Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 491. Titus 1:1-9. Psalm 24:1-2,3-4.5-6. Luke 17:1-6.
We continue with the Pastoral Letters of Paul. Titus is the one addressed
and he was considered as a spiritual son of St. Paul. The letter thus takes
on a personal quality about it and helps the young overseer Titus to
accomplish his duties. The administrative ones are emphasized and
paralleled with the strengths and virtues necessary to do ministry well.
We can easily adapt the letter to our own situations of ministry to the
Church. The letter is meant for the churches the apostles left behind and
Paul was one of the primary among them as missionary to the nations. Paul
addresses Titus as his true child in the faith common to both of them. The
practical points and advice are meant for us too since this is inspired
scripture that endures age after age. We, of course, make the adaptations
that are necessary for our contemporary situation.
The advice helps us to be good ministers within the Christian community to
which we belong. God’s gifts to us and our talents are directed to the
needs of the community and its individual members. There are rich and poor
among us and those who need to grow in their formation in the Catholic
faith. All of our virtues, gifts, and qualities are part of the treasury
of the Church and our skills in leadership help us to fulfill the purpose
for which they were given to us by God as our specific talents. Each one
of us is unique but we belong to the Body of Christ the Church and our gift
of self is most important for that Body to function properly.
In Luke’s reading we hear Jesus shouting in our ears about scandals that
come from the members of the Body of Christ. We realize how many have
failed in their trust to the people they have abused or hurt. The abuse
cases are so abundant that it seems Jesus is yelling at us to do something
about it. The helping professions, the ministers in the Church, the priests
and brothers and sisters and the deacons must conform to the points that
both Paul and Jesus are making today. We hear the message of forgiveness
for those who have offended. They must ask for forgiveness,but great
prudence is necessary that we do not condone any of the abuses against the
young and innocent. Strong measures need to be taken whenever scandals
rise up in our midst. Being part of Christ’s Body we all suffer when this
happens. We need to forgive but we do so with justice and great prudence.
We realize that we have often been forgiven and thank God that we have not
abused the little ones. Amen.