Meditation for Friday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
(1 Tim 1:1-2, 12-14; Lk 6:39-42)

It is a beautiful day as we begin another journey with Paul’s first letter to Timothy. This letter is among the PASTORAL EPISTLES addressed to a pastor of souls, providing guidelines for the life of the Christian community. “To Timothy, my true child in the faith”, whom St Paul converted on his mission to Lystra. His mother, Eunice (2 Tim 1:5), was a Jew but his father was a Greek (Acts 16:1-3). He became a close companion to St Paul. It appears Timothy was placed in charge of the Church in Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3). As we scroll down these pages, we shall see the uniqueness of the letters as St Paul instructs ‘his son’ on his role as pastor of souls.

St Paul began humbly by acknowledging his unworthiness, but exalting the mercy of God that brought him from blasphemy to faith; from persecuting the Church to a preacher of the gospel. “I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Ignorant of Christ is blindness; Jesus opened the eyes of St Paul and led him to the light of life through the gospel. Having seen the light, he is now leading Timothy along the way. In the gospel of today, Jesus asks, “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they, not both fall into a pit? Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but does not notice the log that is in your own eye?” This is hypocrisy! And there are a lot of hypocritical leaders who are always in a hurry to criticize and correct without love, who want people to FOLLOW them without knowing where they are going! “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”

Therefore, we join our voices with St Paul to exalt the grace and mercy of God that shine its light upon our blindness, removing our ignorance and filling us with divine wisdom. In the light of Christ, our inner vision is lifted above wordily pleasures and pursuit, to perceive heavenly treasures. Then, we see clearly the true value of things and use them well, and worship God freely. That is why Jesus is our true guide; He alone has seen the heavenly treasures and has come to show us the way. He holds us by the hand as the Good Shepherd and leads us to greener pastures and safety. Any other guide is to help us trace our steps to Jesus, who opens our eyes and shows us the way. Amen.

St Nicholas of Tolentino, pray for us. Amen.

Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.
Thursday, September 9th, 2021.

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