Memory of the Poor

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Thessalonians 1,1-5.8-10

Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonica which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace. We always thank God for you all, mentioning you in our prayers continually. We remember before our God and Father how active is the faith, how unsparing the love, how persevering the hope which you have from our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, brothers loved by God, that you have been chosen, because our gospel came to you not only in words, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with great effect. And you observed the sort of life we lived when we were with you, which was for your sake. since it was from you that the word of the Lord rang out -- and not only throughout Macedonia and Achaia, for your faith in God has spread everywhere. We do not need to tell other people about it: other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with the worship of false gods when you were converted to God and became servants of the living and true God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven. It is he who saves us from the Retribution which is coming.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is a letter written together by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, as if to remember what the Lord had done with the apostles (Mk 6:7) and the disciples (Lk 10:1) sending them two by two. Moreover, Paul was not an isolated protagonist. The Church is above all communion. All three together turn to the small community of Thessalonica, a large community not by number but by the dignity of being founded "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ." This dignity made that small community a blessing for Thessalonica. It was the "ekklesia", or the "assembly" of the community convened by God in that city. Every Christian community is a holy "assembly of God." Paul thanks the Lord for that small community that lives with steadfast faith, active love and constant hope. The Lord himself, through the preaching of his disciples, changes the heart of the listeners, and generates them to a new life. The apostle knows that the service of preaching requires his personal involvement because only in this way he makes the Lord close and recognizable to those who listen to him. And this is why the Thessalonians were able to imitate him, thus approaching Christ himself. The life of the leaders of the community must reflect the Gospel they proclaim; so their preaching will be effective. The Thessalonians were able to welcome it with joy even in the midst of persecutions. And they became an example for other believers who were in Macedonia and Achaia. Gospel life spreads because it attracts, because it shows a better life than that the world offers. It is the first Christian community founded on European territory, and immediately enthusiasm aroused everywhere in the young communities of that area. The expansion of the Gospel is not tied to pastoral techniques or sophisticated organizational means. The Gospel spreads only through the attractive force of a truly evangelical life. Paul rejoices in their faith and reports the amazement of all in learning their response of conversion as they abandoned the idols of this world to serve only the Lord.