1Thes. 1:1-5, 8b-10 | Ps. 149:1-6, 9 |Mt. 23:13-22
Paul is giving thanks to God for the Thessalonians who have responded to God’s call. He reminds them that it was God who called them and God who fulfilled the promises made to them through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is showing his anger at the Pharisees and Scribes who are requiring many things of the people. These are requirements which they place on the people yet do not carry out themselves. They also have found ways to get around the laws by adding some rules. Jesus is harsh with them, because they do not have a spirit of love of God in their teaching. Their motivation is wrong and causes many hardships for people. These hardships do not motivate the people to love God, because they see only restrictions, etc. Jesus came to bring people to God, to bring them to experience the love of God for them. Thus, Jesus, has little tolerance for those who do the opposite.
What is your image of God? Do you see God as a loving, caring, compassionate God? Take time to reflect on all the ways God has shown love for you. Give thanks for these gifts.