1 Thessalonians 2:13–20
Longing is that deep boundless desire that was breathed into us by God to help lead us home. It is force that moves us beyond ourselves and keeps us moving. It is our job to keep in touch with our longing and strengthen it. It is strengthened through hope. Hope is a choice we make and grows through recalling God’s goodness and doing small actions based on that hope.
As much I would like to be consumed by my desire for God, I find to be consumed by that longing is an awesome and uncomfortable place to be at times. I struggle with that desire to know God, do God’s will and be with God and the self - desires of preservation, security and interest. I am both restless and peaceful, full of delight and fear all at the same time, which can be exhausting.
As difficult as the struggle is, the readings remind us we have a choice on what hope we feed. Both men had the difficult task of confronting another. The priest was not in touch with God’s longing and his hope was based on fear and self- glory which led him into deception. He “hoped” to trap Jesus and receive the glory of the world but in the end he failed. Paul believing God was with him, longed to do the will of God.
That desire led to a hope that the Thessalonians see their wayward ways. He chose to honestly rebuke and encouragement them with compassion. Isaiah teaches us that when we join together in our longing for God, our hopes for peace, unity and understanding will be a reality. What is consuming your soul? What actions of hope do you need to take?
–– Sr. Brenda Jenner, SSJD