But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s first reading, St. Paul’s counsels Titus on the best way to evangelize the developing church on the Mediterranean island of Crete. He exhorts Titus to say what is consistent with sound doctrine and suggests the special virtues that the people in the Christian community should acquire. The virtue of temperance or self-control is particularly emphasized in the reading.
The Catechism defines temperance as “the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods.” (CCC 1809). Certainly, temperance involves moderating excess consumption of material goods. But it can also serve as a way of bridging divides and encouraging more civil discourse.
As we reflect on the ways we practice and share the faith, perhaps we can identify areas of our lives that need self-control. In an environment where deep polarization and marked disagreements have taken center stage, how is God inviting us to model the truth of the Gospel temperately, justly and devoutly?
Prayer for generosity
Lord, teach me to be generous,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to look for any reward,
save that of knowing that I do your holy will.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola