Father David's Reflection for Saturday of Week Twenty-Four (Ordinary Time)
The Responsorial (Psalm 100) is an invitation based on hope: “Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.”
1Timothy 6:13-16 is our last reading from 1Timothy. And it is the “Great Commission” to faithful stewardship. Paul begins solemnly:
Before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who in bearing witness made his noble profession before Pontius Pilate....
We are nothing in and of ourselves. We would revert to nothingness without the ongoing gift of existence from God our Father. In answer to the obvious question: “How do I use this ongoing gift of life?” Paul holds up the example of Jesus. He “bore witness” by his “noble profession” of truth, though it sealed his death. He spoke the truth of his identity and mission (John 18:37).
Paul urges Timothy “to keep God’s command,” “do all that you have been told” with “no faults or failures until the appearing (epiphany) of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is stewardship (New Jerusalem Bible translation).
The Jerome Biblical Commentary (1968) says the “command” (entole) is “the complete deposit entrusted to Timothy, all the truths of Christianity” (see 6:20: “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you”). Paul is speaking to us all. As consecrated in Baptism “stewards of the kingship of Christ,” our task is to persevere “like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serving one another with whatever gift each has received,” preserving and propagating what has been entrusted to us until Christ comes again (1Peter 4:10).
We anticipate that coming in the Rite of Communion, when we celebrate the “unity and peace” of the human race, redeemed by “the blood of the Lamb” and gathered together at his marriage feast. This is a preview meant to increase our desire and strengthen our hope (Revelation 7:14; 12:11; 19:9).
He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no human being has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
In Luke 8:4-15 Jesus urges us, as faithful stewards and managers of his gifts, to remove all the obstacles that keep his words from bearing fruit.
Path: We are stuck in our old (human) identity, following the “beaten path” of culture. His words cannot penetrate.
Rocks: We don’t reflect on his words as disciples until they take root in choices.\
Thorns: We don’t weed out and prune as prophets whatever in our lifestyle competes with his goals and values.
We don’t form communities as “priests” where the seeds of his word can be nurtured by ministry as in a garden and “bear fruit.”
Initiative: To be a steward, be a Christian, disciple, prophet, and priest.