Monday, 26 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of two of the disciples of St. Paul, that is St. Timothy and St. Titus. Yesterday, we celebrate the feast of their benefactor’s conversion, that is the conversion of St. Paul after he met the Lord Himself on the way to Damascus. St. Timothy and St. Titus followed St. Paul in his journeys on different and separate occasions, and they helped him in the spreading of the Good News of God to the people.

St. Timothy and St. Titus were both made and appointed as bishops of the early Church, the successors of the Holy Apostles. They were among the first bishops of the Church, who were to continue the works of the Apostles and the first disciples of Christ, carrying with them the same mission which Jesus our Lord had given to His Apostles, that is to bring all mankind to God, and to bear to them the witness of the Good News of Christ, of His life, His works, His death and resurrection from the dead, and to baptise them in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

In the first reading, we heard about how the Apostles passed on their mantle of leadership and service to the new generation of leaders, by the means of the laying of the hands on top of the heads of those who have been chosen as bishops, or overseers, that is those who had been entrusted with leadership in the Church, to become the leaders and shepherds of the people of God, overseeing the works of the priests and deacons in the areas given to them as their jurisdictions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the Gospel today from the Gospel according to St. Luke, we heard about how Jesus appointed the seventy-two disciples to be His servants and helpers, indeed to help the work of the Holy Apostles, by ministering to the people of God, preaching the Good News, healing the sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and to be shepherds to the people of God.

They were sent like sheep among wolves, to bring the Light of Christ among a people who dwelled in the darkness. And that also means that they have to endure dangers and persecutions while they conduct their mission, and they have to bare their own lives on the frontlines of the battle against the forces of darkness of this world. Such are the responsibilities these people bear for the sake of the Lord, and they have been chosen to bear those burden, that many would be saved.

St. Timothy and St. Titus, as well as the many other bishops and elders of the Church kept the faithful and the Church afloat amidst the difficult times, times of persecution and great martyrdoms of the people of God. Many bishops were martyred with their people, with the priests and the servants of God, but thanks to them, we have the faith which we received through our priests, and which they themselves received through the long chain of succession from bishops and priests and all the servants of God, passed on by the laying on of the hands.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us who heard these words of the Lord and the testimony of the faith of our predecessors ought to reflect, on what we need to do and what we can do to continue their works for the sake of the Lord and ultimately for the salvation of all mankind. We still have much work to do, and we should not remain idle, but we must be proactive in our faith.

This means that we have to live our faith with concrete and real actions. We have to love our brethren and help those who are in need. Practice our faith and let it be filled with genuine intention and not just for show or for garnering the praise of others. Let us all ask for the intercession of St. Timothy and St. Titus, that they may continue to inspire us, and pray for us, that our faith may be strengthened and become example for others to follow. May Almighty God be with us always. Amen.

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