Greetings on this the Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10; PS 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b; Mt 23:13-22
Notes: A continuous reading of the First Letter to the Thessalonians.
- Monday: For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction (1 Thes 1:5).
- Tuesday: Interrupted for Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle.
- Wednesday: You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God (1 Thes 2:9).
- Thursday: We have been reassured about you, brothers and sisters, in our every distress and affliction, through your faith (1 Thes 3:7)
- Friday: Brothers and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
- as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God (1 Thes 4:1).
- Saturday: Brothers and sisters: On the subject of fraternal charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another (1 Thes 4:9).
These exhortations are three part.
- Give witness to the Apostolic example.
- Acknowledge the progress made by the people.
- Encourage the reader to go further in the practice of faith.
Keeping the Horizon as we say.
The Lord takes delight in his people.
He delights in how they act rightly.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
If the reading of Thessalonians is a series of encouragements, the gospel portion are a series of warnings.
We continue our walk through The Woes of the Gospel of Matthew.
In today’s selection it is best not to read these as condemnation exactly.
Rather these are anguished thoughts of the Divine.
What is a woe? A condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief.
Jesus is saying:
- The Lord is pained by our false piety and excess of law and self-centeredness.
- We suffer the woe of our actions even as we are desensitized to the malady.
- You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men – You do not enter yourselves.
- You teach hypocrisy – you make even worse than yourselves.
- You swear in ignorance – and gather condemnation and/or engage in useless effort.
Keep a good horizon.
Peace be with you,