4 September 2007. Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
1 Thess 5, 1-6, 9-11 Encouragement
There are things which are inevitable. The pregnant woman will surely experience birth pains. All of us will grow old and die. No one can escape these eventualities. And there are things which come suddenly and unexpectedly. The mother of Chris Mendez surely did not expect her son to die this way. Neither the love ones of the marines who died in the battlefield of
The letter to the Thessalonians speak of these unexpected events when the ‘day of the Lord’ comes: it can mean any day or time when the Lord enters our lives; or it can also mean our own individual death; or it can mean the parousia, the 2nd coming of Christ at the end of the universe. However, there is more to the first reading: it tells us about two things.
First, it tells us that Christians do have some confidence when the unexpected comes. It is the confidence that is found in a deep faith in God. A dog was found by the Suncoast Humane Society in
Second, it gives us a disaster strategy: “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.” To prepare for life’s inevitable is to strengthen each other up. Sometimes it is hard to praise someone for a work well done. But it is easy to criticize someone for the mistake made. When we grow, there is a process of socialization in which we rely on external praise to appreciate our self-worth. Studies show that we need 5 affirmations a day to be healthy. And therefore, to make someone stronger is to give them credit when due and recognition when there is reason to appreciate them. We should not prevent ourselves from showing our appreciation when someone’s hair looks good on them or another’s presentation at the meeting was excellent.
As a teacher, I have seen that the confident student gets the higher mark than those who suffer from low self-esteem. To encourage and to build one another positively strengthen us, and therefore, prepare us for life’s battles.