If I had a choice, I would rather be a Thessalonian, listening to Paul with his gentle, encouraging words that invite us to “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his Kingdom,” than a scribe or a Pharisee being referred to by Jesus as hypocrites, beautiful on the outside but inside full of filth and dead people’s bones. Ouch!
In the first reading, Paul explains how they work day and night not to burden anyone. He reminds them they have treated each one as a father treats his children. By his example in his daily work, he proclaimed the Gospel of God and transformed the minds and spirits of those who listened and became believers.
Matthew’s Gospel brings us Jesus, who is extremely frustrated with the scribes and Pharisees and their excessive concern for external appearances. He makes it very clear that he considers them frauds, doing all that they can to make it look like they are holy. Jesus calls us to live a genuine, sincere, and authentic life.
Paul went about his secular job with such a spirit that convinced people that his message was the word of God. His faith was lived in his everyday life, in everything he did, day and night. We, too, are called to do his work wherever we are in everything we do. Pope Francis reminds us to move beyond our comfort zone and take action to make a positive difference in our corner of the world.
Let me take an honest look inward at myself. Am I making a positive impact on the lives of others?
Dear Lord, help me take an honest look at my life daily. Know that I appreciate the good virtues you have formed within me. I ask you to guide me in the areas where I have sinned and give me the grace to improve. Amen.