Monday, January 25, 2010

JANUARY 26 SAINTS TIMOTHY AND TITUS


 
Sts. Timothy and Titus,
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
JANUARY 26

SAINTS TIMOTHY AND TITUS, BISHOPS
MEMORIAL
 

Biographical Information about St. Timothy[1]
Biographical Information about St. Titus

Readings for the Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING

First Option
 
2 Timothy 1:1-8

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,
to Timothy, my dear child:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God,
whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did,
as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears,
so that I may be filled with joy,
as I recall your sincere faith
that first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice
and that I am confident lives also in you.

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.
 

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Commentary on
2 Tm 1:1-8

St. Paul writes to one of his key disciples, St. Timothy, from Rome where he is a prisoner. It is clear that the affection between the two of them is strong as Paul reminds him of his installation as Bishop ("…the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands”). Paul encourages Timothy to remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, even in the face of opposition.

CCC: 2 Tm 1:3 1794; 2 Tm 1:5 2220; 2 Tm 1:6 1577, 1590; 2 Tm 1:8 2471, 2506
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OR

Second Option
 
Titus 1:1-5

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child In our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.
For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you.
 

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Commentary on
Titus 1:1-5

This selection is the introduction to St. Paul’s letter to Titus. In the second paragraph he lets us know what Titus’ mission is – to form the Church on Crete (which according to the best scholarship, Paul himself never visited).


CCC: Ti 1:5-9 1577; Ti 1:5 1590
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
 
Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations
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Commentary on
Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

“Announce his salvation, day after day.” This song of praise to the Lord invites all humanity to participate in God’s salvation. “This psalm has numerous verbal and thematic contacts with Isaiah Chapters 40-55, as does Psalm 98. Another version of the psalm is 1 Chronicles 16:23-33.”[3]

CCC: Ps 96:2 2143
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GOSPEL
 
Luke 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like Iambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his pay.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
 

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Commentary on
Lk 10:1-9

It is only in the Gospel of St. Luke that we hear the story of Jesus sending the seventy (two). This event is supported by other non-biblical writings (see Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 265-c. 340) Church History, Book. 1). The instructions given to those sent out are very similar to the instructions given to the Twelve, as was the message they were sent to proclaim.

This selection emphasizes Jesus' early struggle to accomplish what he came to do by himself. We sense the humanness as he says: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few." We also find this event and statement in St. Matthew’s Gospel where instead of the 72 he names the 12 (Matthew 10:1-8). While in St. Matthew’s story Jesus sends them, first to the Hebrew people, St. Luke makes no such distinction.

This effort by Jesus was modeled on Moses’ leadership structure in which 70 elders were appointed (Numbers 11:24-25). It is also possible that the reference number 70 relates to the number of nations mentioned in Genesis 10. The disciples were sent two by two, a custom that would be replicated later in the post-resurrection missionary activities of the Church (see Acts 8:14; 15:39-40).

In another historical similarity, the disciples were sent without possessions, presumably depending upon the traditionally required hospitality for their support. Similar instructions were given by the Prophet Elisha as he sent his servant in 2 Kings 4:29.

The Lord’s instructions concerning this hospitality “…laborer deserves payment” is also quoted in St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:18b) and has further support in 1 Corinthians 9:7, 14. Those who labor on behalf of the Gospel and cannot take time to support themselves deserve the support of the community. In a final twist, the Lord’s instruction to “…eat what is set before you” sets aside Mosaic dietary laws (also 1 Corinthians 10:27 and Acts 10:25). It is a clear indication that the scope of their mission is to call all peoples to the Gospel.

CCC: Lk 10:1-2 765; Lk 10:2 2611; Lk 10:7 2122
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Reflection:

If Jesus walked the earth for the first time today instead of two thousand years ago, his story would have been instantly known around the world. Can you imagine? A man walks out of the desert in Israel and feeds five thousand people with a few fish and some bread. It would have been tweeted around the globe in minutes. His sermon on the mount would have been broadcast globally and his words debated endlessly on CNN.


It is difficult for us to imagine an era when such amazing things could have been lost because they happened in obscure regions of the world. News, even news of such magnitude, was passed by word of mouth. Insulated small communities, like the Hebrew community around Jerusalem, could have and almost did suppress God’s message completely.

The Lord used a slower but more flexible medium to spread the word. He used people. He called them, first the Apostles and St. Paul. They in turn found others whose faith allowed them to hear and understand the truth of the Gospel. Sts. Timothy and Titus were of this generation. They received the Gospel of Christ from St. Paul who charged them to take it where it had not been before, being faithful to what they had been given and fearlessly take it into the world.

Saints like Timothy and Titus are important, not just for what they did in bringing the word of God into the world, but also for their example to us. Imagine how difficult it was for them to bring Christ to those who had never heard of him. We are asked to do the same, although it’s not likely that we will find anyone who has never heard of the Lord.

Today we ask for the intercession of Sts. Titus and Timothy. We ask that they send us their prayers and strengthen us for our evangelical journey. May we proclaim the Lord with all we say and do.
Pax


[1] The Icon is of Sts. Timothy and Titus, Artist and Date are UNKNOWN 
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. 
[3] See NAB footnote on Psalm 96

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