January 26, 2023
by Thomas Quinn
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
Lectionary: 520/318

2 Timothy 1:1-8
Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10
Mark 3:31-35

Praying Ordinary Time

Praying As We Age


2 Tim 1:1-8

St. Paul worked and traveled extensively with the men who he would “mission” to preach and become the leaders and role models for the burgeoning numbers of the faithful. He was particularly close to Timothy. He knew Timothy’s grandmother and his mother as women of great faith and witnessed their influence on Timothy’s faith formation. Paul knew he was perfectly prepared for the challenges of evangelism and leadership. Paul had not only been a family friend, but also a mentor, advisor, and eventually, Timothy’s religious superior. When Paul was arrested and imprisoned for the final time, he knew that he was about to be executed for his faith in Jesus Christ. He wrote to Timothy because he realized that the young man faced similar hardship and danger. He wrote to exhort him to “bear your share of hardship for the gospel." Paul's letter served not only to remind Timothy of the spiritual debt that he owed his grandmother, mother, and Paul himself, but to ensure that Timothy could continue to strive for Christ and to face physical danger bravely and confidently. Despite the enormous tasks and dangers ahead of Timothy, he was prepared to bravely, as the responsorial psalm asks, “proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.” He served God and his community of believers until he too was martyred.

The Gospel, Mark 4:21-25

I have always felt that the parables that Jesus used were excellent teaching tools. We may not understand them at first or second reading, but they engage our minds, are memorable, and invite us to discern a meaning. They may speak to us, of personality, the senses, the nature of light, the perception of things and even interpersonal relations. Sometimes light is just light; sometimes it is”divine light,” the clarity, or better, the lucidity that is provided by the word of God. Did Jesus use parables in his ministry to clarify spiritual issues, or did he use them to allow us to personally focus on and analyze his spiritual message? At any rate, they are more than just “sayings.” Mark includes several parables in today’s gospel reading. I can only respond with my impressions (reflections) for each parable. Certainly, many of you may have other, deeper meanings.

Place your light on the lampstand; let it shine. Let the light of your faith conquer the darkness.

Nothing is truly hidden unless it may again be made visible.

Anyone who has ears that are functional should hear but do so with discernment. Be open to the word of God but beware of lies and false prophets.

If you measure a person or a thing, be sure that you expect the same measure to be used to evaluate you. Another thought may be to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “

If we are open to the words of Jesus, we will receive a true vision of the path that God has prepared for us. Share this with others and we will be even richer in our faith. “To one who has, more will be given.” If we have no faith and are not moved by the word of God, we will come away with nothing to give to others. Anyone may be poor in material things, but rich in faith. Our priorities clearly need to be aligned with our ability to discern God’s will for us and our need or duty to share our grace with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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