“Give the LORD glory and honor.”
Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
I Thessalonians 1: 1-5b
by Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
In the first reading for this Sunday Isaiah tells of God’s call to His anointed, Cyrus. Even though Cyrus did not know the God, Scripture says, “I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not.” God has been calling us with love and compassion all the days of our life, even before we knew who God is, in each of our lives. Do we take time, quiet time, in our daily life, to hear and feel and understand the Lord’s continual call of love in our life.
St. Paul praises the Thessalonians for their work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope. Our lives, when they are expressions of faith, of hope, and of love, reveal that our lives are not just of our own making. We are chosen and loved by God. And Paul adds, the Gospel does “not come to us in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit, and with much conviction.”
In the Gospel, the Pharisees try to snare Jesus into a political blunder and Jesus admonishes them for the insincerity of their testing of Him. Instead, He invites them to live out their lives in truth. If only they (and we) could understand our lives are meant to be lived out in faith, hope and love. This is a particularly important admonition during this time of uncertainty as we recover from, and continue to live with fears of both illness from the pandemic and recovery from the Western Coastal wildfires.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“These people fear the Lord, and do not become elated over their good deeds; they judge it is the Lord’s power, not their own, that brings about the good in them. They praise the Lord working in them, and say with the Prophet: Not to us, Lord, not to us give the glory, but to your name alone.” And, “Prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”
Prologue 29-30; Chapter 72:11-12
“Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the Word of Life.”