Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus
2 Timothy 1:1-8 or Titus 1:1-5
I’m not sure how mail delivery worked in the first century A.D. When he receives a letter from St. Paul that we hear in today’s reading, Timothy was serving as bishop in Ephesus. He had to be thrilled! Paul had a deep and enduring friendship with Timothy, whose feast we celebrate today along with Titus. Paul and Timothy were partners in ministry in establishing the early churches.
Getting a letter from his friend and mentor must have made Timothy’s day. Those early years in the church were tough and contentious. I am sure Timothy often felt overwhelmed and battered, pulled in too many directions. Then at the end of a long day he opens a letter from a friend who has known his own troubles. He must have felt wonderful in reading Paul’s words: "I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day."
My work as a fundraising consultant focuses on helping organizations establish and nurture important relationship with those women and men who want to make a difference in the world through their partnership with organizations that provide important services. Nothing helps solidify and deepen a relationship like a sincere and heart-felt letter. Not an email. Not a tweet or Instagram. Not a Facebook update, but a personal letter, even better if handwritten.
We hear of the woes of the U.S. Postal Service and how mail volume has decreased, especially for first-class letters. But I still delight in the occasional personal letter. I can spot my mother’s handwriting immediately. I can sense by its size a personal thank you note. It’s not really the words that matter, but the thoughtfulness.
I’m going to write a personal note to someone special today. No particular reason; just to encourage and say thank you. Maybe you can try it. You’ll be in fine company…not with me, but with St. Paul.
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.