"Consider this great mystery. The sound of my words strikes the ears, and the Master is within! Do not suppose that any human is the teacher of another. We can Admonish by the sound of our voice; but unless there is one Who teaches on the inside, the sound we make is futile.
I, for my part, have spoken to all; but those to whom the Anointing within does not speak, those to whom the Holy Spirit within does not teach, go back untaught." (Sermon on 1 John 3, 12)
The mystery belonging to our faith and all things divine is something that perpetually calls us to renew our ideas about what it mean to believe, and why we do. We need to embrace this mystery with childlike simplicity and trust so that we may truly be attentive and receptive to the Master within.
St. Augustine in all of the greatness we come to revere him for was primarily a humble and obedient student of divine mystery and completely surrendered to the power of our Lord's work within Him.
It is this necessary and admirable detachment that allows for his words to pierce the ears and hearts with a resounding truth that still echos today in all of his words remaining with us, and thanks be to God that they do remain!
In the small sharing from his sermon today he captures a very important aspect about being a messenger for the Lord, and the important work of evangelization. There are many words spoken today striking many ears by the faithful. It can be overwhelming, but seeds are surely being scattered. The fruitfulness of the seeds, while much of it does depend upon the soil that they land on, does also have something to do with the vessel from which they are being thrown from, or the tongue that shares these words.
To be able to share and speak of the divine and with great conviction takes being mindful of our baseness and shared need for God's incredible mercy and grace. We can look at St.Augustine as a prime example for better understanding the reality of his own words shared here today.
Undoubtedly, those minutely familiar with his life will see that he was not the poster child for holiness in his earlier days, nor was he an ignorant fellow in the eyes of education or learning. Truly from the lap of his mother, St. Monica, and many others who would have tried to instruct him in the ways of faith, numerous words struck his ears. At first there was little impact, he did not attend to them, nor did they initially stir up anything convincing enough for him to turn completely away from his sin, and into the fullness of faith. We do know though, how he ended. His beginning is made all the more of a powerful testament to us, a true testament of God's incredible mystery.
He speaks in his sermon here of the impact that words can have, but also he is mindful of Whom it is that must speak within, Whom it is that must work within and lead one to true transformation. The hearing and the listening leading to conversion and understanding belongs completely to God.
To be a witness for the Lord is to be first obedient to His precepts and live out in love the way He instructed to do so. To preach and share the good news is more about doing so reverently, than doing so with the intention of entertaining, and opening hearts. It is not our work to do that, it is the work of God alone. Many may "go back untaught" but this does not mean that the work is unimportant.
We must pray, to place primacy on our relationship with the Lord and to be humble vessels. Let us not pray that our words are received, but that God's grace may open hearts to hear, and eyes to see His mystery. We must recognize that we are merely instruments in God's symphony and not the conductor, or the composer.
May we renew ourselves daily to be taught by our Lord, to sit at His feet always recognizing the need to be perpetually fed and filled with His love. May we then go forth ministering to those in the active vineyard of Christ for God's glory, sent by His grace alone. (CC)