It is not always easy to follow the gospel, especially when many persons who seem to live only for themselves appear to be thriving. That’s one of the reasons why this Sunday’s Scripture encourages all of us to try to live justly and righteously.
Malachi’s community found it difficult to distinguish right from wrong anymore, since the faithless seemed to trump the faithful every time. Their frustration had led them to wonder whether serving God was worth it. In response, Malachi insists that clear lines would eventually be drawn between evil and good, evildoers and the righteous. The righteous could look forward to vindication, healing, and the warmth of God’s faithful love toward them.
A different kind of encouragement is given to the Christian community at Thessalonika. Long-suffering in their care of indolent members who were perfectly capable of looking after themselves but too busy prying into others’ affairs to work, Paul releases these faithful Christians from supporting and socializing with those whose behavior gave the community a bad name.
Finally, through all that is yet to come as we wait for the Lord’s return in glory, Christians can depend on the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit for assistance. With this assurance, we need not be concerned about exact dates and times, but only with fidelity and constancy in our discipleship.