REFLECTION CAPSULE – January 26, 2022: Wednesday

“Avoiding all ‘lame’ excuses and wholeheartedly accepting the Mission Mandate of the Lord, inspired by the example of St Timothy and St Titus!”

(Based on Titus 1:1-5 and Lk 10:1-9 – Feast of St Timothy and St Titus)

A lady – affected much with polio – and able to walk with just one leg approached a visa desk to go to the missions in the land of Africa.

She had been greatly influenced by the call of the Lord in the Gospels, to “be a missionary” and so decided to give her life totally for the missions.

The visa officer – himself a Christian – after reviewing and verifying her documents, had one last question to be ask, before giving the approval: “Can you give me a convincing answer as to why, with just one leg, you are taking up this risky mission journey?”

The lady, with a grin replied: “Well, I don’t find those with two legs going!”

The visa request was immediately granted!

Zeal for missions… zeal for reaching out in help and service
… is a task entrusted to every Christian.

Do we wholeheartedly accept this responsibility…
… or do we make ‘lame’ excuses and avoid this mandate?

Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of St Timothy and St Titus…
… Bishops in the early Church and close companions of St Paul

St Timothy…
… (came from Lystra in present-day Turkey) was the son of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father

After St. Paul’s visit to Timothy’s home region of Lycaonia, around the year 51, the young man joined the apostle and accompanied him in his travels.
St Paul later sent him to Thessalonica to help the Church during a period of persecution.
Later, they came together in Corinth, and Timothy accompanied Paul on many of his missionary travels.

Around the year 64, Timothy became the first bishop of the Church of Ephesus.

In the year 93 AD, during his leadership of the Church in Ephesus, he took a stand against the worship of idols and was consequently killed by a mob.

St. John retreated to Ephesus before eventually dying on the island of Patmos, and that the Virgin Mary followed John to Ephesus, living in a house above the town.

It is also quite possible, that St. Timothy – being the Bishop of Ephesus – also had interactions with Mother Mary and St John, who had (as many scholars say and many writings testify) spent their last years in Ephesus.

St Timothy therefore would have drunk from the deepest wells of the Christian tradition – hearing about the life of Christ from the lips of the most important witnesses of His Life and Death!

St Titus…
… was born into a pagan family – is said to have studied Greek philosophy and poetry in his early years. >> He pursued a life of virtue, and purportedly had a prophetic dream that caused him to begin reading the Hebrew Scriptures.

According to tradition, Titus journeyed to Jerusalem and witnessed the preaching of Christ during the Lord’s ministry on earth….
… only later, however – after the conversion of St. Paul and the beginning of his ministry – did Titus receive baptism from the apostle, who called the pagan convert his “true child in our common faith.”

St Titus accompanied Paul to the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem during the year 51, and was later sent to the Corinthian Church on two occasions.
After the end of Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, the apostle ordained Titus as the Bishop of Crete…
… He is credited with leading the Church of Crete, overturning paganism and promoting the faith through his prayers and preaching.

These two great saints teach us important lessons on living as a follower of Christ…
… Christ reminds and exhorts every one of us: “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves…” (Lk 10:2-3)

  1. Being ready to face any challenge or opposition in being a witness to the Gospel

St Timothy and St Titus had to face innumerable opposition – from within community, from the persecutors around, in their mission journeys etc
… yet to remained firm and faithful to their mission mandate

Are we ready to brave every challenge to be a Courageous witness of the Gospel in our own life situations?

  1. Readiness to depend on the Lord for everything

Giving heed to the words of the Lord to his missionary apostles, “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road.” (Lk 10:4)…
… we are reminded on the need to avoid reliance on material dimensions of life; instead to have our dependence totally on the Lord!
St Timothy and St Titus experienced the fruits of this “total dependence” in their ministries!

Can we let go of our various attachments and trust deeper in the Providence of the Lord?

  1. Untiring zeal and passion for the Kingdom

St Timothy and St Titus accompanied St Paul in his missionary journeys…
… and learnt the “art of passionate zeal for missions” in imitation of Christ

Are we ready to be enrolled into the school of Jesus, the Greatest Missionary and learn from him the “art of passionate zeal for missions?”

Zeal for missions… zeal for reaching out in help and service
… is indeed a task entrusted to every Christian.

God has blessed us immensely with many good things…
… and it is our duty to put all these blessings and graces for the Glory of the Lord

Do we wholeheartedly accept this responsibility…
… or do we make ‘lame’ excuses and avoid this mandate?

May the missionary zeal of St Timothy and St Titus inspire us…
… and help us to “rekindle the gift of God that is within…” (Cf. 2 Tim 1:6)

Happy Feast of St Timothy and St Titus!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“All generations will call me blessed”
“The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.”
The Church rightly honours “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honoured with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs….
This very special devotion … differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.”

The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary. (CCC # 971)

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