2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled.”
Good News Reflection: The fire of God’s gift
In today’s first reading, St. Paul tells Timothy: “I remind you, stir into flame the gift of God that you were given through the imposition of my hands.”
When the bishop imposed his hands on you during your Sacrament of Confirmation, what gift of God did you receive? The answer is not simply “the Holy Spirit”, because you already received this in your baptism.
Confirmation commissioned you to work with the Holy Spirit in your own apostolate, continuing the mission of Christ so that you will be the presence of Christ on earth today.
Have you stirred this awesome calling into a burning desire?
Confirmation is the bishop confirming that your baptism was valid and that it gave you all of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It’s the sacrament by which God becomes fully present for your apostolate and through which you choose to become fully present to God (well, that’s what we’re supposed to do with it; sadly, its theology is rarely grasped on the day of Confirmation).
It’s a confirmation that we have the power, love and self-control of God himself so that we can live holy lives and work successfully for his kingdom. It’s the sacrament of initiation that enflames the gifts that we received during baptism.
Thus, we can bear the hardships that come with living and teaching the Gospel’s truths. We can endure all trials with the supernatural strength that comes from God. There’s no reason to fear disaster, no reason to feel overwhelmed by evil, no reason to worry that our efforts to serve God might fail. Saint Pio of Pietrelcina used to tell people: “Pray, hope and don’t worry!”
God gave us everything necessary to fulfill the purposes for which he created us. If there is any failure, if there is any sin, if there is any lack of activity, it’s because we’ve not sufficiently stirred up the flame of the Holy Spirit’s fire within us.
We stir the flame by continually feeding our souls with the nourishment of scripture, Christ-centered friends, Church teachings, and faith formation events. The flame is stoked brighter and hotter by the frustrations that impassion us to get up and go out and make a difference in the Church and in the world.
God has a special task for you. Perhaps you’re already doing it. Or maybe you can envision it but you don’t know how to get from here to there. Or perhaps you’re still trying to find the vision. Or maybe you feel unprepared or inadequate. Concentrate on stoking the fire in every way possible. As your flame gets brighter, the calling and the way to fulfill it will become clearer.
And remember: God always empowers us to do everything that he asks of us.
Need more help with this? Use my e-book, “Knowing God’s Will and Doing it Well”, available at Catholic Digital Resources:catholicdr.com/ebooks/GodsWill.htm
Lord Jesus, I earnestly desire to remain close to You. Grant me the grace of persevering in my trials to bear the good fruit our Father wants from me every day. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica