Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus
The gospel for today’s Feast of Saints Timothy and Titus is a familiar parable from the 4th chapter of St. Mark, a chapter that has Jesus teaching the crowds through a series of parables. For today, it is the parable of the lamp that should not be hidden under a basket but atop a lampstand to light the world. For the early Christian community, being too visible was a dangerous proposition as they were often persecuted for their faith. The Christian community needed encouragement to live faithful lives openly and boldly.
We all have “lights” that need to shine, to brighten our world. Too often, though, we’ve been told not to brag, to be humble. That false humility is like putting a basket over the light. And like Jesus in the gospel story and St. Paul in his letters to Timothy and Titus, we need someone to call us to share our light with others. St. Paul—always on a mission to spread the Word of God—often circled back to those nascent faith communities that often struggled as all human communities do. Very often he had to encourage the local leaders, like Timothy and Titus, to lead by setting themselves as on a lampstand for their light to shine.
I can point to important moments in my life where another person challenged me to take my light from under the basket to let it shine. Sometimes someone saw some trait in me that I could not see for myself. Other times, a person challenged me to move beyond the safety of my small world and to take a leap of faith. Still others asked me to help with a project that I would not have on my own volunteered for. I am grateful for how others encouraged me to uncover the light within, those gifts that are mine to share.
As we reflect on and are grateful for those who encouraged us to live a life of faith fully and boldly, perhaps we can reflect on the times that we were that encouragement for others. How can we call others to take the lamp from under the basket so it can light up the world just a bit more?