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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Readings for 25 August, 2005

 First Reading: "May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you." (1 Thessalonians 3:7 - 13) Psalm: Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!(Psalm 90) Gospel: "'Stay awake,' .. 'What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time?'" (Matthew 24:42 - 51) Commentary, from DailyGospel.org: Pope John Paul II says "You must be prepared in the same way." Today's Saint: St. Louis of France, a dutiful king of the 13th century who established courts of law to dispense justice. He was known to be unusually prayerful and charitable even to the destitute in France.
In addressing the anxiety of the disciples, the Lord gives them practical advice: stay awake and be faithfully about your tasks. Exactly when the day of the Lord will come is really not important for the faithful servant. The only concern there is really in the waiting, when impatience might breed anxiety. In the first reading, St. Paul is effusive in his joy at Timothy's news about the Thessalonians' faith and love. With such faith and love, leading to holiness and blamelessness before the Lord, there is no need for anxiety about the Lord's return, but a calm joy in this, our hope, the glorious day of the Lord. An interesting choice from DailyGospel.org for their commentary are some of the late Pope John Paul II's words about his hopes and anxieties in the face of death that can take him anytime. His hopes are on Christ, and while anxious, he is hopeful: "I want everything that makes up my life on earth to prepare me for this moment." One can say that this is a healthy anxiety, the nervousness of the faithful servant who is aware of his basic unworthiness before the King but is nonetheless hopeful for his return because he knows that he has done his best. It is the nervousness of a child waiting for his parents' return, hoping for approval of his conduct (and he has tried his best to behave!) while they were away.

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