Sunday, November 13, 2016

Strengthen them in every good work and word.

Image result for brothers in christ

This past Sunday Saint Paul assures the Thessalonians that they are on the right track. He describes them as "brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord," and he tells them that God chose them "as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth."  He encourages them to "stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter."  And he closes by asking Jesus and God to comfort their hearts "and strengthen them in every good work and word."

Saint Paul's words are meant for us, as well as for the Thessalonians. We live in a world in which God's justice will be done, and we all need to watch our works and our words.

Our challenge is to "stand firm and hold fast to the traditions" of the faith (v. 15). These traditions include:

Seeing everyone as a person made in the image and likeness of God.

Loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Turning the other cheek.

Refraining from judgment and practicing forgiveness.

Owing no one anything, except to love one another.