Thứ Tư, 25 tháng 1, 2017

JANUARY 26, 2017 : MEMORIAL OF SAINTS TIMOTHY AND TITUS, BISHOPS

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
Lectionary: 520/320

Reading I2 TM 1:1-8
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
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.

I am grateful to God,
whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did,
as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears,
so that I may be filled with joy, 
as I recall your sincere faith
that first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice
and that I am confident lives also in you.

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

or
Ti 1:1-5

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life 
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 7-8A, 10
R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

AlleluiaPS 119:105
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:21-25
Jesus said to his disciples,
"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; 
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear."
He also told them, "Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, 
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given; 
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."


Meditation: "The measure you give"
What does the image of light and a lamp tell us about God's kingdom? Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood "light" as an expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God. In his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105). God's grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, but it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace. 
Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God's kingdom. In fact, our mission is to be light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception.
Jesus remarks that nothing can remain hidden or secret. We can try to hide things from others, from ourselves, and from God. How tempting to shut our eyes from the consequences of our sinful ways and bad habits, even when we know what those consequences are. And how tempting to hide them from others and even from God. But, nonetheless, everything is known to God who sees all. 
There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God's light and who seek his truth. Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him; they will not lack what they need to live as Christ's disciples, and they will shine as lights to those who hunger for God's truth and wisdom. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God's light?
"Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersCalled to shine in the midst of darkness, by Tertullian, 160-225 A.D.
"Why does the Lord call us the light of the world? Why has he compared us to a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14)? Are we not called to shine in the midst of darkness, and stand up high for those most sunk down? If you hide your lamp beneath a bushel (Matthew 5:15; Luke 8:26, 11:33), you will soon notice that you yourself will be in the dark. You will find others bumping into you. So what can you do to illumine the world? Let your faith produce good works. Be a reflection of God's light. The good is not preoccupied with darkness. It rejoices in being seen (John 3:21). It exults over the very pointings which are made at it. Christian modesty not only wishes to be modest, but also it wishes to be beheld as what it actually is." (excerpt from ON THE APPAREL OF WOMEN 2.13)

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, MARK 4:21-25
(2 Timothy 1:1-8 or Titus 1:1-5; Psalm 37)

KEY VERSE: "Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear" (v 23).
TO KNOW: Jesus regularly taught by means of parables but many people were unresponsive to his message. He cited the prophet Isaiah (Is 6: 9) to show that the reason why they did not get the point of his teachings was that their eyes, ears and hearts were closed to his revelation. Jesus admonished his disciples to listen carefully. God had blessed them abundantly through his teaching; therefore, much would be expected of them. Since they had been given the light of faith, they had the obligation to share their belief with others. Their faith must not be hidden, but must shine brightly like a lamp, which illuminated the whole household. Anyone who rejected the light of truth would continue to live in darkness.
TO LOVE: How have I been a source of light to others today?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, I pray that your light will shine through me in all that I do.

Memorial of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops

Timothy was converted to Christianity by Paul around the year 47. Timothy’s Gentile father and Jewish mother Eunice had given him physical birth, but it was Paul who offered him eternal life in Jesus Christ Timothy was a co-worker and close friend of Paul. He was Paul’s companion on his second and the third missionary journeys (Acts 16:3; 19:22), and was often sent by him on special missions (Acts 19:22; 1Cor 4:17; 1 Thes 3:2).  Timothy was the head of the Church in Ephesus, and the recipient of two canonical letters from Paul. Timothy was stoned to death in 97 for opposing the worship of Dionysius.
 Titus, a pagan by birth, became one of Paul's most illustrious disciples. He accompanied the apostle on several of his missionary journeys and was entrusted with important missions. Finally he came with Paul to the island of Crete, where he was appointed bishop. He performed this duty in accordance with the admonition given him . . . in all things show yourself an example of good works" (Tit. 2:7). Tradition tells us that he died a natural death at the age of 94. Paul left a worthy monument to Titus, his faithful disciple, in the beautiful pastoral letter which forms part of the New Testament.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Thu 26th. Australia Day. Isaiah 32:15-18. The Lord speaks of peace to his people—Ps 84(85):9-14. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 / Romans 12:9-13. Matthew 5:1-12 / Luke 12:22-32.
'Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?'
Today's gospel from Luke has some positive advice on living our life in the year ahead. We are encouraged to think less about our image, 'For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing', and more about the contribution we make as humans to others. As he addresses his disciples, Jesus reminds us that worry is never productive. He encourages us to have faith that the smaller things will come if we strive in the greater mission of following our faith. 'Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.' It is Australia Day; consider your role as an active Christian living out your faith in wider Australian society.

STS. TIMOTHY AND TITUS

On Jan. 26, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, close companions of the Apostle Paul and bishops of the Catholic Church in its earliest days.
Both men received letters from St. Paul, which are included in the New Testament.

Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians also venerate the saints, but do not combine their commemorations. Instead, the Byzantine tradition remembers St. Titus on Aug. 25 and St. Timothy on Jan. 22.

Pope Benedict XVI discussed these early bishops during a general audience on Dec. 13, 2006, noting “their readiness to take on various offices” in “far from easy” circumstances. Both saints, the Pope said, “teach us to serve the Gospel with generosity, realizing that this also entails a service to the Church herself.”

The son of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father, Timothy came from Lystra in present-day Turkey. His mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are known to have joined the Church, and Timothy himself is described as a student of Sacred Scripture from his youth.
After St. Paul’s visit to Timothy’s home region of Lycaonia, around the year 51, the young man joined the apostle and accompanied him in his travels. After religious strife forced Paul to leave the city of Berea, Timothy remained to help the local church. Paul later sent him to Thessalonica to help the Church during a period of persecution.

The two met up again in Corinth, and Timothy eventually journeyed to Macedonia on Paul’s behalf. Problems in the Corinthian Church brought Timothy back for a time, after which he joined Paul and accompanied the apostle in subsequent travels.
Like Paul, Timothy endured a period of imprisonment in the course of his missionary work. His release is mentioned in the New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews.

Around the year 64, Timothy became the first bishop of the Church of Ephesus. During that same year, he received the first of two surviving letters from St. Paul. The second, written the next year, urges Timothy to visit St. Paul in Rome, where he was imprisoned before his martyrdom.
Ancient sources state that St. Timothy followed his mentor in dying as a martyr for the faith. In the year 93, during his leadership of the Church in Ephesus, he took a stand against the worship of idols and was consequently killed by a mob. The pagan festival he was protesting was held Jan. 22, and this date was preserved as St. Timothy’s memorial in the Christian East.

In contrast with Timothy’s partial Jewish descent and early Biblical studies, St. Titus – who was born into a pagan family – is said to have studied Greek philosophy and poetry in his early years. But he pursued a life of virtue, and purportedly had a prophetic dream that caused him to begin reading the Hebrew Scriptures.

According to tradition, Titus journeyed to Jerusalem and witnessed the preaching of Christ during the Lord’s ministry on earth. Only later, however – after the conversion of St. Paul and the beginning of his ministry – did Titus receive baptism from the apostle, who called the pagan convert his “true child in our common faith.”

St. Paul was not only Titus’ spiritual father, but also depended on his convert as an assistant and interpreter. Titus accompanied Paul to the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem during the year 51, and was later sent to the Corinthian Church on two occasions. After the end of Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, the apostle ordained Titus as the Bishop of Crete.

Paul sent his only surviving letter to Titus around the year 64, giving instructions in pastoral ministry to his disciple as he prepared to meet up with him in the Greek city of Nicopolis. Titus evangelized the region of Dalmatia in modern Croatia before returning to Crete.

Titus is credited with leading the Church of Crete well into his 90s, overturning paganism and promoting the faith through his prayers and preaching. Unlike St. Timothy, St. Titus was not martyred, but died peacefully in old age. 

LECTIO DIVINA: MARK 4,21-25
Lectio Divina: 
 Thursday, January 26, 2017
Ordinary Time


1) Opening prayer
All-powerful and ever-living God,
direct your love that is within us,
that our efforts in the name of your Son
may bring mankind to unity and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Mark 4,21-25
He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under a tub or under the bed? Surely to be put on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden, but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'
He also said to them, 'Take notice of what you are hearing. The standard you use will be used for you -- and you will receive more besides; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has.'

3) Reflection
• The lamp which gives light. At that time, there was no electric light. Imagine all that follows. The family is at home. It begins to get dark. The father lifts up the small lamp, he lights it and places under the tub or under the bed. What will the others say? They will began to scream: “Father, place it on the table!” This is the story that Jesus tells. He does not explain. He only says: Anyone who has ears to listen, should listen! The Word of God is the lamp which should be lit in the darkness of the night. If it remains closed up in the closed Book of the Bible, it is like a small lamp under the tub. When it is united to the life in community, there it is placed on the table and it gives light!
• Be attentive to preconceptions. Jesus asks the disciples to become aware of the preconceptions with which they listen to the teaching which he offers. We should be attentive to the ideas which we have when we look at Jesus! If the colour of the eyes is green, everything seems to be green. If they are blue, everything will be blue! If the idea with which we look at Jesus were mistaken, everything which I think about Jesus will be threatened of being an error. If I think that the Messiah has to be a glorious King, I will understand nothing of what the Lord teaches and I will see that everything is mistaken.
• Parable: a new way of teaching and of speaking of Jesus. Jesus used parables, above all, to teach: this was his way. He had an enormous capacity to find very simple images to compare the things of God with the things of the life which people knew and experienced in the daily struggle to survive. This presupposes two things: to be inside, involved in the things of life, and to be inside, involved in the things of the Kingdom of God.
• The teaching of Jesus was diverse from the teaching of the Scribes. It was a Good News for the poor, because Jesus revealed a new face of God, in which people could recognize themselves and rejoice. “I bless you, Father, Lord of Heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do!” (Mt 11, 25-28).

4) Personal questions
• The Word of God, a lamp which gives light. What place does the Bible have in my life? What light do I receive?
• Which is the image of Jesus that I have within me? Who is Jesus for me and who am I for Jesus?

5) Concluding prayer
Taste and see that Yahweh is good.
How blessed are those who take refuge in him. (Ps 34,8)