2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12, Psalm 96:1-5, Matthew 23:13-22
2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12
My Beloved, I belong to the Church You founded, grace and peace are mine through Your merits and the Father's love for me. Your Holy Spirit enables me to grow in faith increasing my love for You and neighbor.
The Cross is no longer an emblem of shame but of triumph and victory over sin and death. We receive the cross when we endure suffering and persecution because of our faith and for the sake of the Kingdom. By our witness we reveal that we are prepared to suffer in order to have a share in Your Kingdom.
We pray for each other, encourage and support one another that we may be filled with our grace, strength and power to be obedient, living a life of faith, glorifying You always and enduring to the end.
Beloved, the mark of a Christian is joy. Keep me joyful Lord in all circumstances, may I never cease to sing Your praises always. When I recall Your many blessings from the moment of my conception, may my heart overflow with praise and thanksgiving for all You have done for me. Thank You for leading me from darkness to light through Your abiding Presence in me.
My Beloved, You have nothing but scorn and contempt for hypocrites who abound in every age; people who make an outward show of piety but have no compassion or empathy for the weak. There are many who know the faith but who do not live it and by their lack of witness prevent those around them from discovering the faith. We convert people to the faith but once they enter the Church offer no support at all so they may persevere and so they fall back to old sinful ways.
We make the inconsequential important and forget what living an authentic Christian is all about and we grow more blind and narrow in our vision every day. We stumble and becoming a stumbling block to others well.