November 17

Reflection

We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
2 Thess3:11

We like to think of the early Christian communities as being models of the gospel message but apparently they were a mix just like us. Paul in the midst of his journeys and preaching had to write and deal with busybodies. He goes on to tell them to work hard and eat their own food!  One can only wonder what was going on. Yet, in spite of it all, the vision of Jesus has endured in each of us, no matter our flaws. Each of us is called to reflect that vision. The reign of God on this earth will come through us, frail and annoying as we may sometimes seem. That is the witness for which we are responsible. Understanding the human condition, Paul also gives us this succinct advice: “In all your dealings with one another, speak the truth in love, that you may grow up.”

Prayer

Help me to live with respect for others.

Action 

Be patient with yourself and others. Avoid supporting tabloids or news channels that profit by exposing the foibles of prominent people. Try to always speak the truth in love.

Suggested Reading

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.
2Thess3:7-14

Be an active presence in the community, as living cells, as living stones.
Pope Francis

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.
Anthony J. D’Angelo

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
William Hazlitt

Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.
Turkish Proverb

Man – a creature made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.
Mark Twain

You are human and fallible.
Charlotte Brontë

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.
Voltaire

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Audrey Hepburn

Life is a long lesson in humility.
James M. Barrie

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.
Marianne Williamson

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