Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence. In 400, or thereabouts, in St. Augustine’s see of Hippo, a miles, a soldiers, probably a kind of police officer, did something very bad. He probably killed someone. The town went nuts and rioted and they lynched him. The mob is still howling for more vengeance. It is, apparently, ongoing.
St. Augustine preaches in this occasion and let’s them have it. He also gives good advice.
One of the things that Augustine reaffirms is that mobs do not have authority and that every is going to render an account of their part in the riots. He gives concrete advise about how to shut down the violence, keep it from erupting again.
This was preached on the Feast of St. Lawrence, but there seems to be a textual problem. If feels like two sermons stitched together, perhaps both from a St. Lawrence feast day. However, I am only giving you the second part, which pertains to the rioting.
This is fit for our times. It goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
What can change is OUT reaction to events because we know history.