From the Pastor January 29, 2017



4th Sunday

in Ordinary Time – A

 

My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory
Memorial and full set of orations is on Saints Timothy & Titus, Bishops, January 26.
Their feast day is the day after the Conversion of Saint Paul
since, as the Bible attests, they were often Saint Paul’s
companions; Saint Timothy for 19 trips and Saint Titus for 7 journeys. The Bible also has three of Saint Paul’s Letters to these two episcopal leaders: Saint Timothy, the first Bishop of Ephesus, and Saint Titus, the first Bishop of Crete. Here are their Mass orations.

 

Collect – Saints Timothy & Titus, Bishops

 

O God, who adorned Saints Timothy and Titus

with apostolic virtues, grant, through

the intercession of them both, that, living

justly and devoutly in this present age,

we may merit to reach our heavenly homeland.

Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.

 

TO LIVE JUSTLY & DEVOUTLY.
This phrase, taken from Saint Paul’s Letter to Titus, captures the tone of the Apostle’s Letter
to each Bishop. Saint
Paul
encouraged Saint
Timothy
to, among other things, ‘fight the good fight’
– and infuse faith into everyday, mundane tasks and into all church matters. In his first Letter
to Timothy,
Saint Paul
offers rubrics or liturgical guidelines and job descriptions for Bishops, Priests and Deacons, women and catechists. Paul
even told Timothy, who suffered from agita, to “stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” [1 Timothy 5:23] Thus Saint Timothy
is the patron saint of those with stomach ailments.

 

Saint Paul’s
brief Letter
to Titus
gives us a glimpse of early Church life in which Saint Titus, as Bishop, had to settle quarrels, reunite factions, clarify dogma and keep order. Though Saint Titus
was born of Gentile parents, Saint Paul
defended his right NOT to be circumcised … which some almost forcefully did to him! Since Saint
Timothy
was of ‘mixed breed’ [his mother was a Jew] Saint Paul
had Saint
Timothy
circumcised.] Saint Titus
is the patron of the US Army Chaplain Corps, which is awarded to outstanding Chaplains who infuse realistic, doctrinally guided ideas into our soldiers, as Saint Titus
once did to those in his Diocese of Crete.

 

Prayer over the Offerings – Saints Timothy & Titus

 

Receive, O Lord, we pray, the offerings of

your people, which we bring in celebration

of Saints Timothy and Titus, and,

in your kindness, render us fully acceptable

by giving us sincerity of heart.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

LIVING HOLY LIVES.
As is the case with most, if not all, those who lived in the early centuries of Church history, we have very few, if any, historically verifiable facts … though there are loads of legends and pious tales that are, at best, loosely rooted in reality. But the Bible is not a history or science book, though it uses history and science; it is a book of FAITH – and the true story of how God’s love, God’s wisdom, God’s plan took on flesh in Jesus … and continued – and is still going on – through His disciples. So – just as future generations will know little, if anything, factual about us … do we strive to know our Faith, spread our Faith and give witness to our Faith as did Saint Timothy, Saint Titus and all the Saints?

 

Prayer after Communion – Saints Timothy & Titus

 

May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord our God, nourish in us that faith taught by

the preaching of the Apostles and kept safe

by the labors of Saints Timothy and Titus.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

DO WE ALSO PASS ON THE MESSAGE?

We do not personally hear the powerful words of Saint Paul or receive any of his Letters via email, snail mail, a text message, etc. Nor do we have the honor, as did Saints Timothy and Titus, to travel with an Apostle in spreading the Good News … or do we? Whenever we read the Bible, especially at holy Mass … Jesus, Saint Paul, Saint Peter and all the others DO speak to us! When we serve in a ministry overseen, mandated or instituted by a Bishop … we are travelling with an Apostle! What labor or labors do you offer through the Church so that – like Saint Timothy and Saint Titus – the Gospel is spread through you? Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, pray for us!

 

In His holy Name,


 

 

 

Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS