If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything

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On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.

There’s an old saying, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Today’s readings make it clear why we need to stand with Christian teachings, even when temptations and challenges come.

In today’s NT reading, St. Paul addressed some of the problems within the church at Thessalonica – people who were lazy, didn’t mind their own business, didn’t earn their own living. Today we might call them “slackers” or “moochers,” or a similar term. You’ve probably heard them all. As St. Paul instructs, able-bodied people are meant to work – and pay, with a few exceptions – for what they receive. It’s a fairness and social justice issue. Today we know that there are many blessings that come with this approach to life – mental and emotional peace, and a real sense of accomplishment in our ability to provide for ourselves.

As we approach the season of Advent, it’s also good to take some time to meditate on what is most precious in our lives – what holds us personally together. Is it our faith that God is always with us? Is it the good feeling we get in our hearts when we help others? Is it our family and our friends? Is it our love for Jesus and our trust in His promises?

As we reflect, will we also remember our good works, our personal strivings for justice and reconciliation, and our generosity towards those who are not able to take care of themselves due to disability, age, or circumstances? Can we bring our children and youth into the discussion? Let’s hope so. There’ll be a lot to talk about…

Dorothy A. Hathway, CSJA