Order and disorder mark out the poles of the argument in the Catholic Church. Paul does the same for the Thessalonians in the second reading, using himself as the paragon of orderliness. The Greek word chosen here reflects a military backdrop as in the arrangement of troops prepared for battle, the success dependent on sustaining the order. Order leads to victory because no one breaks ranks.

For Paul he describes this order as conforming oneself to Paul who boasts that he has been conformed Christ. Secondly it includes making some positive contribution to the community; remember that Paul was a tentmaker. The gossips in the community are the disorderly ones, so minding one’s business maintains the orderliness, There’s also a hint that the more quiet person is the more orderly person. The community shares its food and work; the two pieces are connected.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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