Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
“And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good;” (1St Thessalonians, 5: 14 to 21)
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians he gives them, and us, lessons in how to relate with each other. His instruction requires us to at least notice others; are they idlers, are they faint-hearted, are they weak? We can’t live in community in a vacuum. The implied answer to Cain’s question of “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is, yes. (Genesis 4:9)
It is hard to be patient and to rejoice always. We have sad times. We can however pray without ceasing. Such prayer is not formal, spoken prayers, but rather, thoughts of appealing to God for help. This can, and often should be done, quietly. It is being thankful and saying “Thank You Jesus” when you realize things could have been worse.
Regular reading of scripture certainly helps us in our relationship with others. As you know, I read our Daily Office daily. I don’t really get a lot from all of the readings. But even acknowledging what I don’t like helps. There is much wisdom in the Bible. But I advise you to say a little prayer before you read asking the Holy Spirit to assist you with understanding, and then one of thanks at the conclusion. Perhaps a Bible Study group would help. The prophets still speak to us through these ancient words.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John