Readings for Monday August 23, 2010
First Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96
Gospel: Matthew 23:13-22
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more, and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater. Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure.
This is evidence of the just judgment of God, so that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God for which you are suffering. We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thes. 1:1-5, 11-12)
As people, we have a big choice to make in this life. We can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. What I mean by this is we can either be living a life for ourselves, or we can live a life for God and others. Those who live for themselves do not think of others, they are only concerned with getting what they want; and it doesn't matter how they go about it or how many people that they use while getting what they want. Those who live a life for God and others are not concerned with themselves; but only about doing God's will, loving as they are called to, and seeking to build up the Church.
In today's gospel reading, we see that Jesus is addressing those who are a part of the problem, the scribes and pharisees. They are not helping to build up God's kingdom, but rather block people from God. It is these "blind guides" that did not help the people become holier, but rather led them astray and hindered more than helped. We see a stark contrast between the scribes and pharisees that Jesus was addressing to the early church in Thessalonia. In today's second reading, we see that Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy are boasting to the other churches about the faith of the Thessalonians. They are boasting because the Thessalonians are a part of the solution; they are helping to build up the kingdom of God by letting their "faith flourish" and letting God's love grow inside them. They were enduring persecutions and many sufferings for the sake of Christ, and it was a great example to the other Christians.
As I said before, we each have a choice to make, we can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Let us make sure that we are making the right choice and seeking to build up God's Kingdom and to give Him glory in all things.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you and thank you for the gift of our lives, help us to be good stewards of your great gifts. Lord, help us to be a people who seek to love as you call us to, and to help those in need. Help us to be a people and nation that values life at all stages, and give us to strength to fight for life. We pray for an end to abortion and for all women considering having an abortion, may they realize the special life that is in their womb. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.