Memory of the Church

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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

1 Timothy 4, 12-16

Let no one disregard you because you are young, but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity.

Until I arrive, devote yourself to reading to the people, encouraging and teaching.

You have in you a spiritual gift which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the body of elders laid their hands on you; do not neglect it.

Let this be your care and your occupation, and everyone will be able to see your progress.

Be conscientious about what you do and what you teach; persevere in this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul tells Timothy that no one should have contempt for his youth (he was about 30, and had been with Paul for 13 years). Because of his age, there is probably someone who does not consider him much. Yet, in the Christian community it’s very evident that authority does not depend on age. Rather it depends on encountering the Lord and conversion to the Gospel. Paul encourages Timothy to set an example "in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity." This spiritual elevation would confer him the authority to lead the community wisely. Paul has already communicated his intention to reach him as soon as possible (3:14), so he suggests that Timothy attend to his service until he arrives, through the reading of the Holy Bible in the assemblies of the church. Exhortation and teaching are linked to reading, to allowing the Word to reach the heart of the life of the community. Yet, Timothy needs the help of the Lord to speak authoritatively and to teach the Gospel. So, Paul reminds Timothy of the gift he has received by the laying on of hands of the apostle and the collegium of the elders. Paul urges Timothy to take care of these matters; indeed the apostle insists: "Devote yourself to them." Doing so, he will grow in wisdom and witness, and his "all may see his progress." Paul encourages Timothy to learn Holy Scripture deeply and to live it every day. If he grows in the knowledge of Scripture and in the Lord’s love, he will be authoritative enough to lead the community. His salvation, as well as the salvation of the community depends on his discipline, his good example and his communication of the Gospel.