Apostles are People Too!

1 Thessalonians 3:7-8
For this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith; for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

The danger of greatness is that you might wind up crystallizing into stained glass, fading into legend, growing into a giant or dwindling into a plaster saint.  Poor St. Paul has faced all these fates, and others, since the day his head rolled away from the axe and he finally stood before his Lord in glory.  But, perhaps because he feared being an idol more than death, he left us a record of his struggles, fears and neediness in the New Testament.  In that record, we find not only an apostle graced by the Holy Spirit for a titanic work, but a weak human being who needed comfort and solace as much as you or me.  When Paul went to Thessalonica, he only had a couple of weeks to found the Church before local thugs rode him out of town on a rail.  Consequently, he was worried sick about the infant believers he left behind there.  When he finally got word that they were holding on, living holy lives and celebrating Jesus in the face of a hostile culture, he was relieved and overjoyed.  Today’s verse records his happiness at the good news.  It also points out something vital for us:  if even the great apostle Paul depended on the ordinary schmoes of Thessalonica to be sacraments of God’s peace to him, how much more does your priest need to know that his toil on your behalf is making a difference in your life?  Today, find a way to let your priest know that you appreciate his work in the vineyard on your behalf.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage