Timothy and Titus, Bishops
1st Reading: 2 Tim 1:1-8 (or Titus 1:1-5)
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you. For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.
Gospel: Lk 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his pay. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”
PEACE TO THIS HOUSEHOLD: Peace be with you, is the greeting that Christ uses to his fearful disciples after his resurrection. He wants that his disciples use the same, in every new encounter with others. Paul incorporates it in almost all his letters “…peace from God the Father…”. It is the greeting a bishop uses to introduce the faithful to the Eucharistic Celebration. As we celebrate the Bishops Timothy and Titus, we are reminded to share peace and wishes of wellbeing with others. This peace, wellbeing and health comes from God through Jesus Christ. We participate in being channels of peace to others. Before we proclaim the Kingdom of God, we are to pray for peace within us and among those we are called to serve. Peace and tranquility characterizes the life of a righteous person. With peace, like Paul, we shall realise the gifts we have received from the Lord.
Prayer: Lord make us instruments of your peace.
MISSION WITH A DIFFERENCE: Jesus appoints seventy-two disciples for the purpose of helping people both to hear and accept His teachings. Their assistance was needed, not for some future date after Jesus had ascended into heaven but during the time He was there in flesh. Perhaps Jesus sensed that his time was short! They worked in pairs to give support and companionship to each other. This was a new method of Jesus to reach out to the people as against the existing system of that time. Imagine what tremendous results could be achieved if our churches, each day would send out seventy-two Christian believers to work in the community. These teams of disciples could show the poor how they can be spiritually rich and convey to those in the inner city that there is hope. The thirty-six pairs of disciples could comfort the dying with the message that in other world they will have another opportunity to live. The public, in general, could find encouragement in the wonderful messages from Psalms. How happy some would be to hear modern-day disciples speak of God’s law refreshing the soul?
COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP: Today we celebrate the feast of Saints Timothy and Titus. These are the second generation of apostles who are emerging to be Bishops in the churches that were founded by the apostles, in the case of Timothy and Titus the churches were founded by St Paul. They are comparable to the seventy-two other disciples in a circle next to that of the apostles. We thank God for their courageous leadership that the Good News has been passed on to us. Today it is our turn. Today, we see temptation to escape from leadership roles in the Church, or other times to turn responsibilities of service to political authoritative positions. The feast that we celebrate today invites us to avoid these two extremes and to exhibit courageous leadership for the sake of Christ and his Gospel.