You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts.
As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
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.
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commision voted 4-0 to repeal its own Fairness Doctrine. Created in 1949, these rules required licensees of public airwaves to discuss important public issues fairly and to present news to listeners honestly and responsibly.
Thirty years later, what we hear on the radio can seem a lot louder and not always fair. But whatever our personal or political opinions, we should be able to agree as Christians that the ways of Jesus are gentle and kind. Even when society removes its rules, we should strive to listen with charity and to speak with care, maybe most to those with whom we disagree.
There were Thessalonians in Paul’s time who accused his ministry of self interest. But Paul asks the Christians in Thessalonica to remember the gentle nature of his visits among them. Is Paul right to remind them of something they may have forgotten?
To whom could I speak more gently or approach more fairly today?
—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the West Province currently beginning his Regency assignment in the Advancement Office in Los Gatos, California.
God, you chose us to be the holy people
you love. Help us to clothe ourselves
with tenderhearted mercy, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.
Lead our souls in calmness and in peace.
Give us ears of understanding
and words of mercy. Hold our hands.
Allow your Love to guide our way.
—Joe Kraemer, SJ, inspired by Colossians 3:12