Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of two important figures in the early Church, the followers of Christ and the protege of St. Paul the Apostle whose conversion to the faith we have just celebrated the day before. St. Timothy and St. Titus were two early bishops and leaders of the Church, to whom St. Paul had written one Epistle to each one of them, relating to them the matters about the faith and the governance of the Church.
To them St. Paul emphasised on the gift of the Holy Spirit which God had bestowed on the Apostles, and which then was passed on to the successors of the Apostles, which included St. Timothy and St. Titus, among the first bishops of the Church together with the earliest followers of Christ. In this we saw how the Lord performed His wonderful works among His people, continuing the mission which He had entrusted to His Church.
In the Gospel passage today, we heard about the moment when Lord Jesus sent forth His followers and disciples ahead of Him, the first seventy-two disciples on top of the Twelve Apostles He had chosen. These were sent in order to prepare the path for His coming, as they were sent to the towns and villages to where the Lord Himself would be travelling. They were sent to proclaim the Good News and to bring the truth of God’s salvation to His people.
And this work did not end with the Passion, suffering and death of the Lord on the cross. For after He had risen from the dead, He appeared to His disciples, emphasising the same mission which He had entrusted to His Church, all of His followers and disciples for them to carry out, for the salvation of all mankind, of as many souls as possible. And before He ascended into heaven, He commanded them all to go forth to the nations, proclaiming the Good News and to baptise all the people in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
This was the same mission which St. Paul and the other Apostles then entrusted to St. Timothy and St. Titus, as were many other bishops who had been chosen from among the faithful, to be the shepherds in charge of the local communities of God’s faithful people. They went forth to various places, spreading the Good News and caring for the needs of the people, especially their spiritual sustenance in the Lord.
Many of them had to even suffer persecutions and painful torture for their courageous efforts and for their ceaseless works for the sake of the Lord. They had to endure rejection and also various temptations and difficulties, and yet because of their perseverance, so many people through the ages had been saved. Through various ages and moments, the Apostles, disciples and followers of the Lord had done all they could to bring His Good News to more and more of the people still living in the darkness of sin.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, how significant are all these things to us? They are very significant indeed! For each and every one of us who are Christians and profess our faith in God are also part of this work and ministry which the Lord had first entrusted to His Apostles and disciples, and there are still indeed vast areas where the works of the Lord are still continuing and are needed. Many souls are still yet to be saved because of sin.
Therefore, each and every one of us, and not just the priests and bishops, must follow in the footsteps of the disciples of the Lord, and today in particular we focus on the life and dedication of St. Timothy and St. Titus, holy bishops and leaders of the Church, in their commitment to serve the Lord, in their upright life and actions, in all the things that they have done for the sake of the salvation of all mankind.
Let us all lead a faithful and committed life in our own respective areas, and let us all be true and living witnesses of faith for the Lord and for His people, that by witnessing our actions and our living faith, by our love for one another and by our obedience to the will of God, we will bring all peoples, many more souls to salvation in our loving God. May God bless us all, and all of our good works of faith, now and always. Amen.