2 Tim 1:1-3; 6-12/ Mk 12:18-27
Today we move into the marvelous personal letter from Saint Paul to Saint Timothy. As usual, Paul does not waste time getting to the heart of his matter:
“Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus…. Now made manifest through the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed preacher and Apostle and teacher….”
I think Paul is putting before Timothy and us today the entire vision he has of what his work as an Apostle is all about. Very simply, it is about focusing our attention on eternal life.
We have been “called to a holy life…[by] the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began….”
Paul wanted Timothy to hold to this one truth: the only life that is real is a life in Christ Jesus. When we look at all of the fake lives that are presented to us by the world today, it is hard to hold fast to one God has called Life.
At the start of his encyclical Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Called to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, ‘the true light that enlightens everyone’ (Jn 1:9), people become ‘light in the Lord’ and ‘children of light’ (Eph 5:8), and are made holy by ‘obedience to the truth’ (1 Pet 1:22). This obedience is not always easy….”
Paul knew this same fact: it is not easy to be an Apostle. But the splendor of the truth of the gospel drove him on. He was not “ashamed” of the gospel and neither can we be.
Can we dare to let the truth of the gospel cost us whatever it will? As one poet (the Reverend Calvin Miller) put it “I don’t buy love, but I owe it everything.” Obedience, love, the splendor of truth: pursue these, and you will have the peace that Paul lived and died in.