Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 3: Year 1
“But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!” (Luke 15:17)
These words from the wayward son express deep insight for all of us. It is only when we come to ourselves that we can fully appreciate how blessed we are.
For me, coming to myself often means slowing down. I believe we all have a set speed in which we should live, move and have our being. It may not be the same pace as everybody else, and that’s fine. I can remember that back in my military service days when I worked on diesel powered generators with analog meters. When I got the voltage output correct, I also had to adjust the frequency to 400 hertz. The frequency had to match the aircraft to which it would provide electric power. We are like this equipment in many ways. We must discover our God given frequency and then maintain our own proper pace in life. This is coming to, or just being who, we are intended to be.
It is only when we “come to ourselves” that we might see ourselves as we really ought to be, in our family, in our Church, and in community and in our quiet times. And like the prodigal son, we too need to do the self-talk about how we will repent, and go back to God who God has made us to be. This is how we come to ourselves. For some of us, it may be for the first time.
Today we remember Augustine First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605.
Pope Gregory the Great decided in 596 to send a mission to the pagan Anglo-Saxons. He selected, from his own monastery on the Coelian hill in Rome, a group of monks, led by their prior, Augustine. They arrived in Kent in 597, carrying a silver cross and an image of Jesus Christ painted on a board, which thus became, so far as we know, “Canterbury’s first icon.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for May 26)
As an Anglican, Augustine of Canterbury is important to me because it shows God’s hand at work in the establishment and development of the Anglican Church. Coached by Pope Gregory, Augustine was to be inclusive in terms of the make-up of the Church. One of the Pope’s most famous counsels to the first Archbishop of Canterbury has to do with diversity in the young English Church. Gregory writes, “If you have found customs, whether in the Roman, Gallican, or any other Churches that may be more acceptable to God, I wish you to make a careful selection of them, and teach the Church of the English, which is still young in the faith, whatever you can profitably learn from the various Churches. For things should not be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for May 26)
Let us live to love, more than just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John