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"... the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps." (Mt 25:1-13)


George Floyd’s final prayers called on his mother to secure his salvation.  This is especially true in the black neighborhood as most every mother has delivered “the talk” to her sons and grandsons.  And when sons go outside for a jog or away to their college campus, neighborhood mothers pray for deliverance of their sons.  Today, we celebrate St. Augustine of Hippo, arguably the greatest of all doctors of our Christian faith.  Although this is not what was taught to many of us, geography and history clearly tell us that he was BLACK.

How did Augustine achieve his standing as the greatest of the doctors of the Christian faith?  His mother was one who internalized the lesson of this gospel, the story of the wise virgins.  St Monica filled her flask with prayers – prayers that eventually saved her son from life with ladies of the evening and religious fanatics – and brought him into the Church in a mighty big way. It was decades of prayer that St. Monica prayed consistently with faith – true, unwavering faith. She did not know when the Lord would deliver, yet she prayed.  She prayed because she had a flask full of faith.

“Behold, the bridegroom,” we hear in this gospel.  St Augustine is the bridegroom, the answer to the Negro mother’s prayer.  He is the fruit of God’s creation brought into fullness by a praying mother of great faith, the answer to a mother’s prayer. When I was accepted into deacon formation, my sister reminded me that it was due to my mother’s prayers.  Want more Augustines – fill your flask with prayers as did St. Monica, my mother and the wise virgins. We celebrate St. Augustine to honor praying mothers in the neighborhood who continue to mold our sons by their flasks of faith.

Author: Deacon Timothy E. Tilghman "Whom shall I send?  Who will go for us?" "Here I am;" I said; "send me!"

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