From the Word of the Day
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. (2 Timothy 1: 6-9)
Today’s first reading presents us with a passage from the second Letter of Paul to Timothy. The first verses of this letter are full of the affection of the Apostle for his disciple. Paul is trying to encourage Timothy who had a temperament that was a bit timid and therefore was more or less intimidated in the face of the persecutions of his times.
Paul tells him that he must find courage within himself, in the charismatic grace of his Ordination as presbyter that he had received through the laying on of Paul’s hands. In this sacramental rite, the power of God corroborated with him in a selfless and audacious love toward the brethren. In virtue of this strengthening, Timothy will not be ashamed to give his witness to Christ nor will he feel ashamed because of Paul’s imprisonment. Rather, he will be ready to suffer together with the Apostle and the other confessors of the faith.
This interior disposition is constantly nourished by grace –the sacramental charisma. It is not something magical that works independently of free personal adhesion, so much so that it can be extinguished like a fire that is not nourished. Paul tells Timothy he must ‘fan into flame’ God’s charisma. This image appears only in Paul and in this Letter. It is the action of one who breathes into the fire to blow away the ashes that threaten to suffocate the fire and put it out. “God’s grace is like a fire that is covered with ashes. It does not give light” (St. Thomas)
O Lord, breathe the fire of Your Grace into my heart and take always the ashes so that it will never go out.
The Voice of Justin, Holy Philosopher and Martyr
Pray above all that the doors of light remain open to you so that no one may see and understand unless God and His Christ grant them understanding.