Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Give us, oh Lord, a great industriousness
For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food. 2Thes 3,7-12
Some months ago we met together with some former colleagues for a nice dinner. We chatted and joked, remembering the time when we worked together in the same company; however, being all retired, we have also mentioned how we used to spend our days in the current time. We are all involved in the usual activities of the grandparents for their grandchildren, but some of us still carry on a professional activity, while some others have substituted it with social commitment. Some try to keep physically fit by swimming or walking, others spend their days reading the newspaper and watching TV. Pondering then on the current different opinions as they emerged that night, we could not help noticing that the ones who are still involved professionally or socially also keep a better psychological and physical fitness. In today’s excerpt from Paul’s letter to the community of Thessaloniki, the apostle addresses a stern reproach against those Christians who, alarmed by the thought of an imminent end of the world, or taking profit from that false prevision, devote themselves to idleness, thus becoming a load for the whole community. To them, the apostle refers to himself as an example, since he keeps working “day and night, so as not to burden any of you”, despite he could make a living of what the brothers and sisters in the different communities send to him. It is thanks to this industriousness, as well as to the continuous revelations he has had while praying, that Paul has always kept young in his body and mind, so that he could write the enlightening letters which have come to us. They are real jewels of theology and doctrine, building the fundaments of every successive Christian thought. Even if Paul is a unique man in the history of Salvation, we all have a plan to work out and the most beautiful things are accomplished when you are old, because man is like the kaki tree: it gives its best fruits after losing its leaves. For this reason, old people can always give their contribution to family and society. Give us, oh Lord, a great industriousness and the awareness that we always have something to give: to the family, to the Church, to society.