Thursday of Week XXIV

“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“In what way is it said that bad shepherds kill the sheep? By leading bad lives, by setting a bad example. Was it for nothing that a servant of God was told, one prominent among the members of the supreme shepherd, “Offering yourself in all company as an example of good works;” and “Be a model to the faithful.” You see, even a strong sheep often enough, when he notices his pastor leading a bad life, if his eyes wander from the rules of the Lord and are attracted by human considerations, begins to say to himself, “If my pastor lives like that, who am I not to behave as he does?” He has killed a strong sheep. So if he has killed a strong sheep, what must he be doing for the others, seeing that by his bad life he has slaughtered what he hadn’t fattened himself, but has found fat and sturdy?” (Sermon 46)

Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen