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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Timothy 1,1-3.6-12

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God in accordance with his promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, dear son of mine. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord. Night and day I thank God whom I serve with a pure conscience as my ancestors did. I remember you in my prayers constantly night and day; That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands. God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy -- not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has been revealed only by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus. He has abolished death, and he has brought to light immortality and life through the gospel, in whose service I have been made herald, apostle and teacher. That is why I am experiencing my present sufferings; but I am not ashamed, because I know in whom I have put my trust, and I have no doubt at all that he is able to safeguard until that Day what I have entrusted to him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul begins his second letter to Timothy speaking of the authority of the "apostle" of Jesus Christ which was conferred on him for the "will of God." In this way he wants to underline both to Timothy and the entire community that behind him is Jesus himself. From him, in fact, he has received the mission to proclaim the "promised life" by God to all men and women. After the initial greeting, he immediately thanks God, who he recognizes as present in his personal story. The letter, almost a spiritual testimony by Paul, is full of his affection for Timothy and his pastoral passion for the community entrusted to him. Timothy’s pastoral ministry is not easy, also because he was so young. Paul, however, reminds him of the "gift of God" given to him by the laying on of hands (1 Tim 4:14) And he asks him to revive it with prayer, faith and dedication, so that it may shine of an ever brighter light and become ever more a source of strength for his ministry. Paul compares the gift received to a fire; a comparison which he had made already in the first letter to the Thessalonians comparing fire to the Spirit of God with his gifts (1 Th 5:19). God, the disciple says, bestowed the "Spirit of strength love and good sense", to be able to be a wise and strong shepherd, sustained by the strength of the Lord. He will find the courage to "not shame himself in the witness to the Lord," that is to preach the Gospel of Jesus. And if he is not ashamed of the Lord, neither will the apostle—now "prisoner of the Lord" –who had made preaching the goal of his life. This must be true for every disciple, as Jesus himself said, "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven" (Mt 10: 32). But the witness for the Gospel always brings suffering with it. The apostle warns that he must "suffer with him for the Gospel, with the strength of God". And he knows that his blood will be an offering: "As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation" (4:6). Paul demands from Timothy this same total dedication to the Lord in service of the Gospel. He describes with a few sentences the work of redemption of which he has been, "herald, apostle and teacher" (1 Tim 2:7). Imprisonment limits this task but does not cancel it since "the word of God is not in chains" (2:9). He remains in prison like a wrongdoer (2:9) but he is not ashamed of his chains, rather he wears them with pride. His security and peace are in God in whom he has placed his trust. Because of this he will not be disappointed. Even if he is by then at the end of his days and his life could be cut short from one moment to another, Paul is certain and is firmly convinced that what is entrusted to him is well taken care of in the all-powerful hands of God "until that day" that is, at the end of present time and the return of the Lord. The Gospel that Timothy heard from Paul must be "the model of sound teaching". Paul calls Christian preaching, "sound teaching," because it is the full expression of the spiritual life, immune from every error, and it leads to a whole and healthy life. As for Timothy, as for every believer: "take care of the good treasure", that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets