4 Oct 2019 | Posted by: chadmin
This week we again read from St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy. Paul reminds Timothy that he received the gift of God through the imposition of Paul’s hands. This is a reference to the Ordination Rite and a reminder for Timothy that he is an ordained priest. “God did not give you a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” Paul is certainly challenging Timothy to have courage as a priest in the anti-Christian climate of the first century world. As with all Scripture, there are messages for all of us. While we are not all priests, we all accept the challenge of Paul’s words to “not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.” No matter when we live, speaking truth can be a cause of much division and deep conflict. Truth is certainly something that can divide people. We can often see people resisting obvious truths held by many but others choosing to disagree. When we are speaking of the Bible and theology, we speak of objective truths revealed by God that are not subject to opinion. Obviously, we respect the ability of all people to make up their own minds, but Christ reveals that He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” While this requires belief by people because some of the “truths” involve eternal realities, not all truth requires acceptance of the “unseen” things mentioned in our Creed. Sometimes avoiding cowardice is being kind, generous, and authentic while the world pushes words and actions that are spiritually unhealthy. We read the Scriptures and attend Mass to receive the courage needed to love like Christ. We believe the Blessed Virgin to be without sin, which means she is filled with truth. May our desire for truth lead us away from sin and division toward the gates of heaven one day.
As Jesus tells a story in Luke’s Gospel this week, He invites us to say “we have done what we were obliged to do.” Jesus uses the role of a servant living in obedience to set the frame for how we respond to God’s law. The commandments of God exist to teach us truth and guide us toward union with Him. Christ wants us to see the laws of God exist for our good. If we approach God’s law and truth as that which obliges us, it removes the process of seeking reward. We follow God’s law because we want to show our love for God not to get something out of it. While we all seek heaven, heaven is something that we receive and not something we take. If we maintain the attitude of a servant seeking to do the will of a master, then we will live in the Love of God who is Truth. Jesus says the truth sets us free. Freedom is for loving the God who loves us. When we love we seek to do the good for the other. Our love for God is a simple call to do what we obliged to do by following God’s Will. God’s Will is eternal life and that gift of heaven is what Jesus promises those who follow His law. Have a great week.