Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When was the last time you received a compliment about something that really mattered to you? Do you remember how good it made you feel? Did it encourage you to continue the good work about which you were complimented? I have to admit that compliments really make me feel good. I greatly appreciate that someone else cares enough to notice and say something. In short, a simple compliment can make my day.
I am impressed with the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Colossians which we hear in the first reading today. Why do I say this? While it often seems Paul is busy pointing out the shortcomings of the communities he addresses, today Paul compliments the Colossians for their faith and love. I can imagine being a Colossian and feeling quite encouraged to hear Paul’s opening words.
This leads me to ask myself, do I compliment others when I see faith and love at work in their lives? Knowing how much compliments can lift my spirits, why would I ever hesitate to take notice and say something positive to another? My voice might just be the voice God is using to give encouragement to that person.
Compliments are like love. They cost nothing to give, they can have an enormous impact for the good, and they tend to have a ripple effect which keeps expanding forever. I will try to keep my eyes and ears open for genuine opportunities to compliment the people Godputs in my life today.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for
Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord, it doesn’t take much. Small gestures of kindness that uplift a person’s spirit downcast by many concerns. Inspire us to speak words of encouragement, to share a compliment, to seize that moment to affirm through our smile, and to generously listen to a distraught heart. Then we will be filled with a joy that transcends the daily grind that sometimes shadows our day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team