Year C: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on St Paulís second Letter to Timothy 2: 8-13
St Paulís active ministry is all but over. He is physically imprisoned and he is now handing his work over to a new generation of disciples.
Given his own circumstances, he is under no illusions about what coming generations will have to face. He knows that trials and temptations - and the doubts and questions about the wisdom of struggling on.
In the face of the chains that hold him bound, he proclaims that his oppressors cannot chain up the Good News. Time has proven him right.
Even when things were at their darkest and oppression at its most severe, the Light of Christís message could not be extinguished.
The Word of God may have been reduced to a whisper, but it was never silenced.
People may have been held in chains - but those who were free continued faithfully to serve God and Godís people - keeping the Kingdom alive and free.
In his attempts to ensure that there were words of encouragement, Paul offers four simple and memorable phrases:
have died with Him, then we shall live with Him.
These are the basis of a great certainty in Jesus and the life that is ours through Baptism.
It is Baptism that we die with Him - and are reborn to newness of life. It is in our Baptism that we become inheritors of eternal life and glory. In Baptism and in Confirmation, we are given the strength and grace to hold firm in Faith.
There is a warning that, if we disown Jesus, then He will disown us - but immediately followed by an assurance that though we may be unfaithful - and suffer the consequences of our unfaithfulness - Jesus cannot be unfaithful to us. The reason is simple - if not simple to understand! We are the Body of Christ - we are part of His very self.
We may turn away from Jesus - but Jesus will never turn away from us.
What does it mean for me?
Text © 2006 WellspringWeekly Wellsprings ]