Sunday, August 21, 2016

Reflection for the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Part 1

Monday – Endurance

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul compliments his audience on their endurance. The Thessalonians are suffering greatly from many persecutions and afflictions, but their faith remains strong, and their love for one another continues to grow. They hold tightly to God even in the worst of times.

This is indeed endurance. The Greek word here is hypomonē, and it literally means “remaining under.” When we endure, we remain under trials and sufferings and difficulties, but we don't let them weigh us down. We don't give up hope. We don't stop believing. We don't stop loving. We don't stop trusting God, for we know that He is in control and that whatever He allows will, in the end, only bring us closer to Him if we endure.

(Information about Greek vocabulary comes from HELPS Word Studies on

Tuesday – Constancy

Today's Psalm reminds us of God's constancy. God is perfectly faithful, perfectly trustworthy, perfectly consistent, perfectly stable, perfectly steadfast. In Him, we are secure. He will never abandon us. He will never stop loving us. He is always with us, ready and willing to shower us in love and grace.

So why is this so hard for us to believe? Why can't we trust God and place ourselves confidently in His hands? Perhaps we have been hurt too much by other people. Perhaps we feel we have sinned too much to be worthy of God's love. Perhaps we have never taken the time or made the effort to get to know Who God really is. Perhaps we are feeling weak and insecure and fearful and troubled.

God knows all of this. He understands. And He waits for us. He won't force Himself on us, for He respects our free will, but He does pour out His grace upon us that we may turn to Him and recognize that His love and care are always true and constant.

Wednesday – Come and See

“Come and see.” Philip extended this invitation to Nathanael, for Philip had discovered something, or rather Someone, amazing, and he wanted more than anything to share the experience with his skeptical friend.

This actually shows quite a bit of courage and love on Philip's part. He knew Nathanael well, and he probably anticipated his friend's resistance. But Philip understood that Nathanael needed to meet Jesus, so he stepped past his hesitancy and said, “Come and see.”

Is there anyone in your life who needs to meet Jesus? How might you extend the invitation to “come and see”? Could you invite the person to attend Mass with you some Sunday? Or perhaps a Bible study or prayer group meeting? Perhaps you might simply make yourself available to discuss the person's questions about the faith or pray with him or her. And of course, you must always allow Jesus to show Himself through you, in your words and actions and in your loving care for those around you, that they may “come and see” Jesus in you.

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