September 20, 2023
by Larry Hopp
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 445

1 Timothy 3:14-16
Psalm 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Luke 7:31-35

Praying Ordinary Time

About these martyrs from Saint of the Day

An Even Better Marriage

Today’s Readings provide us with a birdseye view of what a life “sold out” for our Lord looks like and then provides support for how we too can work to achieve that goal for our life.

Let’s start with considering Timothy. This young man’s father was Greek and his mother was a Jewish Christian. He grew up studying the Old Testament, perhaps not unlike many of us. Unlike me in my early years however, Timothy was “all in” for Jesus. Paul quickly recognized Timothy’s heart for God and asked him to join him on a number of his missionary journeys. Eventually Paul asked him to remain in Ephesus to help that growing church. This was a solid church that was in danger of drifting away from the truth. That was quite a significant assignment for someone so young who was not an apostle. Paul knew that the power of God would be with Timothy, he would not be working alone. Paul knew that the church is God’s household and that the church body is the pillar and foundation for conveying God’s truth. Timothy’s devotion to that truth was what was needed in Ephesus.

How then is all this relevant to us today? Would Paul trust each of us like he did Timothy? Shouldn’t that be our goal in life – to be visibly “sold out” to Jesus? Each of our church families are just as important to God as was the church at Ephesus. Could it be that we, like Timothy, simply need to recognize that truth and seek with all our heart to allow God to use us now, where He has placed us? We really can be that “guy”, the one “sold out” to Jesus. There really are no excuses for failing to follow God’s plan for each of our lives. As today’s Psalm clearly lays out, the works of our Lord truly are great in every sense of the word. There was no limit to what He could do through Timothy and that he can and will do through each of us. His power truly does endure forever and He is ready to work His wondrous deeds though those with a willing heart. I cannot image anything more important than allowing Christ to use me to point others to Him.

To help us to understand how to achieve a life committed to Christ, today’s Alleluia in John 6: 63 & 68 reminds us that God’s words are Spirit and life. They are the source of everlasting life, we simply must realize that fact and prioritize spending time daily in His word. It is crucial that we tap into God’s amazing, life changing power.

Today’s Gospel in the 7th chapter of Luke brings a somewhat peculiar end to this devotion study. In the verses 31 - 35, Jesus makes a strong rebuke to the people of that generation. He compares them to children playing a superficial game, not really seeing what is going on around them. Jesus then goes on to noting that even the adults failed to understand what both John the Baptist as well as Jesus himself were all about. That sounds a lot like today’s generation. Then Jesus proclaims the purpose of this little story when he states that “wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” Jesus is once again pointing us back to His words of truth, the essence of true wisdom. The wisdom embraced by young Timothy, the picture of a life “sold out” to our Lord and Savior. The kind of life this world so desperately needs !

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the letters to Timothy. They clearly detail how important the church body is to you as you well as to us all. Help us to seek your wisdom and power while endeavoring to use our lives as a picture of what it looks like to be “all in” for you. The picture of how we need to be living our lives as members of your holy church body. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

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