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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Generous Service (2 Tim. 4:1-8)

Submitted by on Saturday, 5 June 2010One Comment



  • Reading I: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
  • Resp. Psalm:  Ps. 71
  • Gospel Reading: Mark 12:38-44


A widow is presented by Jesus as an example of generosity and sincerity.  “She from her poverty”, says Jesus, “has contributed all she had, all that she lived on.”

The same generosity and sincerity is asked by Paul from Timothy as this latter starts his ministry as overseer of the Church.  He commands his young ward to be persistent in proclaiming the word and put up with the hardships involved in the work of evangelizer.

Psalm 71 was aptly chosen as the response to the first reading.  Here a man who has experienced the faithfulness of God throughout his life declares his desire to praise God even now that he has grown old.  His is a hope grounded in the experience of God’s generosity that despite present difficulties and hardships, he will be saved and vindicated before his enemies.

Speaking of “old” …

One of the more magnificent declarations from Paul comes from  the first reading.  At the twilight of his life, Paul summarizes his career thus:

For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well;
I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

Compare this to a declaration he makes when he was younger and one realizes how the Apostle has been focused all through the years of his ministry on the the goal of his existence in Christ

12 It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity,
but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ (Jesus).
13 Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:12-14)

2 Timothy 4:1-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom:
2Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.
3For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:
4And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.
5But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.
6For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand.
7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
8As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. Make haste to come to me quickly.
Mark 12:38-44
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
38And he said to them in his doctrine: Beware of the scribes, who love to walk in long robes, and to be saluted in the marketplace,
39And to sit in the first chairs, in the synagogues, and to have the highest places at suppers:
40Who devour the houses of widows under the pretence of long prayer: these shall receive greater judgment.
41And Jesus sitting over against the treasury, beheld how the people cast money into the treasury, and many that were rich cast in much.
42And there came a certain poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing.
43And calling his disciples together, he saith to them: Amen I say to you, this poor widow hath cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury.
44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living.

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One Comment »

  • (Sunday XXX) Prayer from a Humble Heart (Luke 18:9-14) said:

    […] second reading is a selection from 2 Timothy 4:6-18. Highlighted here is Paul’s account of his career in evangelization. Already grown old and bearing the marks of the sufferings of Christ on his body, he describes his […]

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