Homily for Wednesday, Jan, 26, Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
Download audio (MP3)
Yesterday we celebrated the feast of the conversion of St Paul. Today, we celebrate the memorial of two saints who were disciples of St Paul: Timothy and Titus. St Paul, as an Apostle, was a bishop. Part of his mission was to ordain other bishops and ministers in the cities where he evangelized, so as to establish stable Church communities. We don’t know how many he ordained, but these two, Timothy and Titus, are known to us because Paul wrote letters to them, in which he spoke of the duties and qualities of good pastors.
The way today’s liturgy follows yesterday’s feast of St Paul really exemplifies the parable that Jesus tells in the Gospel today. St Paul traveled around the Mediterranean sowing the seeds of God’s Word far and wide. In some places, the Word fell on mostly deaf ears, like in Athens where his preaching was rejected by most of the people. In other places, St Paul was able to establish strong Church communities, under the care of men like Saints Timothy and Titus. St Paul left behind a trail of local churches and fervent Christians, many of whom became missionaries and saints in their own right. These communities, together with those established by the other Apostles, flourished and gave a full harvest of Christians in each generation, through times of persecution and times of prosperity, until today, when the number of Christians is estimated at more than 2 billion worldwide.
As always, when we remember the holiness and ministry of great saints of the past, we are also invited to let their example transform our own lives. The preaching and example of St Paul inspired saints like Sts. Timothy and Titus. They in turn shepherded their local churches and passed on the faith. How many people have become Christians, or better Christians, because of our words and example? We can never know the full answer to that question in this life, because we can touch many people’s lives without ever knowing it. It can do us good to ask the question anyway, though, so we can give thanks to God for all the good He has done through us, and ask Him to help us to keep sowing the Word wherever we go. May Sts Paul, Timothy and Titus intercede for us that we too may bear abundant fruit for the kingdom of God.