Thursday, 26 January 2023 : 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 the Church celebrates the Feast of two of the earliest bishops and leaders of the Church, as the successors of the Apostles and in this case, as the protege of St. Paul the Apostle. St. Timothy and St. Titus were two of the Lord’s disciples who collaborated closely with St. Paul during his missionary works and journeys, and they were addressed by St. Paul each with an Epistle, as he wrote to both of them exhorting them to remain faithful to God and to do the will and the works of God to the best of their ability. St. Paul reminded them all of the role of the oversees or elders, also later known as bishops in the community of the people of God, as the exemplary role model that become the foundation and pillars of the Church and the Christian community.

According to tradition, St. Timothy was born in Lycaonia in Asia Minor, to a mixed parentage of a Greek father and a Jewish Christian convert mother. He likely had become a Christian believer as well and met St. Paul during his second missionary journey throughout the Mediterranean region. He was a respected member of the local Christian community, and his maternal family was also noted for their faith, with his maternal grandmother and mother were also noted for their piety and faith. St. Timothy dedicated his life henceforth as a great shepherd for the flock entrusted to him, as St. Paul placed him in Ephesus to care for the faithful there, and for many years, he accompanied St. Paul and then, afterwards, served the Church faithfully for many decades. In the end, it was told that when he was already eighty years old, he tried to stop a procession of pagan idols all around the city. He was arrested, harassed and finally stoned to death, dying as a martyr.

Meanwhile, St. Titus was a Greek who became a follower of St. Paul and was likely converted by the latter, as he accompanied St. Paul during his missions as a companion and interpreter. St. Titus went with St. Paul to many places including Jerusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, Macedonia and more places, gaining more experiences and wisdom along the journey. St. Titus was then left at Crete and entrusted by St. Paul to be the bishop and overseer of all the faithful in that island, because St. Paul held St. Titus in high esteem, entrusting him with the important mission of caring for the needs of the faithful in Crete, who back then had no shepherd to look after them. St. Titus henceforth became that leader and guide of many among the faithful people of God, and while the latter details about him are more scant than that of St. Timothy, it was likely that St. Titus also died in martyrdom as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we all heard from the Scriptures and the lives of these two glorious saints of God, St. Timothy and St. Titus, each one of us are reminded to be more like them in our own faith and way of life. We should do our best in order to live our lives in a more Christian way, following the examples of the Apostles and the saints, as the dedication showed by St. Timothy and St. Titus in their respective lives should have shown us. Their commitment to God, their zeal in serving the faithful entrusted to them as their bishops, the time and effort that they must have given to glorify the Lord and to help His people are truly what we should be doing in our own lives as well. St. Timothy and St. Titus showed us all as Christians that we cannot be idle in our lives and that our actions and way of life should be exemplary and worthy as far as possible so that we will not end up causing scandal and distancing people away from the salvation through the Church of God.

That was what St. Paul himself exhorted his two protege, St. Timothy and St. Titus, that the role of bishops were truly very important one for the Church. St. Paul highlighted how the bishops must be selected and elected from among those whose lives were truly good and worthy of God, filled with holiness and righteousness, devotion and commitment to God. Those who were to be chosen as bishops ought not to have been living immorally or against the teachings of the Christian faith, but they must be good role models through their lives and actions, and they have to be filled with the love both for God and for their fellow men and women, fulfilling what the Lord has told His disciples to do, to be faithful to His Law and commandments of Love.

How about us? The same parameters and expectations can be expected of us as well. All of us should live our lives worthily of the Lord and dedicate ourselves at every opportunities provided to us in order to obey the Lord and His commandments faithfully. We should not cause our lives to be a source of embarrassment and scandal for the Lord and His Church, and we have also been constantly called and reminded to adhere ever more closely to the path that God has shown us. All of us should spend more time to deepen our relationship with the Lord and also make the conscious effort to be ever more attuned to Him and His path. Each and every one of us should draw ever closer to God and become ever more filled with Christian grace and commitment, with each and every passing moments in our lives each day.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called and reminded to be more like St. Timothy and St. Titus in serving the Lord, in loving Him and our fellow brothers and sisters more and more. Let us ask ourselves if we have been faithful and true to our faith in God, or whether we have allowed ourselves to be swayed by the many temptations of worldly desires and pleasures that we end up falling deeper and deeper into the path of sin and evil. We are called to be better examples and role models of our Christian faith, and the best way for this to happen, is for each one of us to strive to be righteous, just and committed at all times, and not be lukewarm and ignorant in our faith. How can we convince others to believe in God if our own actions do not reflect this strong and profound love that we should have in the Lord?

May the Lord continue to guide and strengthen us in each and every moments throughout our lives. May He empower each one of us that we will always be ever more courageous and committed to live our lives with ever greater faith and love for God and for our fellow men. May God bless our every actions, good efforts, works and endeavours, and may St. Timothy and St. Titus, holy servants of God, intercede for us all sinners. Amen.

Thursday, 26 January 2023 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 10 : 1-9

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of Him, to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them : ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’”

Thursday, 26 January 2023 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 95 : 1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

Sing to YHVH a new song, sing to YHVH, all the earth! Sing to YHVH, praise His Name.

Proclaim His salvation, day after day. Recall His glory among the nations, tell all the peoples His wonderful deeds.

Give to YHVH, you families of nations, give to YHVH glory and strength. Give to YHVH the glory due His Name.

Say among the nations, “YHVH reigns!” He will judge the peoples with justice.

Thursday, 26 January 2023 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Timothy 1 : 1-8

From Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, for the sake of His promise of eternal life, in Christ Jesus, to my dear son Timothy. May grace, mercy and peace be with you, from God, the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I give thanks to God, Whom I serve with a clear conscience, the way my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly, day and night, in my prayers. I recall your tears, and I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, so like the faith of your grandmother Lois and of your mother Eunice, which I am sure you have inherited.

For this reason, I invite you to fan into a flame, the gift of God you received, through the laying on of my hands. For God did not confer on us a spirit of fearfulness, but of strength, love and good judgment. Do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord, nor of seeing me in chains. On the contrary, do your share in labouring for the Gospel, with the strength of God.

Alternative reading

Titus 1 : 1-5

From Paul, servant of God, Apostle of Christ Jesus, at the service of God’s chosen people, so that they may believe, and reach the knowledge of truth and godliness. The eternal life we are waiting for was promised from the very beginning, by God, Who never lies, and as the appointed time had come, He made it known, through the message entrusted to me by a command of God, our Saviour.

Greetings to you, Titus, my true son in the faith we share. May grace and peace be with you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I left you in Crete because I wanted you to put right, what was defective, and appoint elders in every town, following my instructions.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022 : 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 all celebrate the feast of St. Timothy and St. Titus, the two followers and friends of St. Paul the Apostle, who were among the first bishops of the Church, as the successors of the Apostles. It was fitting that we celebrate them today as yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, as a reminder for us just how significant the contributions that St. Paul, formerly Saul, a great enemy of the Christian faithful turned a most ardent defender of the faith, had in the early history of the Church.

St. Timothy and St. Titus were close friends and collaborators of St. Paul, and St. Paul wrote his letters and Epistles to them just as he had written to the many other Christian communities out there. St. Paul encouraged and reminded them throughout his Epistles, the beginning of which is our first reading today, to ever be faithful to God and to spread the truth that they themselves have received, and the Spirit of God that they have been given through the laying of the hands by the Apostles.

Just as God has called St. Paul to be His follower and to spread the truth to all the people, therefore God has also called St. Timothy and St. Titus to be His followers as well, to dedicate themselves to His cause and to propagate His truth ever further to many more people throughout the whole world. They had been called to be the ones to continue the good works that the Apostles and the earliest disciples of the Lord had started. They were the ones to continue the building the Church after the firm foundation had been laid by the Apostles through their efforts.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the words of the Lord speaking to the disciples regarding what He was about to do, sending them out in pairs, to be the ones to do His work and precede Him wherever He was about to carry out His ministry. They were to be His assistants and the ones to allow His works and reach to find more people out there, that they might prepare more and more people to find the Lord and that they might come to believe in the Lord as well, as the reason why the Lord entrusted to them this ministry.

However, as the Lord Himself mentioned, they would be like lambs sent to be among wolves, and this means that their ministry and works would not be an easy and smooth-sailing one. On the contrary, it was likely that they would face a lot of opposition and even persecutions. They would face opposition and rejection from the Jewish authorities who have always rejected and refused to believe in the Lord, as well as from the other skeptics in the community, all those who have not come to believe in the Lord and refused to open their hearts and minds to welcome Him.

The Lord has made it clear at the same time, that He would be with them and will guide them and strengthen them along the way. He would not abandon them despite all the challenges that they might have to face for His sake. St. Timothy and St. Titus themselves were martyred for their faith, after many years in dedication to the people of God and to the flock which they were entrusted with. They devoted themselves wholeheartedly much like St. Paul, their inspiration and patron. All of them are themselves great inspiration of faith for all of us.

Today, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all called to reflect on our own lives and our own attitudes. Have we followed the Lord and acted as His good disciples all these while? To all of us who have received the gift of baptism and have become a part of the Church, we have all been given the same mission that God has entrusted to His Apostles and disciples, that as mentioned earlier, to continue the works of those who have preceded us in laying the establishment of the Church and its ministry, building upon all that the Apostles, the saints and martyrs like St. Timothy and St. Titus and others had done.

Let us all discern carefully our choice of actions in life and think of what we can do from now on, if we have not yet done so, to be the true disciples of the Lord, not just in name only but also in actions and true deeds. Let us all be inspirations for one another in how we live our lives and in how we devote our time, energy and efforts to glorify the Lord at our every living moments. May God bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 10 : 1-9

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of Him, to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them : ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’”

Wednesday, 26 January 2022 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 95 : 1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

Sing to YHVH a new song, sing to YHVH, all the earth! Sing to YHVH, praise His Name.

Proclaim His salvation, day after day. Recall His glory among the nations, tell all the peoples His wonderful deeds.

Give to YHVH, you families of nations, give to YHVH glory and strength. Give to YHVH the glory due His Name.

Say among the nations, “YHVH reigns!” He will judge the peoples with justice.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Timothy 1 : 1-8

From Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, for the sake of His promise of eternal life, in Christ Jesus, to my dear son Timothy. May grace, mercy and peace be with you, from God, the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I give thanks to God, Whom I serve with a clear conscience, the way my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly, day and night, in my prayers. I recall your tears, and I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, so like the faith of your grandmother Lois and of your mother Eunice, which I am sure you have inherited.

For this reason, I invite you to fan into a flame, the gift of God you received, through the laying on of my hands. For God did not confer on us a spirit of fearfulness, but of strength, love and good judgment. Do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord, nor of seeing me in chains. On the contrary, do your share in labouring for the Gospel, with the strength of God.

Alternative reading

Titus 1 : 1-5

From Paul, servant of God, Apostle of Christ Jesus, at the service of God’s chosen people, so that they may believe, and reach the knowledge of truth and godliness. The eternal life we are waiting for was promised from the very beginning, by God, Who never lies, and as the appointed time had come, He made it known, through the message entrusted to me by a command of God, our Saviour.

Greetings to you, Titus, my true son in the faith we share. May grace and peace be with you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I left you in Crete because I wanted you to put right, what was defective, and appoint elders in every town, following my instructions.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 : 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, on this day we celebrate the feast of two of Christendom’s great leaders and as counted among the earliest pillars and foundations of the Church through their great dedication and commitment to the cause of the Lord. St. Timothy and St. Titus were both close collaborators of St. Paul and the other Apostles, who were like the spiritual sons of St. Paul. They were travelling with St. Paul and were working with him at some point of time, ministering to the people of God and preaching the Word of God.

St. Paul and the Apostles entrusted to them the care of the flock of the faithful, becoming among the first ‘overseers’ of the Church, also later known as bishops, as predecessors of the episcopal system that we are all familiar with today. St. Timothy and St. Titus were great servants of God with great commitment and dedication to the Lord and His people, immensely contributing to the growth of the early Church and becoming good examples for their fellow Christians.

Both St. Timothy and St. Titus would eventually suffer martyrdom for their faith, as what was also very common at that time for many of the leaders of the Church and many others among the laypeople. They suffered for the sake of the Lord and the flock entrusted to them, and by their courageous defence of their faith they became inspiration for their fellow Christians, to be the leaders by example and to encourage all those who were filled with uncertainties and doubts in their faith.

In our Gospel passage today we heard the Lord commissioning and sending out His disciples to do the many works He has entrusted to them, to heal the sick and cast out evil spirits, to reveal the truth of God and His Good News to more and more people, to touch the lives of others and prepare the way for the Lord. He reminded all of them to be courageous and strong in faith, that although they would likely encounter challenges and difficulties throughout their journey but they would not be alone.

This is because God will guide them and be with them throughout the journey. He will provide for them and protect them, not allowing them to journey alone. He would strengthen them to bring forth His truth and peace to all the peoples of all the nations. That was all that the Lord did for all His servants, and many responded to His call and served Him. Many suffered and endured martyrdom for His sake, but they never gave up the faith

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in that same Gospel passage, the Lord also appealed to us all to follow Him, as He said that while the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. This means that although there are so many opportunities for the Word of God and for His salvation to be spread ever further throughout this world, saving many more souls, but there are so few to pick up the work and do what we can to advance the cause of the Lord.

This is where all of us come in, brethren, as each and every one of us are bound by our baptism to the same calling that the Lord had made to His Apostles, in His calling for all of them to go forth and proclaim His Good News and salvation to the nations. Their work are not yet done, and we are needed to contribute ourselves to this cause. Are we willing and able to follow in their footsteps? Are we willing to walk in the path that our predecessors, such as St. Timothy and St. Titus had traversed?

Let us all discern these carefully, and consider what we can do, even in the smallest ways, in the littlest of contributions, to be the bearers of God’s truth and light in this world. Let us all live our lives with genuine faith so that all those who see us and witness our actions and works, all of them will come to believe in God as well, and more and more will be saved, through us. May God help us all and strengthen our faith, and may the holy saints, St. Timothy and St. Titus, pray for us always. Amen.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 10 : 1-9

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of Him, to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them : ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’”