June 9, 2012
Saturday of the Ninth Week in
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who
will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim
the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince,
reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not
tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable
curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and
will be diverted to myths. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a
few cents. Calling his disciples to
himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their
surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her
whole livelihood." Matthew 12:42-44
"Forward, the Light
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
the six hundred.
(Selections from "Charge of
the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
The translators of today's selection
from Paul's Letter to Timothy used as the first reading selected an interesting
verb for verse 1. The New American Bible
used the verb "Charge." In the
New Jerusalem Bible, they use the expression "put this duty to
Charge is an interesting
selection to me because it also has other very interesting (and appropriate) connotations
for Timothy. Charge is the verb used to
spell out what acts a person has committed that violate criminal law. In the modern era, it is how we pay for
something when we don't have the cash on hand.
We get the current benefit for a future promise to pay. We also can be charged with the care or
custody of a person. Finally, it is what
Alfred, Lord Tennyson had the Light Brigade do.
Are you ready to undertake the "solemn
charge" that Paul details as the duties of an apostle -- giving your all
even though the future benefit of being with the Lord is a long way off? We will never know when we will collect the reward
for our fidelity to this mission.
If the duties outlined in
Timothy's letter and Mark's Gospel were on your sealed indictment from the Grand
Jury, would there be enough evidence to convict you of evangelization?
As you get your offering ready
for Mass this weekend, how does what's inside the envelope stack up against
what is in the heart of the poor widow?
Do you long for the Lord's
presence or is heading to Mass on Sunday just an act you will do to get your
Catholic ticket proverbially punched? In
Paul's letter, he poured out his entire being and self. There is no ticket punching in the cell to
which Paul found himself chained.