January 25, 2018

Sts. Timothy and Titus, the Spiritual Sons of St. Paul

The Church celebrates the memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus both 1st century bishops and missionary companions to their mentor Saint Paul, on January 26th. Pope Benedict XVI observed, "The sources concerning Timothy and Titus highlight their readiness to take on various offices that also often consisted in representing Paul in circumstances far from easy. In a word, they teach us to serve the Gospel with generosity, realizing that this also entails a service to the Church herself."

Timothy and Titus remind us that no grace is given solely for our benefit. Grace is to be shared so the Church may be built up in love. Reading Paul's two letters to Timothy and his letter to Titus show that the early Church was at times deeply divided. St. Paul's first letter to Timothy 3:15 clearly states where we are to find the truth. Paul refers to the Church as the pillar and foundation of the truth. We do not consult Scripture alone to find the truth because different people interpret the Bible differently. We must go to holy Mother Church, founded by Jesus Christ.

Timothy was with Paul in Rome during the latter's house arrest. At some point, Timothy himself was imprisoned for the Faith. Paul appointed Timothy as his representative at the Church of Ephesus. Timothy was comparatively young for the work he was doing. Scripture indicates he was somewhat timid. One of Paul's oft quoted lines was addressed to him: "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" (1 Timothy 5:23).

When St. Paul was having trouble with the Church at Corinth, Titus was the bearer of Paul's stern letter and was successful in smoothing things out. Paul writes he was strengthened not only by the arrival of Titus but also: "by the encouragement with which he was encouraged in regard to you, as he told us of your yearning, your lament, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more."  Finally, he came with St. Paul to the island of Crete, where he was appointed bishop. Titus performed this duty in accordance with the admonition that was given him: "in all things show yourself an example of good works" (Titus 2:7).

Almighty God and Father, who adorned Saints Timothy and Titus with apostolic virtues, grant through the holy intercession of them both, that, living justly and devoutly in this present age, we may merit to reach our heavenly homeland and see you face to face. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen. Holy St. Timothy and St. Titus, St. Paul's most illustrious disciples, pray for us!

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