Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Thessalonians 2, 1-8

You know yourselves, my brothers, that our visit to you has not been pointless.

Although, as you know, we had received rough treatment and insults at Philippi, God gave us the courage to speak his gospel to you fearlessly, in spite of great opposition.

Our encouragement to you does not come from any delusion or impure motives or trickery.

No, God has approved us to be entrusted with the gospel, and this is how we preach, seeking to please not human beings but God who tests our hearts.

Indeed, we have never acted with the thought of flattering anyone, as you know, nor as an excuse for greed, God is our witness;

nor have we ever looked for honour from human beings, either from you or anybody else,

when we could have imposed ourselves on you with full weight, as apostles of Christ. Instead, we lived unassumingly among you. Like a mother feeding and looking after her children,

we felt so devoted to you, that we would have been happy to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, so dear had you become.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul recalled the fruitful action of God in Thessalonica, even more so, for he had arrived there after the sad experiences suffered in Philippi, where together with Silvanus he was whipped, imprisoned and eventually obliged to leave the city (probably his wounds were still visible to the Thessalonians). In spite of all that, Paul felt neither discouraged nor depressed. His strength was in his union with God, as he wrote to the Corinthians: “who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God” (2 Cor 1:4). Union with God produces freedom and trust to preach the Gospel. The apostle clearly affirmed that his preaching is righteous and sincere, free from any personal interest, for he received this task from God himself. And he should always be accountable to God. Therefore God’s approval was more important than that of other people, as he wrote to the Galatians: “Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal 1:10). This is why he is not searching for people’s favour. Instead he preaches God’s truth “whether the time is favourable or unfavourable” (2 Tm 4:2). Paul was aware he should keep both ambition and greed far. As an apostle he could have insisted on his personal authority demanding respect and honour. But on the contrary, he preferred the way of meekness and of selfless dedication to others. He behaved as a mother, better as a mother who offers to her child not just milk, but all her love. He wrote to the Galatians: “My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Gal 4:19). And, recalling the beginning of the community in Thessalonica, almost without perceiving it, he passed from the foundation to the first–month memories. It was a time of construction and of patient pastoral work, even during night-time. He could begin the apostolic activity usually late at night because he worked during the day “with his hands” to earn a living, as he did afterwards in Corinth. “I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing,” he said (Acts 20:33). He wanted to avoid all suspicion of greed and self-interest (2:3.5) to make his preaching trustworthy. He did not want to be supported by others even-though this could enable him to have more energy for his pastoral action. But this freedom enabled him to be even more authoritative and fatherly. This is why he could effectively rebuke, exhort, encourage and instruct the Thessalonians to be “worthy of God” and therefore participate in his kingdom.