Thursday, April 15, 2021

Labor et Fatigatio | Laboring and Toiling

“…On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.”– 2Thessalonians 3: 8



 

“You don’t work – You don’t eat”. I am sure you have heard this saying before and usually it is directed to lazy people. Apparently, it was the same idea in Paul’s day. Apostle Paul, the man who wrote 13 books in the Bible, who received a direct revelation from God himself, who was a leading missionary to Asia Minor, was encouraging believers in the church to work hard. Paul could have his salary paid by the church. The church could provide all his needs, but it wasn't his way. Instead, he worked and he told them to do the same, to work an honest job, to toil and drop sweat and to earn a living.

In the context, we can tell that there were some busybodies in the church who loved to gossip and to cause a raucous within the church. Paul warned the church members about these people and to stay away from them. In fact, he told them to “keep away” from these. Why is it? It is simple, when you are just laying around doing nothing, there are millions of possibilities that the devil may use these moments to creep into your live. There’s an old saying “An idle hand is the tool work of the devil”. There’s a lot of truth in this saying. If you go to the area where the unemployment number is high, then most likely, you will find the high rate of crime in that area.

I was just thinking of Paul as one of the great apostles of Christ who had to work in order to support his own ministry. How about us? I thought Paul set a great example for us as a believer to follow. In a world, where there are a lot of schemes to get rich quickly, the Word of God calls us to work an honest work for our living. Especially as a believer, it is okay to “have a sweat upon your brows”, to get tired after long hours at work. It is a part of living in this cursed world.

So brothers and sisters, let us roll our sleeves and get them done. Whether it is at home or at work, let us be a productive person that gives glory and honor to God through our work. I close with this verse, “So whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). God bless us. Amen.

 

Reflection on 2Thessalonians 3: 6-18 by Pst. Devy Nanlohy


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Non Alligatum | Not in Chains

“The word of God is not in chains.” - 2 Tim 2: 9





God the Father chose us to be his adopted sons and daughters in Jesus Christ. It is a great gift and proof of God's love. We know how fragile and weak human nature is. We experience our weaknesses, sins, and falls, etc. Obviously, we'd like to be strong children, prudent, wise, even perfect.

Apostle Paul encourages us to become like soldiers of Christ. It's very interesting as we realize that he was a sinful and weak person too. But after his conversion, Paul was sure that his strength comes from Jesus. He was ready to suffer and accept all the difficulties. His only wish was to be united with Jesus Christ. He was always on "active service" (v.4), "obeyed the rules" (v.5), and "worked hard" (v.6) for the sake of his Master. 

Surely, I am also to follow the example of Apostle Paul. Consequently, I need to be more open and ask the Lord to enable me with grace. I do remember that Jesus was raised from death and now lives in me. He chose me not because I was an extraordinary man or superman. He saw me as a weak and sinful creature who is in need of salvation. Thus, he helped me to overcome my weaknesses. And now I am ready to preach the Good News even so I know how poor I am. 

Thanks to his divine power, through my words and actions, the word of God can be proclaimed all over the world. My only purpose is so many people "may obtain the salvation that comes through Christ Jesus and brings eternal glory" (v.12). Amen.

  

 

Reflection on 2 Timothy 2: 1-12 by Fr. J√≥zef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Vocatio | Calling

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfil every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” - 2Thessalonians 1: 11-12




The persecution of Christians has occurred since the 1st century. In the first passage of 2Thessalonians, Paul encouraged Thessalonians to endure the persecution and sufferings. We know, every human being – since Adam and Eve, the Thessalonians in the 1st century or we in 21st century – undergoes pain, distress and hardship. The Bible tells us that suffering makes people’s faith grow more and more.

Paul taught us to endure the suffering by focusing on the goal. What is a Christian’s goal? It is to walk worthy of the calling of God (verse 11). How do we be worthy of his calling? By the grace of God and Lord Jesus Christ, it gives us the power to resolve for good and act by the faith (verse 11).

Paul said that if we trust in the power of God, we could not simply let the life flows. We have to make a decision firmly of what we want. It is like a blind man Bartimaeus from Jericho (Mark 10). Long story short, when Jesus met him he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus knew exactly what Bartimaeus wanted, didn’t he? But he asked him anyway. He wanted him to decide and utter it. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” He made a decision.

Brother and sister, to decide something is one story, to act accordingly is another story. For the act of faith, we should learn from the action of the bleeding woman in the Bible. At any cost, she touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed (Mark 5).

Reflect on Paul’s letter, Bartimaeus and the bleeding woman’s story, our part to do is to resolve our resolution in faith and take the act of faith in God’s power that given freely by the grace of God and Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the result of this way of life or thinking? It is that God and Jesus be glorified in us, and we be glorified in Him (verse 12). This work is done by God actually, not us. Grace of God and Lord Jesus Christ give the power to our faith and work together with our decisions and willingness. Then it will lead to God and Jesus be glorified in us and we in him.

Dear brothers and sisters, some questions for our reflection today: Do we know what God’s calling for us? Do we need to resolve something to walk worthy in his calling? What acts of faith do we need to do? Even if tomorrow looks dark and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, what acts of faith do we need to do?

Brothers and sisters, let the grace and power of God and Lord Jesus Christ lead us to fulfil his calling. To God be the glory. God bless us.

  

 

Reflection on 2Thessalonians 1: 1-12 by Veralin Uneputty

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Filii Lucis | Children of the Light

“For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 5 (NLT)



 

This passage talks about the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. It is said that He will come like a thief. Unexpected and will cause a sudden disaster for those who live in the darkness. It also gives an analogy as when a pregnant woman labor pains start. Even when the doctor has predicted the labor time, we would never know the exact time. We could only do some preparations but the pain comes surprisingly, inevitably, and it surely increases to the max. Briefly, that day must be something terrifying.

But verse 4 and 5 say that it would not be a surprise for Children of light and day, but on the contrary for those who belong to the darkness and night. Who are these children of light who are not afraid of the Lord ’s day – when Jesus comes? We might think that they have to be people who have a perfect life, not much struggle against sin and considered good in general.  John Gill’s commentary on this explains that they are “enlightened persons, whose understandings were enlightened by the spirit of God, to see their lost state by nature, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the insufficiency of their righteousness to justify them before God, the fullness, suitableness, and excellency of Christ's righteousness, the way of salvation by Christ, and that it is all of grace from first to last”.

God loves the humble ones. People who love God, try hard to please him, but soon understand that it is so easy for them to fall into sin and break the heart of God. They grieve, mourn and weep over their hopeless state. They consider themselves unworthy. These are the people who will be exalted by God (James 4: 6-10). 

So Apostle Paul said that we must be on guard, not asleep, stay alert and be clearheaded. We are protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing the confidence of our salvation as our helmet (verses 6-8). That means, we do our job – to have faith in God and have love to share as we have received from him; while God does his. He holds us up with his salvation which is forever and never fails for those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Be careful when we think that we are good enough - when we are self-sufficient and feel that we are not like other people who are sinful and weak. We could easily be deceived with our self-righteousness. We block the light of God to enter and shine over our true self. Come under his light as we don’t want to be considered as the children of darkness and night.

Let’s encourage and build one another up, as we are already doing. For God saves us through the Lord Jesus Christ not to pour his anger on us, but so that we can live with him forever (verses 9-11). Rejoice my brothers and sisters! May God help us all. Amen.

 

Reflection on 1Thessalonians 5: 1-11 by Desire Litaay


  

Friday, April 9, 2021

Sanctificatio | Be Sanctified

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.” – 1Thessalonians 4: 3




Do we fulfill every promise of love for ourselves, others, and God? No love relationship is always smooth and sincere. There are always challenges and obstacles that would cause us experiencing or causing conflicts. We often come to a point where our loyalty and love are tested: do we remain faithful amidst challenges and trials that come and go? Do we accept challenges in love stories as a commonplace in a relationship or do we choose to turn away and end the relationship? It all depends on us, how to reflect and see all the possibilities and aspects of all events that come our way. Paul in his counsel to the Thessalonians emphasized the sanctification of the body in an honorable way by avoiding sexual immorality.

Now days, it is very difficult to keep true to a marriage vow or an eternal promise. There are too many temptations and trials that test our faith. Everyone has their own meaning in responding to every challenge that comes. Whether the test is a disaster that destroys our relationship or one that ripens our relationship with the people we love. Is it a test that destroys our relationship or a test that completes our pledge of allegiance to our vocation of religious life? 

It is not easy to survive when challenges come our way. Sometimes we realize that as weak human beings, we are fragile, weak, and like to give up easily. In my personal reflection, I find that I give up when I don't put my hopes in God, or when I demand the answers to my prayers to be quick. Sometimes we leave God because we feel that being faithful is too difficult; also because our prayers have not been answered. We waited too long.

Indeed, loyalty to guard every choice we make and defend it is not an easy matter. Everything is a process and a test for all of us whether we keep our marriage vows or eternal promises to live happily. We must always reflect that there is no choice without challenges! All choices always have consequences. In the end, every choice to keep a sacred promise is a very noble thing! When we become stronger in maintaining our relationships with other people and especially with God, we will always smile at the end of every struggle in our life.

At the end of my reflection, I ask for prayers from all of us for all victims of natural disasters in East Nusa Tenggara. Even though material help is difficult to distribute because we are far apart, let us help with our prayers. May God grant strength and health to those who are still alive, those who involve in this disaster and an eternal rest for those who have died. This is an act of our love and loyalty to our fellow humans and the glory of God's name.


Reflection on 1Thessalonians 4:1-11 by Sandre Loreng, SVD

(Listen to the podcast here)

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Gloria Et Gaudium | Glory and Joy

“Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” - 1Thessalonians 2: 20





My dear brothers and sisters, what makes us rejoice?  Because we’ve got something?  So if we don't get what we want, does that joy disappear?  If so, what kind of joy do we Christians today need? 

In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul showed his joy.  Because of what?  Because his wish was fulfilled?  No, it wasn't. Precisely, the joy came from outside of him.  What was that?  Paul rejoiced because of the spiritual growth of the church.  The Thessalonians received, lived, and practiced God's word.  They were not only hearers of the word but they were also the doers of the word. 

Here we can see that Paul rejoiced not because of material things but more spiritual.  Therefore, it was this spiritual joy in him that ultimately made him ignore everything he had ever experienced such as fatigue, distress, and suffering.  All of them were replaced with abundant spiritual joy.

Brothers and sisters, how about us?  What joy do we have today?  Our joy, of course, is not just a matter of good or bad but more than that.  Our joy appears when we live the Word of God seriously.  And of course, the power of God's word will change our lives for the better. 

Then, after we experience the power of God's word, we also must try to show it out.  In what way?  By becoming leaders, teachers, workers, employees, and students who always radiate love, do justice, fight for the truth, strive for kindness, and are willing to pay attention to those who are weak and marginalized. Amen, –

 

 

Reflection on 1Thessalonians 2: 13 – 20 by Fr Risco Batbual, SVD

 (Listen to the Podcast here)

 


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Probati Sumus | Those Approved

“ _But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the gospel, that is how we speak, not as trying to please human beings, but rather God, who judges our hearts.” - 1Thessalonians 2: 4

 



Saint Paul was a faithful Gentiles who lived and acted according to the law of God that he had received from his ancestors since he was young. But on the day when God chose him, he offered all his being and effort to proclaim the gospel to every nation. We also know that his ministry was not easy and was subjected to many obstacles and rejections. Nevertheless, Saint Paul also tried to assure us that his ministry was not to profit from misleading people, not trying to please human beings, but rather God, who judges our hearts.

 

It was not only in the days of Saint Paul, but it is also, today. Maybe not much, but there is. In society, our services are sometimes thought to win people's sympathy, to profit, or sometimes are perceived as to Christianize or ensnare others.  But the purpose of each service is that others may experience God’s love and goodness, to create communities that tolerate one another without discrimination of tribes, backgrounds, and beliefs.

 

Then, we as followers of Christ must courageously deny all our egos and dare to bear every cross of life that we experience. We must venture out of our comfort zones to proclaim joyful tidings for others, even though we will be rejected or even opposed. God bless.



Reflection on 1Thessalonians 2: 1-12 by Sr. Maria Venidora SND
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Gratia Et Pax | Thank God for You

“We always thank God for all of you...” – 1Thessalonians 1: 2



It is a challenge to preach the Word of God to unbelievers, let alone to start a church. Apostle Paul faced many difficulties in spreading the Gospel. He and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi then miraculously were freed from the jail (Act 16: 26). They came to Thessalonica and some people joined them believing the Good News of Christ, but then had to flee from an angry mob (Act 17: 5). They moved to Berea and met good believers but soon were driven out by the same Thessalonian mob again (Act 17: 11-13). Paul had challenges in Athens (Act 17: 32-33) and he finally reached Corinth, in weakness, fear and much trembling (1 Cor 2: 3).

When Paul was in need for an emotional support, came the news from Thessalonica. The church there was strong, they imitated him without any force. This encouraging news brought by Silas & Timothy was a relief and much appreciated by Paul. He and his fellow missionaries gratefully prayed for the believers in Thessalonica, for their faithful work, loving deeds, and the enduring hope they have in the Lord Jesus Christ.

They accepted the message of God, Paul brought, with joy in spite of the suffering they endured because of that. They even became an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. Their faith had become known everywhere. They left their idols to come to God and they were waiting for the coming of Jesus, the Son of God.

The Word of the Lord changes people’s life. They become a new creation in Jesus Christ. The true believers leave a significant impact in others’ life. People are grateful, encouraged, loved and most importantly inspired by their unwavering faith.

Paul thanked God when speaking of the believers in Thessalonica. How about us? What would people think when they remember each of us? What kind of memories do we leave on other people’s mind? Do other people thank God for us?

 

 

Reflection on 1Thessalonians 1: 1-10 by Desire Litaay

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bonum Certamen | The Good Fight

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” – 2Timothy 4: 7

 



Greeting in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. What would you do if you knew that today is your last day to live on this earth? What would you ask for? Who do you want to talk to before you leave this world? What is your last wish?

Our passage today is the last known letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, in fact to anyone. According to the historians, not long after he wrote this, he was executed by the Romans.

In this letter to Pastor Timothy, Paul’s heart was not for his own safety but with the church and the thing he wanted the most - the companionship of Pastor Timothy (verse 9 and 21). He didn’t ask for a good lawyer to bail him out of jail or other comforts of life. This was because Paul knew that he has completed his tasks that God set for him to do. He said in the previous section, “I have finished the course … and for me, there laid out a crown” (verse 7 and 8). Nothing in this world have a hold of him now. One thing that he asked twice was that Timothy would come and visit him one last time.

In the reflection of this passage, Paul knew what really matters in this life and it was neither riches, nor fame, nor life accomplishments, but the joy of knowing that you have done everything God set you out to do. As we live in this world, we notice that hungry of accomplishments and feats. Through this passage, God wants us to know that pleasing Him is the most important thing in this life. Nothing else should matter, but pleasing the Lord.

But how? First, by knowing the things that please God. How do we know those things? By spending time in His Word of course. Second, by doing what we do know that pleases God. It is living the life that makes God smiles upon us.

Can you imagine what was going through Paul’s mind on that crisp morning when they woke him up and told him to get ready for his execution? I truly believe that Paul only had one thing in his mind - “I’m going HOME”.

Are you living the life that pleases Him now? Are you sure that you have tried your best to do what God has set you to do? If not, then why? As we are entering into the Passion Week, let us introspect our hearts and lives today.

God be with you, Amen.

 

 

Reflection on 2Timothy 4:9-22 by Pst. Devy Nanlohy

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Monday, March 29, 2021

Praedica Verbum | Preach the Word

“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” – 2Timothy 4: 2 (NLT)

 

Photo by Abel Tan Jun Yang from Pexels


“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed". – Hudson Taylor.

Preaching. What does preaching in 2Timothy 4:2 mean to me? Is it only for pastors? Since according to the context, Timothy was a bishop of Ephesus. Paul reminds us to preach the Holy Scripture in whatever situation we face. Either in a favorable situation –when there is no obstacle to preach, or in an unfavorable one – when the situation or people around are against preaching the Word. Paul also reminds us that there are times when proclaiming the truth would be awkward, difficult, or resisted.

This verse - “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” – is not only for pastor, is it? It is for all of us according to the Great Commission. In Matthew 28: 18-20 Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”.

Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations. In Mark 16:15 (NLT) He says, “go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone”. You and I are sent to a mission: Making disciples in our world or our systems. What is our world or systems? It is our nuclear family, our extended family, our colleagues, our community of the same hobbies and interests, at school, around our neighborhood or any systems God calls us.

Back to our Bible reading, 2Timothy 4:2 is about making disciples. It applies to all of us. Sometimes, we are worried about what we have to say or preach. There is no need to worry, because He who calls us has all authority in heaven and on earth and will equip us to his own glory and excellence. He who equipped Moses and Timothy, will equip us as well. Besides, it’s not about us, it is all about He who sends us.

As the Father sent His Son to the world, and now the Son sends us, his disciples, to multiply. To God be the glory.

 

 

Reflection on 2Timothy 4:1-8 by Veralin Uneputty

(Listen to the Podcast here)

 


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Passiones | Sufferings

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,…” – 2 Timothy 3: 12




My dear brothers and sisters, it is undeniable that all of us have suffered any time in our life and perhaps we are still suffering right now. We do not like to suffer for anything, nor can we resist it to come into our lives. We cannot run away from it.  Moreover, as God's people, suffering is our cross of life.

The suffering can be illustrated by two sides of a coin. On one side, the suffering could weaken our body and soul but on the other side, it could help us realize our infirmities and weaknesses then improve it. At this point, we are asked to endure the suffering and try to find a way of bringing peace into our suffering.

Saint Paul said, "Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted". Becoming a faithful Christian, we have to suffer and be persecuted as a part of our faith experience. Saint Paul also wrote about our attitudes when we face various kinds of suffering in our faith life. He emphasized that we must be consistent in the righteousness. How difficult it is to stride in faith, when we are suffering because of the faith itself. 

For surviving on our faith, Saint Paul invites us to be more and more faithful in reading the Holy Scripture and doing a reflection afterwards. In the Holy Scripture, we will find the wisdom of God which will lead us to God's salvation. God's wisdom helps us to correct ourselves and lead us to a repentance. Therefore, we try keener to read and to live God's Word accordingly in our daily lives. Those are the Christian's power in facing up sufferings.

My dear brothers and sisters, sufferings have great values in our lives as God's people. It can purify us and help us grow up in faith to God. By sticking to the faith and God's blessing, we can endure the sufferings in our lives. One certain thing which we have to remind is that God never gives us any unbearable sufferings. Also, His Love always accompanies us in our journey for His steadfast love endures forever. Accept your problems and sufferings and turn them into smiles. Amen.

Reflection on 2 Timothy 3:10-17 by Fr. Victory D. Lianain, SVD

 (Listen to the Podcast here)


Friday, March 26, 2021

De Corde Puro | A Pure Heart

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – 2 Timothy 2: 22





My dear brothers and sisters, Timothy faced difficult problems in his ministry.  He was confronted by heretical teachers who liked to dispute, confuse, talk nonsense, and live a life of wickedness.  Paul admonished Timothy to try to be a worthy worker of Christ so that the false teachers would not find a way to overthrow Timothy and defame the name of God.

To become a worthy worker of Christ, Paul advised Timothy these two ways namely: First, to be wise in his words.  That is, not to be ashamed to preach the truth, not to argue about unworthy things, and to serve with gentleness.  Second, he should maintain purity by abstaining from lust, and pursuing justice, loyalty, love, and peace.  

We can note that amid the complex problems posed by the heretical teachers at Ephesus, Timothy was encouraged to deal with them wisely and not violently.  Although some had deviated from the truth, Paul advised Timothy to deal with it with tenderness.  Thus, maybe God allowed them to repent and know the truth.  Such people can easily get lost as a result of Satan's snare that enmeshes them.

Brothers and sisters, let Timothy's way of life and example be our role model.  Since often as followers of Christ or as spiritual leaders, we are impatient in guiding someone who has strayed from the truth and easily exclude him or her from the community of God's people.  

Before we confront people who have gone astray, let us first learn to be wise in speech and keep our lives pure so that other people or the devil cannot overthrow us and shame Christ.  With gentleness, we will be enabled by God with His grace to guide and direct the lost person to the right path. Amen, –




Reflection on 2 Timothy 2: 14 – 26 by Father Risco Batbual, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bonus Miles | Good Soldier

"Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus" - 2 Timothy 2: 3 (NLT)

 




Being true to a job, to a person and a calling in life, requires a high commitment, a deep trust, a sacrifice, and a life service with no hope of any rewards. This is the responsibility and risk we must face whatever form it may take. Sometimes, people love themselves too much and unable to see other people’s needs.

Saint Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, reminds us that when we are willing to become Christ’s followers, at that time our faith, love, and faithfulness begin to be put to the test. Every decision must be made consciously without blaming others.

Being a follower of Christ means willing to leave behind every comfort and self-selfishness. Though in reality, we strive to accomplish what Jesus commanded - being his follower "as a good soldier of Christ Jesus". It means we are ready to face challenges, trials, sufferings, judgments, and any enemies both from others and also our inner selves. We will be hated, slandered, isolated, and mocked, but we must believe that Christ is present in every measure of our suffering.

On the other hand, we may momentarily leave him because of our human frailty, but with the same love, he will await our arrival like a prodigal son. He's always waiting for us to come closer to him, for he's the Lord of mercy and compassion. One thing we must be grateful that “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself" (V13). God bless us.


Reflection on 2 Timothy 2: 1-13  by Sr. Maria Venidora SND

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Carissimo | My Dear

“Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” – 1 Timothy 1: 4





For months now, most of us have been staying at home - voluntarily because we were required to work from home or involuntarily because sadly we became jobless, a casualty of the pandemic. Travel was restricted. Borders were closed. Doors were shut. Except for the frontliners, we have been confined in smaller spaces than what we have been used to.

Given our current scenario, the first part of the reading is so beautifully poignant, like the words are being spoken to us by a close friend whom we have not seen for a long time. Apostle Paul said and I quote, "I am grateful to God-whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did - when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you that I may be filled with joy".

And just like during his time when most of the followers of Jesus suffered because of their faith, Paul's words are as powerful now as then, reminding us that God gave us a spirit of power and love and self-discipline, and not a spirit of cowardice.

With this knowledge, we can be confident that we will overcome this trial because of God's grace. In the midst of terrible pain, of anxiety, of not knowing when this will finally end, we see God's light, each time illuminating more brightly, when we live in gratitude and when we encourage one another.




Reflection on 2 Timothy 1:1-18 by Kristine Gay Garcia

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Caritas Dei | The Love of God

"For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" - John 8:24



 

Jesus’ mission is to free us from the bondage of sin. He never hesitated to speak the truth, He rebuked anyone who deviated from the path of truth.  Strived to the last point on the cross just to lead us home, on the right path.

We often ignore Him by ignoring our own conscience every time we sin.  But God is never tired of leading us patiently.  In our daily life, God often sends us His message through our conscience, through events of life.  Some of us really get His message but some of us are even deaf and blind to hear His voice and to see with our eyes of faith. That He is always waiting for us when we are despair of our sinful ways, or when we enjoy our own life too much.

God’s love for us is so great that He gave His only Son who redeemed us by His blood.  If we don’t repent, if we never feel guilty for the sins we have committed, then as He said, we will die in vain in our sins. As Christians, we believe that God is merciful, full of compassion.  Even the great sinners will be forgiven if they are willing to repent.

Why do we still hold on to our old way of life if it prevents us from entering His kingdom? Lent is a time of self-reflection. Let us turn to the right path, let’s accumulate treasures for eternal life by doing what is pleasing Him. God bless us all.

 

Reflection on John 8: 24 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC


Monday, March 22, 2021

Cupiditas | The Love of Money

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" - 1 Timothy 6:10.







There is a proverb said that "money is not everything" but in practice "everything needs money". We all need money. It would be a lie if someone says "I don't need money." If we read Paul's  letter to Timothy, we see that the key word in 1 Tim. 6:10 is not "money" but "the love of money." Money does not create crime. Money-related crime comes from the attitude of someone's heart toward money.

Having a lot of money is not a sin, but we shouldn't be enslaved by money. The love of money is the root of evil. The desire to get rich can cause people to fall into temptation. Many people are willing to do anything to get money quickly, even by a bad way.

We should never forget that we came into this world with nothing and when we die we will take nothing from it. So let us develop a "sufficient" attitude. When money distracts us from worshipping God, we dare to say "enough".

 

 

Reflection on 1 Timothy 6: 1-10 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Duplici Honore | Double Honor

"Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in word and doctrine" -  1 Timothy 5:17




Should every religious leader be respected twice? Isn't it by wishing for this turns a religious leader into superiority and becoming someone who is hungry for power? Do we as pastors, nuns and brothers need double respect for preaching the gospel? Or do we as faithful Christians need double respect from non-Christians? These are my basic questions after meditating on today's passage (1Tim 5: 17-25).

It was after reading this text over and over and reading some exegesis that I realized I was wrong. This letter was written by the apostle Paul to Timothy about how to take care of the congregations in the early church of that time. It is clear that the double respect is meant to give responsibility for a leader. How a leader conducts himself in service and association with the people.

The purpose of paying homage to elders or religious leaders is not merely aimed at an assembly of elders or religious leaders. Respect does not show the superiority of rulers or religious leaders. This advice, if read more carefully, is aimed more at the congregation, for us to appreciate every person who is specially called and devotes himself to religious life or those who are ordained to be God's servants.

People like us respect the clergy not because they have a respected answer in the church but as an awareness of our faith, a gratitude for the service and a form of responsibility as believers towards them. For they have sincerely sacrificed their hearts and energy, family and all personal affairs for the interests of ministry and also for the spread of the gospel.

However, is it true that those who are summoned truly do not have a thirst for power, honor or position? For example the measure used in choosing people for the gospel ministry or the celebration of the Eucharist – Does their rich or poor background matter? On the other hand, do we as people always demand every clergy to be perfect regardless of their human weaknesses?

Let us respect each other!

 

Reflection on 1 Timothy 5: 17-25 by Sandre Loreng, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, March 19, 2021

Pietas | Godliness

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”- 1 Timothy 4: 8.

 


Dear brothers and sisters, Christianity is the way of life which is a life lived by faith according to God’s principles in the Bible. It also means keeping the relation with God in anything, anytime and anywhere. That is why Paul said that physical training such as fasting and abstaining from certain food and activities have a little advantage. 

Christianity is also how we exercise our heart, mind, soul and spirit to be like Christ. Some physical training may be useful to make us fitter for prayer, but godliness is true worshiping. It trains our mental and spirit to fear God, have faith in him, and live in holiness and obedience. God gives us the Bible and more than that, Jesus Christ, the word of God, as our role model to live a life in God’s will and please him.

One day, my boss urged me to find a role model. He asked me to choose a successful person as my role model. S/he would provide a vision and a visual proof, for whom I aspired to be. I was young back then. So, I was busy finding my role model. “Is it my Mom, or Mr/s. X, Y, Z?” I asked myself. As time goes by, I realize that Christ should be my role model to fulfil God’s purpose in me. He is a visual and living proof who lived a life according to God’s will and pleased God. It is important for Christians to become like Christ.

Brothers and sisters, please allow me to share one verse for the closing:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" – Romans 12:2. Amen.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Timothy 4:1-16 by Veralin Uneputty

(Listen to the Podcast here)