Memorial of Saint Rose of Lima, virgin
(II Thessalonians 2:1-3a.14-17; Matthew 23:23-26)
A priest ministering to the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s congregation, rightly feels humbled. The sisters sit at his feet attentive to every word that he utters. The priest knows that they, more faithfully than he, carry out the work of Jesus in their meticulous service to the poorest of the poor. In her daily life St. Rose of Lima demonstrated as great self-effacement and dedication as the Missionaries of Charity. Her care for the poor was overshadowed only by other acts of piety as she demonstrated love for God to the edification of an entire city.
Today’s first reading offers a blessing to the community of Christians at Thessalonica. It expresses the desire that the people remain committed to the teachings of Christ. Evidently, they were rankled by new ideas at odds with what St. Paul taught. No, the letter implies, they are to keep the faith, assist, the poor, and support one another.
The practice of the saints should move us from self-concern to devotion to others. Certainly there is no shortage of self-love in our times deafening us to the teachings of Christ. Thankfully, we have saints today as much as in times past to show us that God commands us to purify our love for others.