Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved 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—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God,
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.
Both Timothy and Titus, whose feasts we celebrate today, were friends and companions of St. Paul who helped spread the Gospel to new areas. They came from different backgrounds. Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father who followed his mother and grandmother in becoming Christian, and Titus was a Gentile who, tradition says, was baptized by Paul after his own conversion. But both men became bishops in the early Church, and evangelized and ministered in new Christian communities. They responded to God’s invitation, through Paul, to share their gifts to help build the kingdom.
In today’s reading, Paul reminds Timothy to “rekindle the gift of God that is within you,” or “stir into flame the gift of God that you have” in other translations. We may not receive a personal letter from St. Paul in the mail, but each of us can be reminded of the gifts that we have been given by God, and our responsibility to take and use those gifts for the good of others. What is something that needs to be rekindled in your life?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Loving God, you invited Timothy and Titus to use the gifts you had given them in service of new Christian communities. Help me to recognize the gifts you have given me and give me the courage to stir them into flame to be used for your greater glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team