Monday, August 29, 2011

Encourage One Another

August 30 2011

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day (of sudden disaster) to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. ... Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. ... Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do. (1 Thessalonians 5: 5-6,11)

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. (Luke 4:31)


One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple. (Psalm 27:4)


This past week has been so distracting between vacation, earthquakes and hurricane (which precipitated cutting short the vacation) that the message of alertness and building one another up is fresh and relevant. For me, a change in schedule can disrupt my practice of piety and action. Usually the beach is a place of renewal and prayer with the ocean as choir. And although I did my usual morning walk and prayer, I also found myself uncharacteristically glued to the TV tracking the approach of the storm and then discussing who felt the ground move and from how far away. I did very little of my “study”.

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians was encouraging and affirming of their faith and their faith in action. If he had been writing to me he might have reminded me that preparedness is important in life but obsessing over things isn’t, and spending time in the presence of God cannot take a back seat. He might have challenged me to consider that I often spend more time in worrying, inventing scenarios, planning for tomorrow...or whatever, and going about the motions of habit which also include my spiritual practices than I do staying alert and sober with the Lord and building up my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Paul might have reminded me that to dwell in the house of the Lord takes discipline and love and that distractions are only that – distracting. They are not God’s ultimate desire for me which is salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 9)


Are there distractions in your life that are pulling you away from really being aware, being present to the Lord and to the people that are in your life? Pray for focus and practice paying attention with a new light to your piety, study and action. Perhaps talk with someone about attending one of the weekends upcoming or attend a School of Leaders where you will be encouraged and built up.