Scripture: Lectionary 355. June 6, 2012. II Timothy 1:1-3.6-12. Psalm 123:1-2.2. Mark 12:18-27:
Paul is an extrovert and this helps him be all things to all peoples. We see his influence on a promising convert who has the characteristics of a leader. This is Timothy who listened to Paul speaking of Jesus’ resurrection and how important it is to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Timothy had the advantage of being born of a Jewish mother while also having a Greek father. He thus would be open to the preaching of Paul both when he referred to Jewish texts and when he proclaimed the Gospel in Greek.
II Timothy begins with the greeting and the address to Timothy and then proceeds to encourage this young man to be a total follower of Jesus as another apostle. He will be with Paul on both his second and third missionary journeys and will be appointed overseer (bishop) of Ephesus. He will witness to his gift of faith in Jesus in Corinth, Philippi, and Thessalonica.
Timothy was considered to be Paul’s most beloved convert and eventually died a martyr. The fact that he has two epistles addressed to him shows us how esteemed his was in the early Church. He probably died around the turn of the first century.
The Pastoral epistles of Paul demonstrate the need for strong leaders who will help keep the flock together and offset any teachings that are contrary to the Gospel and the Scriptures. One of the texts that is important on this point comes from this II Epistle to Timothy: All Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching—for reproof, correction, and training in holiness so that the man of God (YOU)may be fully competent and equipped for every good work. The Pastoral Epistles hand on the tradition given to the apostles and prepare the way for some necessary structures in the emerging Christian communities. Paul has instilled into Timothy and Titus the need to make apostles of the people who are coming into these communities. We know that they did well and are a source of encouragement for us as today’s apostles of Jesus. Timothy lived out the exhortations and advice of Paul. We must do the same. Each of us has the gift of faith in Jesus which makes us living witnesses of the Gospel. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertand Buby, S. M.