January 26, 2022
Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we have the beautiful letter from Paul to Timothy, filled with tenderness, encouragement, hope and the sweet suggestion of loving memories.
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God2 Tim 1:1
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.
On life’s road, what an indescribable blessing to have even one companion who loves us the way Paul loved Timothy — to care for our whole life, our whole soul, and our whole “forever”.
In his letter, Paul reveals that Timothy has been immensely blessed with such love throughout his life. Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois have already – for many years – tendered Timothy in the faith.
I think gratefully of my own mother today, on the 34th anniversary of her death. How indescribably blessed I have been by her love and faith!
In this heartfelt epistle, Paul notes that he prays for Timothy daily. Perhaps as you read his words you may, like me, think of those who have nurtured and cared for you in a way similar to Paul’s love for Timothy; to Eunice’s and Lois’s love for him.
Do we pray for those who have blessed us and loved us in our lives? Do we tell them so, if they are living? Do we thank and remember them if they have gone home to God?
Paul closes this part of his letter with such a powerful charge to Timothy:
For this reason,
I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have
through the laying on of my hands.
In other words, it is not enough just to be grateful for such gifts. We must use them to light and warm a next generation of believers and faith-filled lovers.
For those who have done otherwise, may we forgive them and, as best we can, release them to God’s Mercy. Perhaps they, by the grace of God, have left us with another kind of “gift” — as Mary Oliver has written:
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
Poetry: God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs — Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Music: for your remembering prayer: James Last – Coulin