1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith. For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Faith, Love, and Holiness
In today’s first Reading, St. Paul offers us an example of prayer for a job well done. Timothy reports the Gospel has taken root in Thessalonica after much effort and many trials, so Paul expresses “thanksgiving” for God’s good work with the church, finds joy, and takes encouragement [3:9].
Paul offers a threefold prayer of solidarity with those who have experienced and taken in the Gospel he shared. He prays that the “faith and love” [3:6] received may increase the bonds between the church and himself, that the church may “abound in love” among its members and its neighbors, and that “holiness” may deepen in them uniting them with their “God and Father” ever more [3:11-13].
I too can pray for those I’ve built up through the Gospel, those I’ve evangelized, by giving thanks for God’s work in me, praying for increased solidarity between me and those I’ve helped, praying that those I’ve helped may build up others in response, and in turn deepen their relationship with God in faith and love.
-Fr. Nathan Wendt, S.J. is Creighton Prep’s Assistant to the President.
An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! … And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ.
-Pope Francis, The Joy of the GospelPlease share the Good Word with your friends!