Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
(I Thessalonians 1:1-5.8b-10; Matthew 23:13-22)
Humanists have lamented how letter-writing is slipping into oblivion. With the advent of email people no longer take time to gather thoughts, feelings and desires in a single discourse. If this form of writing had not existed two thousand years ago, the Church would be deprived of much of the New Testament as we know it. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, from which today’s first reading is taken has this literary form. It also is the oldest document of the New Testament.
In the passage Paul encourages the Thessalonians by congratulating them for their faith. He supports their belief by saying that he has spoken of it to others. Finally, he emphasizes the election of the Thessalonians as followers of Christ. He tells them that they no longer worship powerless idols but the living God.
Whether or not we write letters, we should tell others of our experience of faith. It is not a private matter but the means of salvation for the whole world. We want to say how faith gives us both support in trial and a rule of life. Our messages may not reach millions like the apostle Paul’s. But they may provide critical help top those whom we especially love.