Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
(II Timothy 1:1-8; Mark 4:26-34)
Joe Paterno will be remembered as one of the greatest college football coaches. Although his records will be surpassed in time, his standing as a man will likely live on in eternity. Football was not his whole life. He was a humanist, remarkably conversant in Latin poetry; a philanthropist, who donated millions of dollars to charity; and evidently a faithful Catholic, who took Jesus’ command to love seriously. Much about him seems to have been done in an air of humility that characterizes Jesus in the gospel of Mark.
Jesus never shines a light on himself. He never says, “I am the Son of God; listen to me.” Rather he becomes the Son of God for others, a light revealing divine goodness and love. He preaches, heals, and provides people food to eat. In today’s passage he tells his followers that his genuineness should be self-evident: “’Anyone who has ears ought to hear.’” In other words, if you cannot tell that Jesus has a transcendent quality like God, you have defective hearing and sight.
At his best Joe Paterno showed his family, players, and country a little of what Jesus is like. We strive to do the same. There is really no need of broadcasting that we believe in Jesus among friends. However, we want to show everyone that we follow Jesus by unpretentiously imitating his ways.