Once again we hear St. Paul express his gratitude to the Thessalonians for all that they have done for him and for his fellow missionaries and preachers. The fact that the Thessalonians have remained faithful the Gospel that he has preached gives him encouragement in his arduous journeys and the dangers he encounters in his mission. In return he prays for them night and day and hopes that he will be able to see them when and if he passes their way again.
St. Paul’s example of gratitude for all that the Thessalonians have done for him is a wonderful reminder that we too are beneficiaries of so many who support us in our vocation as we strive to answer the call to universal holiness. While our American culture prizes the rugged individual, the true Christian understands that none of us stands alone. We are surrounded by wonderful examples of charity which spur us on to be fit preachers of the Gospel message of love for God and love for neighbor.
Social media these days is filled with stories of people who are trying to come to the rescue of those who have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Some of the images have been truly inspiring. One in particular caught my attention yesterday. It was a scene from a highway leading toward Houston. The highway was filled with vehicles that were pulling boat trailers with recreational craft. These people were going to the rescue of those who were stranded in their homes by the rising flood waters. Other pictures included men who were wading through waist high water to carry children and elderly adults who could not wade through the flood themselves.
Like Paul, we must pray “night and day” for these people as well as for those who perform similar acts of charity whenever there is a natural disaster. As their example has encouraged us in our faith, let us pray for them and for their loved ones in this hour of need.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator