peter”) let down his net again as Jesus asked. This time, Luke tells us, “When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.” Afterwards, many who had seen it believed in Jesus, and began to follow him. (Luke 5:1-11)

The history of the Church in England is much like this catch of fish. After many years of not much happening to Christian England, God, through the ministries of Pope Gregory and Archbishop Augustine, lowered the net once again into that land. And as we have seen in our own day, the catch of fish is so great, that they can never be counted.

Let us pray: O Lord our God, by your Son Jesus Christ you called your apostles and sent them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless your holy Name for your servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating your Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom you call and send may do your will, and bide your time, and see your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thank you for listening to Communion of Saints. Please join us on May 31st at stjeromeschapel.org for the feast of The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I’m Micah Jackson. May God be with you.

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