0

Fan the Flames

Memorials of Saints Timothy and Titus

First Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-8

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,
to Timothy, my dear child:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God,
whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did,
as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears,
so that I may be filled with joy,
as I recall your sincere faith
that first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice
and that I am confident lives also in you.

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 7-8A, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Gospel: Mark 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

NAB

jan 26

Have you ever had one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, everything-goes-wrong kind of days?

By ten AM, it feels like it should have already been noon twice.

Everything I have done seems to have failed—spilled coffee, burned breakfast, a misunderstanding with a friend, and a forgotten phone call to my mother. My children are cranky and I’m on the verge of a tantrum myself. I snap at people in a short-tempered, bad-humored funk, and count down the hours until I can take a nap or curl up with a book and ignore everyone.

On days like this, my four year old daughter likes to tell me that I’m not being a very good reflection of Christ.

I want to throw something at her, but I have to admit she’s right. I’m about as Christlike as a wet dishrag. I’m anything but a roaring fire for the Gospel.

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.

In those weaker moments when the fire of faith dwindles, what do you do? I take great comfort in reading that Saint Paul had to remind Saint Timothy to “stir into flame” his own gifts. There are days when a normally bright flame seems to be reduced to glowing embers by the trials we face, even if those trials are small by comparison to the ones faced by Saint Timothy. It helps me to know I am not the only one to ever have felt this way.

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.

We all have days when we’d rather just quit and go back to bed, don’t we? But Saint Paul reminds us along with Saint Timothy that God expects better of us. Along with the gift of faith, He has given us a spirit of power and love and self-control. That means he expects us to use it. No matter how much we want to sling a coffee cup into the sink and stamp our feet in frustration, we must keep on keeping on. We are bearers of light and truth to the people around us. We are called to bear our share of hardship for the Gospel, Saint Paul says, and God will give us the strength to do it.

On this feast of Saint Timothy, thank God for those who remind you to “fan the flames” of your own faith. Consider reaching out this week to one of those people to let them know they have made a difference in your faith life.

photo credit

Abbey Dupuy is a homeschooling mama to preschooler twins, a first grader and a new baby. You can find out more about her here.

No Comments

Leave a Reply