Like a spiritual father and a good friend, St. Paul wrote to Timothy. Let’s consider for a moment three ways in which the great Apostle kept faith.
1. St. Paul kept faith with his ancestors, the children of Abraham, the nation of Israel. Paul was a rabbi, a zealous adherent of Moses’ law. He undertook his mission as an Apostle of Christ not to depart from his Jewish heritage, but to keep faith with it. Christ had fulfilled the Law and the promises that the prophets received. St. Paul perceived this, and he served Abraham, Moses, and the nation of Israel—by serving Christ.
2. St. Paul kept faith with Christ’s promise of eternal life. Paul never encountered a single event without understanding it by the light of faith. Everything happened to prepare for eternity.
Am I achieving success in organizing a church here in this town? It is for the salvation of souls and the kingdom of God. Am I sick, hungry, and alone because they threw me out of this other town? Then my sufferings serve the cause of building up Christ’s mystical Body. Am I imprisoned in Rome? Then there is a soul in this prison with me that I am meant to touch with the Good News.
Everything by the light of faith—faith in the promises of Christ: The final day will come. The dead will rise. God is the God of the living, not the dead.
3. And St. Paul kept faith with his friends. The New Testament testifies to many wonderful things. But one thing it most certainly testifies to is this: It is the written record of some of the most beautiful, most loving, most intimate and pure friendships that the world has ever seen or ever could see.
Christ taught the human race how to be a friend. St. Paul put the lesson into immediate practice. He prayed for; he lived for; he spent all his intellect and strength for; and then he died for his friends.
Let’s pray that some of St. Paul’s enormous faithfulness will rub off on us.
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