Scripture: Lectionary 441. Sept.13. I Timothy 1:1-2,12-14. Psalm 16:1-2, 5,7-8, 11. Luke 6:39-42:
It takes time and many experiences in life before we may come to what Paul experiences as the fullness of the light of faith. Pope Francis has spoken to us of this in his first encyclical which is a good way to learn more about him and how to grow in our faith. Paul humbly relates his personal experience of the light of faith through Christ’s surprising grace. He arrives at becoming an apostle after the time of Christ on earth and thus is able to join the other apostles in their mission of bringing the Good News of Christ to others. For Paul to be in Christ is the Good News. He brings this Gospel to others because of the fullness of the light of faith in himself. He tells us that is by the command of God that comes to be this apostle of the light of faith. We may recall the words of the holy Simeon who has this hope to experience the light of faith when he says to Mary and Joseph: “Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word. For my eyes have witnessed your saving deed displayed for all the people to see: a revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32). Paul has become that light to the Gentiles through his being an apostle.
Paul confirms Timothy in the opening lines of this letter and tells him that he is his own child in faith. Timothy will carry the lighted torch of faith after Paul is martyred.
In our Psalm I see that Paul reminds me that he has not left aside his Jewish heritage and his lot in life that the Lord has mapped out for him. Psalm 16 demonstrates that he treasured his beliefs, his background, and culture. Through is belief in the crucified and resurrected Christ he sees himself being brought to the fullness of his call by the Lord to be an apostle of light to the Gentiles. He will continue to show his reverence for the God of Israel (see Romans chapters 9-11).
We have seen how it was Paul who first wrote about the three “theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.” He does this in the selection we have for today from Colossians. Thes triad of virtues come from the Holy Spirit and are conferred on us at Baptism. We, too, are being called to become who we really are in God and in Christ Jesus. Let us grow in that call through our faith, hope, and love. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.