A reading from St. Paul to the Thessalonians 1 THES 5:1-6, 9-11
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
REFLECTION: Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.
We all know we are going to die and face judgment someday. Also, it doesn't matter how much peace and security we want to have, life will always be imperfect.
St. Paul exhorts us not to be in darkness on our final day, to remember that we are made for Heaven. We are not to be ignorant about it. So our challenge is to be conscious of our doings and not allow ourselves to do the wrong things.
To do this, he tells the readers to "encourage one another" and "build one another up". Friendship, holy friendships are very important to help us become saints. We were not made to be alone but to have companionships and friendships.
There is a true crisis of loneliness in this country. When we were looking for a memory care for Dad, what struck us the most was to see the extreme loneliness of our seniors no matter how fancy a place would be. People were literally dying for human touch and a kind word. Being that alone, how can we thrive? How can we tell we are on the right path? How can we tell we are truly loved? How can we love in return?
We know that we have to make our way towards Heaven. Airplanes set up a route before taking off. But even they keep correcting their routes every few minutes.
In our apostolate we are not alone. We have at least one prayer partner (handbook pgs. 9, 16) that "pray together always" as the means "to be with Jesus always" (handbook pg. 8), and one of our benefits (16) is that we are members of the international prayer family: PAPA (handbook pg. 16).
As the month of September rolls in, pray with your partner so God can increase the priest's zeal. And also, pray for each other for perseverance and fidelity in our apostolate.