Hebrews 1:2-3, 2:2-4; Ps 95:1-2, 6-9; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Lk 17:5-10
Please continue to daily pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a rosary for the conversion of our beloved country, for pro-life results in our elections and the terrorists in our country and the world.
Monday is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. She helped in two major sea battles against the Turks wanting to destroy Christianity in Europe. Prayer, prayer and more prayer is our victory in all this. Sunday and daily Masses all over the world continue to feed us on God’s plan for our salvation. The first part of the Mass feeds us on the Word of God from our scriptures. In the second part of the Mass we are fed on the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This is “our daily bread,” offered to all of humanity every day.
I see two themes this weekend. One is in St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy, his beloved son. The other is in Psalm 95.
St. Paul ordains Timothy
Timothy was a young man born of a pagan father and Jewish mother, Eunice. From his youth his mother and grandmother, Lois, fed him on the Jewish scriptures. He was converted to Jesus Christ on Paul’s first missionary journey and accompanied Paul on his second and third missionary journeys. So he was a student (disciple) of Paul. Likely because of Timothy’s enthusiasm and excitement about Christ, Paul ordained him a priest and bishop. Paul also sent him to several churches and he was the main leader in Ephesus. This instruction of Paul to Timothy is very insightful for us today and necessary for our own service to build up our local churches and bring others around us to know and serve Jesus.
St. Paul refers to the powers that Timothy received when Paul placed his hands on Timothy. The latter received the Holy Spirit power, love and self-control. Paul instructs him to be a good leader even in the midst of controversy. Paul also says not to be shamed of testimony about Jesus. Is this important for us today? Yes.
Two anointings of the Holy Spirit
If we were baptized, the priest placed his hands on us, poured water over us in the Names of the Holy Trinity and anointed us with two oils for our mission in the world. We were called to be disciples of Jesus, to learn about him and do his work in the world today. Again in the Sacrament of Confirmation, a bishop placed his hands on us and anointed us with oil in the sign of the cross. What happens with that “laying on of hands”?
We receive the power of many gifts of the Holy Spirit to go out into the world, bringing the love, peace and joy of Jesus where the Holy Spirit sends us. This is not our power and work. It is God’s power and work. We need to look at our lives and see how the Holy Spirit has gifted us and how we used those spiritual gifts to serve others. These are spiritual gifts, not natural talents and abilities.
The gospel story of Jesus today encourages the servant to be faithful in what he or she had been appointed to do. What helps us continue to have the power to do these things?
Psalm 95 is a little three-act play. First we praise and thank God for all his beauty in and around us. In light of this awesomeness, we bow down and worship God. Then as we hear God’s words of instruction in scripture or spoken directly to us, we are not to harden our hearts. We are to be attentive to his words.
Let us ask God for the power and courage to tell others about the great joy we have found in our faith. We will experience some opposition but drawing on the fountains of God’s grace within us, we remain faithful.
Have a blessed week,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)