1 Thess 4:13-18 / Luke 4:16-30
A pattern in the spiritual life is that after a spiritual experience of God's love, what will follow is a challenge.
In the brightness and warmth of a God-experience, there is the dark and ever-lurking shadows.
From the 1st reading, we can know what was bothering the Thessalonians.
Their faith in Jesus have lifted them and given them hope and meaning in life.
Yet the deaths of their fellow believers also grieved them, and maybe even shook their faith because they were expecting Jesus to come back soon and reward them for their faith.
So St. Paul had to encourage them and tell them to keep their eyes fixed on heaven.
Even for Jesus, when He began His ministry, was filled with zest and the zeal of the Spirit.
Yet, in His own hometown, He met with rejection and even His life was endangered.
So for every experience of God's love, let us give thanks to God and let us deepen our faith in Him.
But when the shadows of doubt and crisis start to loom over us, let us do as what St. Paul told the Thessalonians.
Let us keep our eyes fixed on heaven, and our hearts fixed on God who loves us.
For nothing can ever separate us from the love of God as long as we focus our faith on Him.