Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bps (26th January, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
2Tim 1:1-8 or Tit 1:1-5;
Ps 95:1-3.7-8.10. (R. v. 3);
Timothy (c. AD 17 - c. AD 97) had a Greek father and a Jewish mother named Eunice as a result of which the Jews considered him illegitimate. His grandmother, Lois, was the first to be converted. Timothy was converted by Paul around the year 47 and he later joined him in his apostolic work. He proved himself one of Paul’s most faithful and trusted friends. Saint Paul sent him on difficult missions. Saint Timothy is the patron Saint of intestinal disorders, stomach diseases.
Titus (d. 96 or 107 AD) had the distinction of being a close friend and disciple of Paul as well as a fellow missionary. He was Greek, apparently from Antioch. Even though Titus was a Gentile, Paul would not let him be forced to undergo circumcision. Titus was seen as a peacemaker, administrator, and a great friend. He is the patron saint of the United States Army Chaplain Corps.
Topic: Plenty harvest yet few workers (cf. Lk 10:2).
Jesus sent seventy of his disciples in pairs on mission in today’s gospel. Before embarking on the mission, Jesus made them to understand among other things that the work is enormous and the need to pray to God for workers. Again, they were not going out as lords but lambs among wolves. These notwithstanding, they were to “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road” (Lk 10:4). They were to remain in one house eating and drinking whatever they were given. And they were to cure the sick and to announce the arrival of the kingdom of God.
There are a lot of things we can reflect on in today’s gospel. But we are to focus on the first thing Jesus made them to know: “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few ....” Can this statement still be true today considering the number of people already in the vineyard?
Judging by the number of churches we have today and the ministers each has, one can hastily conclude that this is no longer relevant. But it is important to note that there is great difference between people in the vineyard and labourers in the vineyard. Hence, Jesus warns
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? (Matt 7:21-22).
As we celebrate Saint Timothy and Saint Titus who collaborated with Saint Paul in the Lord’s vineyard we must pray more fervently for workers in the Lord’s vineyard. The number of people in the vineyard makes the work even more difficult because one needs to decipher first who are there to work and who are there for other purposes, cf. 1Tim 6:5.
We must tighten our belts and lace our shoes because the work is more tedious today and it is for all of us. There will be great reward for all who work in the Lord’s vineyard, cf. Matt 19:28-29. And at the same time, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for those who neglect their work, cf. Lk 13:26-28. Work today for the great reward tomorrow.
Bible Reading: Matt 7:21-23; Lk 13:22-30.
Thought for today: You have your part in God’s vineyard.
Let us pray: Lord, help us to be good labourers in your vineyard – Amen.
Saints Timothy and Titus – Pray for us.
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