1 Timothy 2:1-8
Our first reading today from the letters of St. Paul to Timothy fits so beautifully with the gospel message. There is a reason the Bible is constantly referred to as book of relationship, because the teachings of Jesus and St. Paul are as relevant to us today as they were when those words were spoken and written.
Jesus makes the point in today’s gospel that the Church is open to everyone – everyone, that is, everyone who truly wants to be with Jesus and understands it is in following His Church that we follow Him. Jesus makes this clear again when He will be asked by the pagan Canaanite woman to heal her daughter – Jesus pushes her reason for looking to Him until she convinces herself that what she truly wants is to follow Jesus and be subject to His teachings.
The first Letter of St. Paul to Timothy is essentially an instruction manual for those who will be ministering to others. St. Paul tells Timothy that the Church is for everyone who seeks it. St. Paul led the way in reinforcing with St. Peter and the other Apostles what Jesus taught – we need to follow the instruction of Jesus and make the Church open to all people.
Now, do not be confused. This is not to say that all behavior is acceptable, quite the contrary. We are called to Christ’s Church to learn to love the way Jesus teaches it, and we are called to be subject to the Church’s teaching especially on faith and morals – living in a way short of that, well, that is simply an act of pride...exactly counter to the great stuff Jesus saw in the centurion. Consider today, is there something in the faith and morals teachings of our Church with which you just don’t agree? What do you need to do to be accepting?
Now go smile at God!