Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, bishops
(II Timothy 1:1-8; Mark 4:6-34)
St. Timothy and St. Titus accompanied St. Paul in various parts of his missionary journeys. They served as his assistants with tasks like carrying his letters and evaluating the needs of the communities Paul founded. Eventually both came to lead Christian communities that were associated with Paul. Timothy became what might be called “bishop of Ephesus” and Titus, “bishop of Crete.”
Today’s first reading emphasizes the continual reliance of Church leaders on faith. They may be so preoccupied in giving commands that their relation with the Lord wanes. On the other hand, they may become discouraged when few people express interest in their teaching or prayer. If their faith falters, leaders cannot bring others to truly know the Lord. As Paul writes, leaders are to stir up the faith that is within them by constant meditation and prayer. Doing so, they will more ably assist their people to eternal life.
Most of us have leadership responsibilities for which our faith serves well. Parents, of course, have the physical and spiritual welfare of their children as a primary obligation. On the job we want to convey confidence and concern to co-workers so that common objectives may be met. Among friends we give tender care so that they may live with integrity.