“God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:7-8)
Too often, we Christians tend to confuse meekness with timidity. In the beatitudes, Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) Jesus did not say “Blessed are the timid.” While meekness has to do with being gentle, quiet and patient, timidity means being frightened, showing a lack of courage or confidence in oneself.
St. Paul writing to Timothy in today’s first reading says: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity.” Being ashamed of proclaiming one’s faith is not a sign of holiness. In fact, by keeping quiet when we should speak up in defence of our faith, we indirectly consent to evil. Jesus said: “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
If we truly possess the Holy Spirit as St. Paul says, then we would display Power, Love and Self-Control. To be powerful is to be fearless and confident knowing that God is on your side. Secondly, the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Love. Power without love is dangerous. Even though we have so much power, we must consider the good of others in the exercise of this power. We must follow the golden rule of treating others the way we wish to be treated.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Self-Control. A person who cannot control himself is like a palm tree that moves always in the direction of the wind. Power takes away fear, love properly directly our use of power and self-control helps us set limits and boundaries. With these three elements, we must never be ashamed of proclaiming our faith to the world.
Jesus displayed a very high degree of power, love and self-control in his public ministry on earth. Our Gospel passage continues from that of yesterday. Jesus had just put the Herodians and Pharisees to shame. The Sadducees came to try their luck bringing an impossible case scenario of a woman married to seven brothers who all died in quick succession.
With power, love and self-control, Jesus answered their question. There is no marriage in heaven. Yes, we shall rise to eternal life but in that life, we shall be like the Angels. There would be no need for marriage.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I boldly proclaim You in a world of darkness. Amen. Bible Study: 2nd Timothy 1:1-12, Psalm 123:1-2, Mark 12:18-27).