For today’s Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, the second reading (2 Tim 4:6-8, 17-18) features Paul writing to his friend and colleague Timothy as Paul anticipates the imminent end of his earthly days.
I will let Paul do most of the talking in these five passages that strike me as particularly important:
How we feel some days:
- “I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation”
What we should desire to honestly say on our deathbed:
- “I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.”
The way we get there:
- “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed”
The courage to persevere:
- “The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat”
The final reward:
- “[The Lord] will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom”
Keeping the faith while proclaiming the word in an ever more threatening environment in which we feel beaten down is possible only through the Lord giving us strength through grace.
As Scripture is “‘not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living'” and it is most assuredly “not…a dead letter” (CCC 108) these words are exactly what we need to hear in these ever more troubling times.
- “To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.”