Memory of the Church

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Timothy 2,8-15

Remember the gospel that I carry, 'Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David'; it is on account of this that I have to put up with suffering, even to being chained like a criminal. But God's message cannot be chained up. So I persevere for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they, too, may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Here is a saying that you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we persevere, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. If we are faithless, he is faithful still, for he cannot disown his own self. Remind them of this; and tell them in the name of God that there must be no wrangling about words: all that this ever achieves is the destruction of those who are listening. Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who has no need to be ashamed, but who keeps the message of truth on a straight path.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul exhorts Timothy to be strong, not to lose spirit, and not to give up. His strength is in the "grace that is in Christ Jesus." It is from his encounter with Jesus that Timothy should continuously draw strength and inspiration for his ministry that is to transmit the Gospel and to entrust it in turn to trustworthy people so that they may transmit it to others. Paul mentions here the meaning of the tradition of the Church which is giving the Gospel from one generation to another in an unbroken chain that links the faith of today to the preaching of the Apostles and to Jesus himself. Christian tradition is not a matter of transmitting abstract truths or empty rites, but to witness with words and facts the life with Jesus who was crucified but now he is risen from the death. This Christian proclamation cannot be blocked even by chains. Paul speaks of the chains of his imprisonment while he is writing this letter and efficaciously writes: "The word of God is not chained." No human power can keep it in check. Rather, persecution strengthen and multiplies faith. Paul knows that his "suffering" is part of his apostolic vocation, and so it is for the disciples of every age. Martyrdom, giving one's own life for Jesus, is an integral part of the Gospel. But the apostle reminds Timothy that "If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him." All those who give their lives for Christ inherit glory with him. But the destiny of those who separate themselves from Christ is tragic. In any case, the apostle adds, it is good to know that Jesus "remains faithful." He will never betrays us. This is a fatherly admonition the apostle gives believers so that they know that Jesus is always waiting for us, just as the father waited for the prodigal son. His bond of love is stronger that our weaknesses and our sin.