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Archive for November 14th, 2012

Prayer For Each Other: Homily Notes on 1 Thessalonians 1:2 (with some Catechism links)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 14, 2012

This outline was prepared by Fr. George Howe and is in the public domain (published 1906).  These notes can be used for homily ideas, points for meditation, further study, etc. I’ve included some links to articles in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which you might find helpful.

Sermon Plan By Father George Howe
“Making a remembrance of you in our prayers.” 1 Thess 1:2


I. The Apostle here gives us the example of thoughtful charity. The charity of prayer is based upon God who is love (see CCC. 2577),

II. Consider this practice of praying for each other.

WE ARE ALL BRETHREN: Concerning the Fatherhood of God and prayer see the CCC 2779-2785.

1. All children of the same Father,

2. Hence the wants of others should be to us as our own. When one member of our body suffers, all suffer. See CCC. 953.

3. In the epistles, the Faithful are styled “Brethren.”

4. We should help each other as members of the same family. This especially by prayer.

PRAYER FOR OTHERS: Concerning intercessory prayer see the CCC. 2634-2636.

1. Recommended

a. By Our Lord’s own words. “Our Father,” (not “my”): Matt 6:9. Concerning God as Our Father see CCC. 2786-2793. See also the Jesus teaching concerning prayer in the CCC. 2607-2615.

b. By the Apostle: “Pray one for another:” James 5:16.

c. By the practice of the Church: “Pray for us,” (plural) in the Litanies,

2. Avails more than prayer for ourselves only. Because thus accompanied by charity for others.

3. This intercessory prayer

a. Tends to advance the glory of God.

b. Brings many graces to souls.

4. Persons for whom we should pray:

a. Those in sin, or outside the Church.

Practice of S. Teresa: S. Teresa gives this as a reason for founding her convents that, as there are so many that offend God, nuns ought to pray for their conversion, especially for the defenders of the Church, for preachers and learned men who maintain its truth. She spent whole nights praying and weeping for the conversion of souls, especially those infected with heresy.

b. Those in lukewarmness or tepidity.

c. Those in sorrow, spiritual or temporal.

d. The sick and the dying. How much depends on the hour of death!

e. Our relations, friends, and benefactors.

f. Even our enemies : Matt 5:44.

5. Founded on the dogma of the Communion of Saints. Hereby the Faithful may assist each other by prayer and good works. See the CCC. 946-953.


1. Job prayed for his friends: Job 42:8.

2. Judith, asking for prayers: Judith 8:31.

3. Jeremiah, for Israel: Jer 14:11.

4. The Church, for S. Peter: Acts 12:5.

5. S. Paul asks for prayers: Rom 15:30.

6. Our Lord, for His disciples: John 17:11. See The CCC 2598-2606 on Jesus and Prayer.

7. Also for His enemies: Luke 23:34.

8. St. Stephen, for Saul: Acts 7:59.


I. Imitate this practice of the Apostle,

II. Hesitate not to ask for prayers.

III. When promising prayers to others, don’t fail to say them.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Meditations, Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Quotes, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 14, 2012

This post contains notes on all of verses 1-10. It begins with the Bishop’s brief analysis of  the text followed by his comments. The Bishop also included a paraphrase of the verse he was commenting on and I have place these in purple text. Text in red, if any, are my notes and additions.

Analysis: In this chapter, the Apostle, after the usual form of Apostolic salutation (vs 1), informs the Thessalonians that he never omits praying for them, whenever he addresses his petitions to God, to whom he returns thanks for His abundant gifts of grace bestowed upon them, as manifested in their faith, their patience, and operative charity. From these gifts, as well as from those displayed in their conversion to the faith, the Apostle infers their election to grace and the segregation from this wicked world; and for this he renders thanks to God (2-6). he commends their constancy in the faith; in this respect, serving as a model not only to Macedonia, but to the entire province of Achaia(7). For, the edifying account of their faith has been spread abroad, both in these places, and in every other place with which they were in communication (8). He exhorts them to persevere in the same firmness and edifying constancy, in the expectation of the coming of Jesus Christ to judge the world.

1. Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy: to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

1. Paul and Sylvanus (or Silas) and Timothy (greet) the assembly of the faithful at Thessalonica, called to grace here and glory hereafter, by the mercy of God the Father, and through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the time MacEvilly wrote, providing a paraphrase to the text was quite common among scholars. Such paraphrases sometimes introduce elements of Pauline theology into a text which may be only implied, or were only developed in latter letters. Modern paraphrase Bibles generally attempt something different, and the two should not e confused.

“Sylvanus,” a Latinized form of the name Silas. The same who was chosen by Paul to be the companion of his travels after the departure of Barnabas (acts 15:40). Paul and Sylvanus met Timothy at Lystra, and he was so highly spoken of by the Christians there that St Paul asked him to accompany them on the mission. In chapter 2 of this letter we will see that St Paul sent him back to Thessalonica and his return to Paul from there is what occasioned this letter. The Apostle unites Sylvanus and Timothy with himself in this salutation, because, as sharers in his Apostolic labors at Thessalonica, they were beloved by the Thessalonians. No doubt they also (especially Timothy) had a hand in determining the content of this letter.

“Grace to you and peace,” to which is added in the Greek, “From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” These words (italicized above) are not found, however, in the Vatican Manuscript, nor in other ancient versions, most modern translations omit them.

2 We give thanks to God always for you all; making remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing.

2 We always give thanks to God for the favors bestowed on you all; and we also, in our prayers, petition him for their increase and continuance.

“Without ceasing,” is commonly connected with the next verse; because “always” affects both parts of this verse.

3 Being mindful of the work of your faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God our Father

3 Always mindful before God our Father of the works of your lively and operative faith, and of the labors which your charity prompted you to undergo, and of your patient endurance of afflictions and persecutions, under which you were supported by your hopes in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Labor and charity.” “And” is not in the Greek text. The words mean, “the labor of your charity;” charity must therefore be operative, and must brave all difficulties. Reference is probably made to their labors, in rescuing himself in the tumult excited against him at Thessalonica (see Acts 17). A more likely explanation is that Paul is preparing to remind them of practices contrary to the faith, such as giving up working and becoming dependent upon others for food. Some apparently were becoming idle (1 thess 5:6, 1 Thess 5:14); and had given up work (1 Thess 3:10-12); possibly in a misguided attempt to prepare for the coming of the Lord (2 Thess 3:10-12).

“Before God,” is by some connected with the words “faith,” “labor,” &c.; and then it would express the characters of their faith, labor, &c., and mean the sincere workings of their faith, &c. The connexion in the Paraphrase is more probable. The grammatical structure of the Greek text of verse 3 is rather difficult and ambiguous. “Before God our Father” could be taken as relating to the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love; in such cases, it is necessary to translate “before God &c.,” after the virtues, as in the above translation. In such a case, the meaning would be that the virtues are performed in the sight/presence of God. “Before God &c.,” could also be understood in reference to the missionaries “remembering” of the Thessalonians virtues, with such remembering taking place in the presence/sight of God as they pray. In this case, the words would be placed before the mention of the virtues, as in the above paraphrase.

1Th 1:4  Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election:

We give thanks to God, knowing your election by God to grace and to his Church here, and to glory hereafter, should you persevere.

The reason why he gives God thanks is, because he knows, from what he says (verse 5), that they are predestined by God; and as this decree, predestining them, together with the spiritual graces bestowed on them in consequence, whereby they were enabled to perform good works (verse 3), were all gratuitous gifts of God, He should, therefore, be thanked for them, and the glory of them referred to Him.

1Th 1:5  For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.

Because our preaching of the Gospel among you was not confined to mere words, but was sanctioned by miracles, by the plentiful and abundant diffusion of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and by a multitude of other motives, calculated to convince you of the truth of the doctrine preached, as you yourselves know what manner of men we have been among you, having in view your conversion to the faith.

The reasons from which their election was inferred by the Apostle are these, viz., the miracles (“but in power also”); the gifts of the Holy Ghost (“and in the Holy Ghost”); such as tongues, prophecy, &c., which accompanied the preaching of the gospel among them, as well as the multitude of other motives, calculated to produce conviction in their minds, “and in much fulness.” This ” fulness,” which may refer either to the strong interior conviction of the truth of the gospel; or, as we have understood it, to the additional motives for producing this conviction, may have been founded on the Apostle’s own conduct, his disinterestedness, his heroism in exposing himself to danger without any hope of temporal compensation, &c. All this, joined to the sanction lent by God himself, was calculated to produce the most firm conviction of the truth of the gospel preached. This conjecture is rendered very probable by the following words—”as you know what manner of men,” &c., which show, that, in the preceding, he was referring to his own conduct among them.

1Th 1:6  And you became followers of us and of the Lord: receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(Nor was this exhibition of zeal on our part without success); for you became faithful imitators of me and of the Lord. You received the gospel, though attended with much suffering and persecution to you, with the joy of the Holy Ghost.

They were imitators of our blessed Lord and of St. Paul, because our Lord
preached his gospel, and submitted to insults and persecutions with joy and gladness, for the salvation of his people; and so did the Apostle.

1Th 1:7  So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.

So that you have become a model, in this respect, to all the faithful, not only of Macedonia, but also of Achaia.

They were a model to their own countrymen; and to those of Achaia, where St. Paul then was.

1Th 1:8  For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and in Achaia but also in every place: your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing.

For, from you the word of the Lord has been proclaimed, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place with which you are in communication, has the rumor of your faith in God been spread, so that it is unnecessary for me to say anything regarding it.

The words “spread abroad,” not only mean that the fame of their faith was
rumored abroad, but also that it sounded forth in such a way as to serve as an example for imitation with all men, both believers and unbelievers. For, though he preached at Philippi before he preached at Thessalonica; still, his preaching in the latter place was more noted and more successful. “In every place,” must be understood of those places only with which Thessalonica was in communication, owing to its extensive relations of commerce.

1Th 1:9  For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you: and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.

For all to whom we converse regarding you, anticipate us in speaking of our advent amongst you, and of the success that attended us, and of your conversion from worshiping inanimate and senseless idols to serve and adore the living and true God.

“To serve the living God :” unlike the inanimate blocks you heretofore adored, and “ true God,” unlike the false gods of the Pagans, either men ranked among the gods, or demons. Omnes dii gentium dæmonia.—(Ps 96:5~”All the gods of the Gentiles are devils”).

1Th 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead), Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

And to expect from heaven his Son Jesus (whom he raised from the dead), and by whom we have been delivered from the wrath to come.

“Whom he raised from the dead.” This being an act of power, is, by appropriation, ascribed to God the Father. The Apostle refers here to their faith in the second coming of God to judge the world. And although the dead who have long since slept in the Lord will accompany him from heaven; still, they may be said to be expecting him on earth, as their bodies are there. “Who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.” From this the Apostle wishes them to infer, that those thus favoured beyond the unbelievers, who remain subject to eternal death, should persevere in this state of security, to which God has gratuitously called them.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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