Sunday, August 25, 2013

How You Were Chosen

Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time 

We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.  1 Thessalonians 1:2-4

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.  You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.  Matthew 23:13


Father, protect us from the tendency to be hypocrites saying one thing and doing the opposite.  Help us to see the good in all around us and sing their praises so that – no matter how narrow the gate – we may unlock it not only to enter but also to bring other people through with us.


Faith in Jesus changes everything.  Just consider the differing pictures revealed in today’s readings about the Pharisees of the old church and the ministers of the new.  The Pharisees made it difficult for their followers to get close to God.  However, the disciples in the early Christian Church exalted their followers for the faith they showed. 
Paul and the other leaders of the Church were indeed singing a new song – not a song about how hard the faith would be, but rather a song about how the Lord loves his people. This new faith makes it all possible.


What is your work of faith today?  What will you do that is a labor of love?  What pain will you endure and overcome to keep your hope in the Lord?

After the weekend celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for jobs and racial equality, what would YOU march for if invited to such a demonstration today?  What do you dream for and how does your labor of love and endurance in hope work to make your own dreams a reality?

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