Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The wind of the Spirit carries the Gospel

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you (both) are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ. 2Thes 2,16-3,5

The same way the Canadian woodman floats down the river with his timber, jumping from a trunk to the other one when the one carrying him gets stuck among the rocks, the Lord’s Word descends through history passing from mouth to mouth. It is unstoppable, nobody can stop it because it is powerfully pushed forward by the wind of the Spirit: “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it come from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (Jn 3, 8). Though the Lord’s Word is transmitted by the wind of the Spirit, our duty is to pray so that it may spread further and further. In today’s reading, Paul also ask the brothers and sisters in the community of Thessaloniki to pray for this reason: “Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified”. Everybody is needed in the mission: the ones who announce the Gospel, the ones who pray and the ones who work behind them. In the end we will all be rewarded, anyway: “From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me” (2Tm 4, 8). Besides praying, you also need to encourage one another, as it happens in the football teams when a player realises that a fellow player is tired, maybe because he has given it all: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word, be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching” (2Tm 4,1-2). Paul then goes on by referring to a time which really seems to be ours: “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths” (2Tm 4, 3-4). Finally, the apostle draws a conclusion with an exhortation we must consider as directly turned to all the ones who have decided to announce the Gospel: “But you be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfil your ministry” (2Tm 4, 5). Lord, help us take the right stream too and spread your Word, jumping from a trunk to the other, as the woodman who goes down the mountains along the rivers of Canada does.

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