FRIDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF JANUARY 2018
* Timothy, Titus and Silas : *
O Saviour Christ, who leads to eternal blessedness those who commit
themselves to you: grant that we, being weak, may not presume to trust in ourselves, but may always have you before our eyes to follow as our guide; that you, who alone knows the way, may lead us to our heavenly desires. To you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory forever. Amen.
( Miles Coverdale )
Abode of peace, my Father’s home forever,
my weary soul in faith doth yearn to be.
I homeward look to you, my lord and saviour,
To your abode of peace, eternally.
There is on earth no peaceful rest;
our faith is weak, our souls oppressed,
our vision dim and failing.
The Lord be praised that time so swiftly flies;
God’s promise is fulfilled forevermore.
Who on God’s word and promises relies
shall find at last the choicest wine in store.
Forgotten then is all distress,
eternal peace and happiness
shall then be ours forever.
Then, keep my heart forever, O my saviour,
and let me never, Lord, from you depart.
In joy, in pain, in sorrow, now and ever,
only you give solace to my heart.
For when, O Lord, you are with me,
all other comforts well may flee;
with you, I am blessed forever.
( Agata Rosenius )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Timothy, Titus and Silas: the second generation of disciples
The mission Jesus left to his disciples was to go and make more disciples. We will never know all of their names, their struggles, the sacrifices they made on behalf of their new faith in Jesus. But here, in the waning days of January, we remember some of them, whose names we know from the pages of the "New Testament."
Timothy and Silas are mentioned in "The Acts of the Apostles." Paul chose Timothy as a companion for his mission to Asia Minor. Timothy undertook missions to the Thessalonians, Corinthians and the Ephesians. Eusebius counts him as the first bishop of that city.
Silas is known by his Latinised name Silvanus when Paul cites him as his companion along with Timothy. He went with Paul and Barnabas to deliver the decision of the apostolic council in Jerusalem that Gentile believers did not have to observe the law of Moses. Paul chose Silas to accompany him on missions to Asia Minor and Macedonia where he may have remained after Paul left.
Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul to Jerusalem for the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey Titus was sent on missions to Corinth from which he gave Paul encouraging reports. Paul, left him to organise the church in Crete, and Eusebius reports that he was the first bishop there.
The names of Timothy and Titus are remembered in the "New Testament." Timothy was the recipient of two letters purportedly written by Paul, and Titus received one such letter. Most contemporary scholars do not believe they were actually written by Paul. They are simply too different in style and vocabulary, and they seem to describe a more structured church than Paul would have known at the time of his death. Nevertheless, the letters were widely known in the ancient church, and testify to the ongoing work of the church, in the second generation after Jesus.
Scripture: In the "Third Letter of John," verses four and six to eight, we read:
I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth.
... for peace in the world.
... for army chaplains.
... for those engaged in prison ministry.
... for those suffering from disorders of the digestive system.
... for all people, communities and institutions who claim Timothy, Titus or Silas as their patron saint.
... for the people of Australia and India who celebrate their national day today.
... for those who were killed or injured in a fire at a Sejong Hospital in the city of Miryang South Korea. DETAILS
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From a homily by John Chrysostom:
Though housed in a narrow prison, Paul dwelt in heaven. He accepted beatings and wounds more readily than others reach out for rewards. Sufferings he loved as much as prizes; indeed he regarded them as his prizes, and therefore called them a grace or gift. Reflect on what this means. To depart and be with Christ was certainly a reward, while remaining in the flesh meant struggle. Yet such was his longing for Christ that he wanted to defer his reward and remain amid the fight; those were his priorities.
Now, to be separated from the company of Christ meant struggle and pain for Paul; in fact, it was a greater affliction than any struggle or pain would be. On the other hand, to be with Christ was a matchless reward. Yet, for the sake of Christ, Paul chose the separation.
But, you may say: “Because of Christ, Paul found all this pleasant.”
I cannot deny that, for he derived intense pleasure from what saddens us. I need not think only of perils and hardships. It was true even of the intense sorrow that made him cry out: Who is weak that I do not share the weakness? Who is scandalised that I am not consumed with indignation?
I urge you not simply to admire but also to imitate this splendid example of virtue, for, if we do, we can share his crown as well.
Are you surprised at my saying that if you have Paul’s merits, you will share that same reward? Then listen to Paul himself: I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth a crown of justice awaits me, and the Lord, who is a just judge, will give it to me on that day; and not to me alone, but to those who desire his coming. You see how he calls all to share the same glory?
Now, since the same crown of glory is offered to all, let us eagerly strive to become worthy of these promised blessings.
In thinking of Paul we should not consider only his noble and lofty virtues or the strong and ready will that disposed him for such great graces. We should also realise that he shares our nature in every respect. If we do, then even what is very difficult will seem to us easy and light; we shall work hard during the short time we have on earth and someday we shall wear the incorruptible, immortal crown. This we shall do by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all glory and power belongs now and always through endless ages. Amen.
Almighty God, who called Timothy, Titus and Silas to lay a foundation of faith for your church: grant that we also may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our saviour; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.