Prayer for peace

Share On

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Timothy 4, 1-11

The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times some will desert the faith and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from devils,

seduced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are branded as though with a red-hot iron:

they forbid marriage and prohibit foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and who know the truth.

Everything God has created is good, and no food is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving:

the word of God and prayer make it holy.

If you put all this to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus and show that you have really digested the teaching of the faith and the good doctrine which you have always followed.

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales. Train yourself for religion.

Physical exercise is useful enough, but the usefulness of religion is unlimited, since it holds out promise both for life here and now and for the life to come;

that is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt it.

I mean that the point of all our toiling and battling is that we have put our trust in the living God and he is the Saviour of the whole human race but particularly of all believers.

This is what you are to instruct and teach.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

After concluding with Christ’s exaltation, and the list of instructions regarding Church organization, Paul turns his concern to the struggle which Timothy must wage against heretics, of which he had already spoken previously (1:3-20). Order in community life and its organization through the offices of bishop and deacon, together with the preservation of the community from false doctrines, are the demands which Paul energetically entreats his disciple to fulfil. But, while he first spoke about the need to keep guard against the teachings of the heretics (1:3-20), now the apostle looks more closely at their purposes regarding the conduct of life. He first warns against being scandalized by their presence in the community. Jesus himself, in fact, had already warned the disciples: "Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray." (Mk 13:5-6). The heretics follow "deceiving spirits and diabolical doctrines," since they destroy the truth of the Gospel and the unity of the community. The message and the piety they display are not authentic; they are those "whose consciences are seared with a hot iron," as was then done with slaves branded by fire. The false teachers are in fact slaves of sin, instruments of demons, of Satan. And Paul issues the harshest of judgments against them. Nevertheless, their presence should disturb neither the community nor Timothy: this too comes into God’s plan of salvation. The proposal they make of renouncing marriage, and the exhortation to abstain from certain foods has nothing to do with the Gospel. Paul decisively affirms that "everything created by God is good"; all the gifts of creation can be received with gratefulness and used joyously by Christians. Timothy, on his part, should uphold their correct use by the Christian community. Thus he shall show that the "words of the faith and of the sound teaching" of Jesus are his spiritual "nourishment." With a derogatory tone, Paul calls the doctrines of the false teachers "profane myths and old wives’ tales." Timothy should always show, with increasing clarity, with his words and life, what is essential in Christ’s doctrine, which is summed up in the commandment to love God and neighbour. To this end, adds the apostle, physical effort and training "is of some value," since they confer capacity and health only for earthly life; much more decisive are exercises of piety, which bring us to the future "life to come."