Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus
2 Timothy 1:1-8 or Titus 1:1-5
"For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light."
We all love knowing secrets. It bestows privilege. And being invited to share in a secret is nearly irresistible. Who has ever said no to the question, "Do you want to hear a secret?" And what good is having a secret if I can’t tell someone?
Today’s scripture readings on this memorial of two bishops of the early church urge us to pass on what we have received, to proclaim the Good News that has been passed on to us and now must be shared with others. The gift of the Gospel is not a secret to hide. It is a gift to be shared. The Gospel brings light to all the darkness, sin, brokenness and secrets of our lives.
We may know for ourselves or through the experience of others the burden of a secret that is so terrible that it cannot be shared with anyone. These long-buried secrets keep wonderful human beings from growing fully into the person God created them to be by sapping enormous energy needed to hide that secret from others. Secrets uncovered are headlines in the news all too often. The stories can be heartbreaking.
As baptized Christians – as fathers or mothers, as community and business leaders, as educators, as pastors, as preachers, and as friends and neighbors – we are sent to bring the Light of Christ to the dark regions of life, to bring life from death, freedom from slavery. Far too many of us, though, live in fear that our secret will come to light. Somehow we have come to believe that no one would love us if they really knew us, secrets and all.
The readings during this time of the year focus on the ministry of Jesus. Watch him carefully. See how he frees people from their burdens. Jesus proclaims time and again that that nothing is greater than God’s love – not suffering, not death, and certainly no secret. The Good News is passed on from Jesus to St. Paul to Timothy and Titus, and now to us, first, to free us from our own sin, and, second, to share this same Good News with others that they may be unburdened and set free from all that keeps them in the dark, especially those secrets.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and is the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.