News headlines these days are filled with global conflict and neighborhood violence, murder and mayhem of many kinds. Photos abound of refugees fleeing, of neighbors wounded and killed. Is this the way our world is supposed to function? Against this challenging backdrop, we move forward with our lives. Vacation time ends; children return to school; our calendars fill up amidst the chores of daily working and living.
St. Paul lived in times much like ours. The people of Thessalonia whom he visited became concerned about the end of the world with all that might mean. Amidst their calamaties and questions, Paul urges them to keep their focus on Jesus and his teachings. Paul’s words give us hope amidst the challenges we face in late August 2014: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may God our Father who loved us and in his mercy gave us eternal consolation and hope, console your hearts and strengthen them for every good work and word.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team