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Monday, January 25, 2021

Reflections 2021-01-26 Tuesday Week 3 in Ordinary Time – Sts Timothy and Titus

Titus 1:1-5; Psalm 96; Luke 10:1-9
Timothy and Titus were trusted companions of Paul in his journeys. He addressed Timothy as my beloved child and to Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share. These two greetings seem to imply Paul was responsible for their conversion. Paul would send them on errands to the communities and they would come back with news about the community. The First Reading tells us Paul left Titus in Crete to put in order what remained to be done, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you. We see here, that the structure of the Church was taking shape even during the time of the Apostles, with a Bishop, such as Titus and presbyters or priests who were appointed by Bishops. We see then, that the Church is a visible Church with a visible head and helpers of the head.
Paul claims that he has been entrusted with proclaiming the word by command of God our Savior. Paul knew it was physically impossible for him to be present in all communities, so he appointed Bishops like Timothy and Titus to oversee the churches. And since it is impossible for the Bishops to be physically present in all cities, they had to appoint presbyters to help them. The office of the Bishop and priest are not modern day inventions of the Catholic Church, but these took their form even in the time of the Apostles.
Paul probably got the idea of delegating the mandate to preach the Gospel from Jesus himself. We see this in the Gospel where Jesus appointed seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to the towns and places where he intended to go. The delegation of the responsibility has to come from someone with authority. In the case of the Gospel, the seventy were appointed to preach by Jesus himself. In the cast of Timothy and Titus, that authority came from Paul.
This is why, no one can just set up a community on his own because he feels God told him to do so. St Paul said in his Letter to the Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they be sent. The sending has to be visible, because anyone can claim they were sent by God. Are all those who were officially sent righteous men? Definitely not. Jesus sent Judas who later betrayed him. 1 John 2:19 They went out from us but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us: but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us. This is why it is important to discern from whom we hear what is preached. Sad to say, many who had been ordained to positions in the Church do not preach the Truth. They are what John refers as: going out from us but not of us. Later in his letter, John calls them antichrists, or enemies of Christ.
Catholics rely on the consistent Truth preached by Jesus through the Apostles through the centuries. While some may not faithfully preach this Truth today, these will be revealed as enemies of Christ sooner or later. This is why it is critical for Catholics, to learn about their faith and explore it. There is no problem if a Catholic questions the teaching of the Church, as long as there is also a desire to seek the Truth on why the Church teaches so. The problem happens when one does not agree and goes along and does his own thing. When this happens, that person has made himself an idol and set himself as antichrist, an enemy of God.
Lord, reveal your Truth and when I cannot understand nor agree with you, give me humility to search for the Truth that will set me free. St Timothy and Titus, pray for faithful pastors of the Church. Pray that I may find the Truth of the Gospel.

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