1 Thessalonians Chapter 1

1 From Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of Thes salonica which is in God the Father and in Christ Jesus, the Lord.
May the peace and grace of God be with you.

2 We give thanks to God at all times for you and remember you in our prayers.

3 We constantly recall before God our Father the work of your faith, the labors of your love and your endurance in waiting for Christ Jesus our Lord.

4 We remember, brothers and sisters, the circumstances of your being called.

5 The gospel we brought you was such not only in words. Miracles, Holy Spirit and plenty of everything were given to you. You also know how we dealt with you for your sake.

6 In return, you became followers of us and of the Lord when, on receiving the word, you expe rienced the joy of the Holy Spirit in the midst of great opposition.

7 And you became a model for the faithful of Macedonia and Achaia,

8 since from you the word of the Lord spread to Mace donia and Achaia, and still farther. The faith you have in God has become news in so many places that we need say no more about it.

9 Others tell of how you welcome us and turned from idols to the Lord. For you serve the living and true God,

10 and you wait for his Son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who frees us from impending trial.

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Comments 1 Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 1

• 1.1 Faith, endurance, love. For us, sometimes hope (or: endurance) goes unnoticed between faith and love. For Paul it has two important meanings:

¨C Those who hope bear trials and persecutions with patience and perseverance. That is why Paul speaks of faith, perseverance and love. As we know from the Gospel, hope is not an easy optimism; it is the capacity to endure when faced with trials.

¨C The person with hope looks forward to the glorious coming of Christ who will judge this world and take us to the next one. He frees us from impending punish ment. In those years, all believers were convinced that judgment was imminent and that they would witness Christ¡¯s coming.

The Gospel we brought you was such not only in words (v. 5). There were many signs, miracles and other manifestations in Thes sa lonica. Perhaps God increased the signs in view of the coming persecution; since very soon there would not be many with adequate formation to orient the community. In fact the Gospel cannot be proclaimed without God doing something to confirm it (Mk 16:17). Jesus criticized those who came to him to see miracles, but he performed miracles throughout his ministry. Let us not say: ¡°I do not need miracles to believe.¡± Human beings as we are, we will have quite a different enthusiasm if we see that God is beside us, doing the incredible to confirm his word.