Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

“Let no one seduce you, no matter how” is what Paul tells the Thessalonians in today’s First Reading. Even though he is referring to letters they have received, falsely attributed to him, and about the second coming of Christ, the message, like the audience, is broader. “Hold fast to the traditions from us either by word or by letter.” In other words, don’t let yourselves be taken in by false prophets.

Christian hope means latching onto, not evading the realities of everyday life. These are the plain, plump dealings we have to face from the moment the alarm sounds until when we pull the blanket over our heads for nightly rest. They are what stimulate our activity and our prayer. They are the steps to holiness the Lord has crafted to fit the person who each one of us is. As the Responsorial psalm says: “You have searched me and you know me Lord.”

What about our prayer life and religious practices? St. Paul can be interpreted here as telling us that we should rely on the humdrum means to holiness the Church gives us – Scripture, sacraments and time-tested devotions. We should not be easily taken in by the “extraordinary” – quirky devotions, asserted apparitions, heavenly secrets, images of “the Church of the future” – if they if they run contrary to the “ordinary”.

August 26th, 2014