Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

2Timothy 4:1-8

We Cannot Compromise!

Today (June 6, 2008) is a First Saturday and as it has become my custom, I went to the 8:30am Mass.  Arriving on time (finally) I volunteered and was accepted to do the reading.

Here was the reading:

2Tim 4:1-8charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. 5 As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  6 For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

In this letter, Paul is writing to Timothy while he (Paul) is awaiting his execution in Rome.  As Paul approaches the end of his life he begins to reflect on the “current state of affairs” of Christianity. This leads Paul to the prediction that, soon, things will become increasingly difficult for all  the Christians.  Already false teachers have arisen and spoken against Paul and the gospel message: Alexander the coopersmith did me great harm, the Lord will requite him for his deeds.  Be aware of him yourself for he strongly opposed our message (vs 14-15).  Paul reminds Timothy not to give into the temptation of ‘false tolerance’: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convenience, rebuke, and exhort… Yet Paul also reminds Timothy to be unfailing in patience and in teaching (v2). 

Teach the truth always and do not compromise the message just to please or ‘tickle the ears’ of all who will hear you.  For a time is coming [and in all honesty is here in our world today!] when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings (v3) [Gay Marriage preachers; contraception is acceptable and teens need to use it; its not a baby, just a mass of cells – a zygote; go ahead and kill yourself, it’s okay; you shouldn’t have to suffer; Women are men and Men are women – go ahead and change your gender – God just made a mistake; There is no such thing as sin; If you will it you will receive everything your heart desires; I saw it in the stars! Need I go on???]

…and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths (v4) – Only science can lead mankind to peace and happiness…Your ‘god’ is how you perceive him/her;  God is made in your image… If it’s not in the Bible then it’s not true… If you can prove it scientifically than it cannot exist…

So what’s a good and faithful Christian to do in the face of all this anarchy?  Paul tells Timothy, and us as well I think, As for you, always be steady, endure suffering [see Romans 5] do the work of the evangelist (v5). 

Did not John Paul the Great call each and everyone of us into the New Evangelization?  Fill your ministry (v5), go therefore and preach the Word of God to all the nations teaching them all that I have commanded you (Mt 28:20).  So that we, too, can join Paul when we reach the end of our lives and say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.  I have kept the Faith (v7). 

Jesus isn’t asking us to perform mighty deeds and great miracles – although these things are not beyond the capabilities of those faithful to Him (see John 14:12).  It is our faithfulness and obedience that God desires most from us.  God demonstrated His faithfulness and obedience by becoming man – the Incarnation – and by enduring death even death on a Cross (cf Phil 2:8).  His obedience to the plan and the Will of God the Father is our example.  The same example that St. Paul calls Timothy to as well as us, too!

Perseverance in Holiness, continue to run the good race, remember that all life and goodness comes from the Lord and not all who cry out ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of the Father who is in heaven (Mt 7:21).  Fight the good fight, always preach the Gospel in good season or in bad season; finish the race and keep the faith for God IS with us, I am with you always until the [end of the age] (Mt. 28:20b). 

Any Questions?

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