"Build one another up." —1 Thessalonians 5:11, RSV-CE
I am attending morning Mass in an older church building. Laborers are repairing the roof, and the steady pounding of their hammers makes it difficult to hear the lector as he proclaims today's first reading. Then the lector proclaimed the phrase "build one another up" (see 1 Thes 5:11, RSV-CE). It was easy to make the connection between the physical repairs taking place to build up the church structure, and the work necessary to build up the Church, the body of Christ.
This church building is strong and solid. Nonetheless, every parish church building needs maintenance, no matter how strong it is. Likewise, we members of the Church must maintain the "living stones" of the Church (1 Pt 2:5) by building one another up (1 Thes 5:11). Even the strongest members of the body of Christ need encouragement and upbuilding.
Building one another up can be inconvenient, disruptive, and noisy. For example, Jesus built up the body of Christ in Capernaum by driving out a demon during a service in the synagogue (Lk 4:33ff). The disruption in that service would dwarf the cacophony of the hammering during today's service. The inconvenience and disruption must be overridden by love, for above all it is love that upbuilds (1 Cor 8:1). Build up the body of Christ through acts of love and charity.
We are God's building (1 Cor 3:9), so be a body builder and "build one another up" (1 Thes 5:11, RSV-CE).
Prayer: Father, give me a greater concern for Your body than I have for my own. May I love my fellow Christians with Your love.
Promise: "God has not destined us for wrath but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." —1 Thes 5:9
Praise: Fr. Jeff celebrated the Easter services in the diverse parishes he served to proclaim the Resurrection in three languages.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011
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