2Thes. 2:1-3a, 14-17 | Ps. 96:10-13 | Mt. 23:23-26
Paul is asking the Thessalonians to remain faithful and not to listen to others who come to bring them news against the Kingdom. He is encouraging them in their past lives and asks them to remain faithful. The Gospel tells the story of King Herod who has imprisoned John the Baptist. Herod feared John but was more willing to protect himself in regard to his wife’s jealously and also to keep his honor before all the people at the party. Thus, he gives in and beheads John.
There are occasions when we are with others who do not hold the same beliefs/principles that we do. They challenge us and call us to deny our beliefs. These are times when we must call upon the Spirit of God living within us to give us the courage we need to remain steadfast and do the right thing. We may lose some friends over this act. We may be called to accept the harsh words of others. But this is the message of today’s readings.
Take time to recall moments when your life as a Christian was challenged. How did you respond? Ask God for the grace to act according to His Word the next time you are in a similar situation. Take small steps each day to live the Gospel courageously.