Today’s Thoughts: It is always nice to celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and then to remember his two friends Timothy and Titus the next day. I think if I had ever married and had more than one son, I would have considered the names Timothy and Titus. My first-born son would have received the name Paul, there would have been no discussion about that!
I find the readings interesting today. In the first reading from Paul's Second Letter to Timothy, Paul says to Timothy, "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...but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God." I love the first line of this section of the letter, "stir into flame the gift of God." In other words, be alive, be energized, be excited about the gift of your friendship with God. I have often thought this would be a good quote to begin each day with among others.
In the Gospel, today (Mark 4: 21-25) Jesus presents us with the image of a lamp. The question is asked, do we hide the light or do we put it on a stand and let it fill the whole room? The light, God’s gift, needs to be placed on a stand. It needs to be made visible by the way we live our life, by the way we treat others and by the way we trust the mercy and promises of God!
This is not easy. Human nature is always calling us to the easiest, quickest, self-centered and most self-indulging way of life. Most of the time our human nature rubs up against God's way, tension is created, struggle ensues. It is almost never easy to do what Jesus would do, to do what God calls us to do. Yet if we respond to God's call, God's will, if we let our light shine then good things can happen. We have the support, the prayers, the energy, the faith, the hope, the love of others and the most important other is God!
So, friends as we journey through life today, and as we find ourselves in the midst of struggles between what the world suggests and what God suggests let us remember even though what God suggests might seem harder, not as glamorous, not as self-fulfilling it is the light of Christ that we walk with that will make all the difference!
Remember as Jesus tells us today, "The measure with which you measure will be measured out to [us]." So, let's be the light on the stand in the middle of the room today. Let us stir our gift from God into the flame of life. Let's be the one who rouses everyone else to love and good works. Let's be the one who trusts in the mercy and promises of God and thus bring the gift of hope to all we meet this day!
Have a great Thursday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...