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George Carroll

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Blogs by George Carroll

Comments on daily Scripture
8/22/2011 1:09:14 AM
Mass Reading & Meditation for August 22, 2011
Catholic Meditations
Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 8-10

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“We give thanks to God always for all of you.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2)

Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians is divided almost equally between words of praise and gratitude for the witness of these new Christians and words of teaching and warning to them as they face new challenges. Paul begins by applauding their faith and speaking fondly of the time he spent with them. He recounts how he first proclaimed the gospel to them. He recalls how hard he and his companions worked on their behalf. And he reminds them of how joyfully they accepted the gospel. Only then does he begin to teach them, warning them against idleness and clarifying his teachings about the Second Coming.

While Paul is undoubtedly sincere in all he writes here, he is also using a very shrewd strategy—an approach that we all should imitate. Sometimes we launch into teaching, exhortation, or intercession without remembering to begin with thanksgiving. We lecture our children about what they should do as if they had never done anything good in the past. Instead of appealing to the goodness we have seen motivate them before, we lay down the law forcefully and immediately. We forget that they really do want to do the right thing, and that they just need some extra guidance and coaching.

The same can be said about marriages. Nobody knows our spouse’s flaws better than we do—if only because we spend so much time together! It can be very easy to focus on these flaws as inconvenient burdens that we have to put up with. But God’s way is the way of love, forgiveness, and affirmation. It’s the way of gratitude and other-centeredness. Just as Jesus came not to condemn but to save, so husbands and wives should make sure that love and patience prevail over criticism and every other motivation.

Today, devote your prayer time simply to thanking God. Thank him for your spouse. Thank him for your children. Thank him for your parents and your friends. Spend time dwelling on all the good that God has done—and all the good that we can see in the people closest to us.

“Father, you have always done what is best for all of us. Teach me to love as you love.”

Psalm 149:1-6,9;

Matthew 23:13-22


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