Grace to you!
I begin by apologizing for not sending my reflections across for a few days back. I’ve been in transit since the latter part of last week. I’m currently in England. Sometimes the exigencies of travel and time, plus the inability to have the quiet needed for our spiritual reflections, in addition to the uncertainty of constant Internet access along the way, constitute a challenge for a traveler. I hope you understand.
Today we start a reflection on the 2 Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy. It was a letter argued to have been written sometime from 67 AD. Its tone suggests that of an apostle who is sending some goodbye (from earthly life) message to his fellow worker, son and brother in the Lord, Timothy.
One could see the affection of Paul and the tenderness of his relationship with his spiritual son, Timothy. When I read the letter this morning, verses 6 and 7 touched me in a special way.
“Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (2 Tm 1:6-7).
Saint Paul was reminding Timothy, the overseer of the Church of God in Ephesus, about the anointing he had received when he was ordained a minister of God’s Word and the sacrament. Timothy was not to forget that moment when he was called and chosen to preach the good news and inspire lives for God. He was not to forget the great treasure of being called for the most holy service of God and his people.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to enter into the room of Blessed Cardinal Newman in Maryvale Birmingham. By the right side of his bed is a closet, which actually isn’t a closet. When you open the door of the closet, you see it has a kneeler facing a transparent glass window that overlooks the tabernacle inside the Sacred Heart Chapel where Cardinal Newman celebrated Masses.
It is claimed that from his room the Cardinal would walk into the closet, which actually was a prayer room. He will kneel on the kneeler and simply gaze through the window from his upstairs room down to Jesus in the tabernacle.
He was constantly reminded of his commitment to the Lord and his people. He kept the memory fresh. He constantly fanned into flame the blessings he received when he became a Catholic, when he was anointed a priest and a bishop.
For all of us believers, it is easy to allow the anointing we received at different times of our life in Christ to go dormant. You know the indelible anointing you received when you were baptized, that makes you a child of God in a special way. It gave you graces, sanctifying grace. It opened the door for more graces to practice virtuous, holy acts. Remember also the anointing you received when you were confirmed. For ordained ministers such as Timothy was, remember the anointing of being a deacon, a priest or a bishop.
We are constantly to rekindle the anointing, fan into flame the blessings. We do so by constantly reminding ourselves of who we are and what we have become in Christ who loves us. Constant prayer life. Practice of virtuous acts. Keeping our focus in Christ who has made us his own. Thinking holy thoughts.
We also do so by not allowing the spirit of fear to silence the voice of God within us. Or the lure of wordiness to dull our spiritual sentiments. Or allow hate to quench the flame of love.
May we ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to rekindle in us, the fire of his love. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 9 Ordinary Time B: 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12; Mk 12:18-27]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.