KEEPING WATCH IN FAITH AND LOVE
Meditation for Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time
(1 Thes 3:7-13; Mt 24:42-51)
St Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, for the most part, can be summarized as a letter of thanksgiving! St Paul continued to thank them for their strong faith. He testified that the faith of this young church brought him much comfort. At the end of today’s reading, St Paul began to pray for the Thessalonians that God may increase their love for one another and to all men, and establish their hearts in holiness, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
This prayer of St Paul reminds us that to persevere in faith and love unto eternity, we need the cooperation of divine grace. Also, faith and love need constant nurturing and growth! Whenever we arrive at that moment when our faith is stagnant and our love is monotonous, then we begin to act like that wicked servant who says to himself, ‘my master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to find fault with everyone, and criticize everything, and become intolerable while hiding under unruly pleasure and selfishness! But not for long…Soon, such ‘wicked’ servant would be found out; He would be taken unawares, time will pass him by, and his hypocrisy would be exposed.
Therefore, we say, “Amen” to the prayer of St Paul, for there is no better way to keep ‘watch’ than to pray. The Householder has given us the greatest gifts: faith and love! There is no blessing that these two cannot bring forth. The wise servant ‘keeps watch’ over his master’s treasure. Since he communes with his Master in prayer, his Master’s coming will not take him by surprise. The wise servant ‘dwells’ in his master’s presence, and thus carries out His will as if He were present. Hence, he conquers time and the burden of waiting by watchful prayer! The CONSCIOUS DWELLING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD is what we learn through silence and meditation. So, let us be wise and pray today that our faith may grow and our love may flow.
St Pope Zepbyrinus, pray for us! Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.
Thursday August 26th, 2021.