As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.
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
News headlines these days are filled with global conflict and neighborhood violence, murder and mayhem of many kinds. Photos abound of refugees fleeing, of neighbors wounded and killed. Is this the way our world is supposed to function? Against this challenging backdrop, we move forward with our lives. Vacation time ends; children return to school; our calendars fill up amidst the chores of daily working and living.
St. Paul lived in times much like ours. The people of Thessalonia whom he visited became concerned about the end of the world with all that might mean. Amidst their calamaties and questions, Paul urges them to keep their focus on Jesus and his teachings. Paul’s words give us hope amidst the challenges we face in late August 2014: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may God our Father who loved us and in his mercy gave us eternal consolation and hope, console your hearts and strengthen them for every good work and word.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
The heavens bespeak the glory of God.
The firmament ablaze, a text of his works. Dawn
whispers to sunset
Dark to dark the word passes: glory glory.
All in a great silence, no tongue’s clamor—
yet the web of the world trembles conscious, as
of great winds passing.
The bridegroom’s tent is raised, a cry goes up:
He comes! A radiant sun rejoicing, presiding,
his wedding day. From end to end of the
universe his progress. No creature, no least
being but catches fire from him.
—Daniel Berrigan, S.J.