26 Jan – Memorial for Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops
St. Timothy (d. 97) was the son of a Greek gentile, his mother Eunice was Jewish. He was converted to Christianity by St. Paul around the year 47. He was a partner, assistant and close friend of Paul. He was a missionary as well, and became head of the Church in Ephesus. He was the recipient of two canonical letters from St. Paul, and was stoned to death for opposing the worship of Dionysius.
St. Titus (d. 96) was also a disciple of St. Paul and was the recipient of a canonical letter from him. He was the first bishop of the Church in Crete.
- Patron Saint Index
2 Tim 1:1-8
…fan into a flame the gift that God gave you…
I was recently invited to do a sharing with the men’s ministry at my former parish. For 2022, the core team decided that they wanted to inject some interesting topics into their fortnightly sessions and their leader reached out to me just after Christmas. In the midst of all the ‘busyness’ of P&W, as well as adoration sessions being revived in our centre, I said ‘sure’.
The suggested theme was centred around music — I serve in a music ministry, both as worship leader and occasionally play the violin. I have also been taking vocal lessons for around 3 to 4 years and am working towards a diploma this year (hopefully the examiners will be allowed to fly in from the UK). In preparing the slides for my sharing, it struck me how God has truly brought me back to Him through my musical gifts. I could identify certain key milestones when I said ‘Yes’, which fanned the flame and made it burn brighter.
In another anointed moment, I shared the slides with a friend, let’s called him NJ, who I happened to bump into in the office (he is a trainer who my colleagues engage off and on) the other day. Inspired himself, all he did was make 2 comments and that helped me with my two closing slides — a set of reflection questions which I will be posing to my fellow brothers. Essentially, each one of us has a talent/gift (some of us more than just one). However, many of us let life and all manner of distraction to bury these God-given gifts.
What then, does it take to have them awakened in us? NJ suggests that it takes an invitation — from God (perhaps in a retreat), from a friend, a family member, or even your priest/spiritual director. I know someone who had her gift awakened after attending a retreat and stumbling onto an art studio. Mine was awakened when a then fellow ministry member insisted that I play the violin at her wedding in 2014 — an instrument I had not touched since 1978. Looking back, that was truly an invitation from God because that hesitant ‘Yes’ didn’t just bring me full circle, it has opened all manner of doors to allow me to glorify Him.
Brothers and sisters, God truly works in mysterious ways. All it takes is for each of us to recognise that ‘spark’ so that we allow Him to fan it into a flame. He WANTS us to be able to play and ‘feast’ on the talents that He has given us. Let us stop saying ‘No’ when opportunities arise and take that first step, hesitant or otherwise, and in faith, let Him lead us where He wants us to go.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you light up our lives and light our paths as we navigate the roads ahead in our spiritual journeys. Show us the way always and never allow us to fade into the darkness of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and doubt. Give us the faith and courage to say ‘Yes’ whenever You call.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for trusting in us and always giving us the free will to choose.