Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 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 so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Like Grandmother’s fine china or Uncle Owen’s coin collection, our faith, too, is inherited and then personally owned. Like those other treasures, which can either be shelved or utilized and admired, our faith is passed on to us through death, that is, our first death and rising to new life in Baptism. And faith is a gift far more valuable than porcelain or gold.
This faith, we believe and profess, is something that belongs to each of us and to all of us who call ourselves Christian, all the way back to the early Church, to the bishops Saints Timothy and Titus, and as we read today, through their own mothers and grandmothers.
Prayerfully contemplating my own joyful day of Baptism, I ask myself: Who are the people in my life who, doing the best job they could with what they had, passed along to me the treasure of my faith?
Good and gracious Father,
Give me openness and wonder
to take the God’s-eye view of salvation history,
my own and that of all humankind.
Help me to see that the Faith I profess with my actions and words
is a gift I inherited and have made my own.
Send your Spirit into my heart
that I might be filled with gratitude.
Renew within me my Faith.
And enkindle in me a passionate Love born of new Hope.
I make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
—Fr. Vincent Giacabazi, SJ
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