Year C: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on St Paulís Letter to Thessalonians 2: 16 - 3: 5
Todayís reading is made up of prayers from St Paul on behalf of the community at Thessalonica.
There are times when St Paul gives way to extravagant words as he tries to express the greatness of Godís love for the faithful.
He also asks the community to pray for himself and his companions - that they may be kept safe from the interference of bigoted and evil people - those to whom faith is not given - or who choose not to receive the gift.
This is a prayer that we should remember in our day too - to pray for those who are charged with spreading the good News - and those called to minister to Godís people.
There is a temptation to assume that people called to the full-time service of God are somehow holier than the rest of us. As they would be the first to say - this is not so.
They are like the rest of us. Sometimes, the vocation feels glorious and people can feel on fire with zeal and enthusiasm. At other times, the demands feel too heavy to bear. Exhaustion - feelings of failure crowd in - and the person finds that they have barely enough resources to cope.
There is a sense in which we can say that people called to special service of God do receive special graces - but we should not forget that we are the channels of that grace.
As we pray for the Pope - bishops - priests - monks - nuns - lay workers - we are acting as lightning conductors for the grace of God into their lives. They have given their lives - and have given them freely - but few of them can be fully prepared for all that their vocation will cost.
If we value our heritage - out Gospel and faith, we do need to pray for those whose full-time work it is to hand it on.
What does it mean for me?
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