Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How do you deal with people? Are they attracted to Christ because of your dedication and kindness? - Daily Reflections August 26,2015

Thessaloniki is a beautiful modern harbor city. During my high school days, I took a train every day in going home from the main station in Cologne. And every day I saw a train going to Thessaloniki. The name had always intrigued me and I dreamed of one day taking that train and traveling to that faraway Greek city. I was never able to take that train, but in one of our pilgrimages in the footsteps of St. Paul, our bus reached Thessaloniki. We stayed there overnight before celebrating the Mass and visiting the rich museum. For that particular Mass, I chose a passage from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. Before the Mass, I strolled along the shore near the harbor. I reflected on how St. Paul, more than 2,000 years ago, came to this city to bring the Good News of Christ to the people living here. How did he do this?
       In today’s First Reading, we get a glimpse of St. Paul’s missionary efforts and his love for the community. He worked hard, did not rest, and even earned a living by working as tentmaker so as not to burden his community financially. We know that he returned to the city whenever he traveled to Greece.
       However, he also had a problem with this community. He obviously taught first that the Second Coming of Christ was imminent. As a result, many Christians did not work anymore and so he had to write them this famous line: “Anyone who would not work should not eat.”
       These words reflect his love and concern for his community. He was not only a zealous, dedicated missionary but also a pastor who loves his flock, as Pope Francis does. He inspires us to be dedicated and loving, and so touch the hearts of those entrusted to us, be it in our families, in our neighborhood, or at our workplace. Wherever we are, our task is to make Christ visible through our dedication and loving kindness. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How do you deal with people? Are they attracted to Christ because of your dedication and kindness?
Lord, I thank You for giving us the example of St. Paul, who was firm but kind. May I, with Your help, learn from him and imitate him.

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