Saturday, 26 January 2019 : 2nd 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 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.

Saturday, 26 January 2019 : 2nd 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.’”

Saturday, 26 January 2019 : 2nd 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.

Saturday, 26 January 2019 : 2nd 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.

Friday, 26 January 2018 : 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 after the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, the feast for two of his close confidants and friends, St. Timothy and St. Titus, to each of whom St. Paul wrote a letter, as recorded in the Scriptures, as the Epistle to St. Timothy and to St. Titus. Both of them were important leaders of the early Church, as those who were first appointed and chosen to become the overseers of the Church, the first of the bishops.

They were the ones whom the Apostles appointed to help in the management and governance of the Church, which at that time had rapidly spread throughout many cities, towns and villages throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond. With more and more people coming to the faith and were baptised, there was an ever greater need for more shepherds and guides in their faith.

And as more and more priests and deacons were chosen from among the people, dedicating their whole lives to God, the bishops like St. Timothy and St. Titus worked hard to build up the Church, guiding the people and those who serve the Lord as their shepherds. They follow in the example of the one and only Good Shepherd of all, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is their role model, and following His examples, they all performed what the Lord had commanded them to do.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Jesus sending His seventy-two other disciples ahead of Him, to be the ones who prepare the path for His coming. The Lord told them to be prepared, as they would be sent like lambs sent to be among the wolves. This means that it would be likely for them to encounter challenges and difficulties during their mission, facing ridicule, rejection and even persecution.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus also mentioned that while the harvest was plentiful, but the labourers available to gather the harvest were few and insufficient. He called for the faithful to heed the Lord’s call, to embrace the mission of the Church, as the labourers to help fulfil God’s good works and graces among His people. And this is what our courageous priests and bishops have done, answering God’s call and following Him.

Yet, there are truly many challenges that they have to face, exactly just as what the Lord forewarned His disciples, that they would face those adversaries and tribulations during their mission. And yet, still, many of us as Christians, we do not support what they have been doing for our good and for the good of the Church at large, and instead, we slander them and even gossip about them, and made things difficult for them.

On this time and age, there is an ever greater need for the Church to have faithful and dedicated servants of the Lord, through whom God may be able to perform His wonderful deeds, calling more and more of His people to salvation and redemption in His Name. We need more devoted priests and bishops, those who are willing to spend their time, effort and attention, to call God’s people back to Him through repentance, and dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to Him.

It is getting increasingly difficult to find those who are willing to give their all to the Lord, as temptations after temptations, one after another, are always around to tempt more and more young men who have been called by the Lord. If we as Christians do not lend them our support, then it is not a surprising result that there are increasingly more and more problems facing the candidature to priesthood and religious life.

Let us all therefore do our best, as Christians, to take care of all those who have given themselves to the Lord, by providing our support and help, by encouraging them and giving them the backup they need. Let all those who are among us, who have been called by the Lord, heed His call and respond to His words speaking to us in the depths of our heart.

May the Lord bless all of our shepherds, so that they may imitate the examples of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord, particularly the glorious and ever faithful St. Timothy and St. Titus, in serving Him and the people of God. May the Lord awaken in our hearts, the ever stronger desire to love Him and to devote ourselves to Him, day after day. St. Timothy and St. Titus, pray for us. Amen.

Friday, 26 January 2018 : 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.’”

Friday, 26 January 2018 : 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.