St John Chrysostom, Bishop and doctor
23rd Week in Ordinary Time: Friday 13th September 2019
1 Tim. 1:1-2,12-14; Ps. 16(15):1-2,5,7-8,11;
Lk. 6:39-42 (Ps Wk III)
It is common for Paul to write a prayer of thanksgiving for the church that he is writing to at the beginning of his letter. But, in writing to Timothy, Paul thanks God for the grace shown to Paul himself. He acknowledges his former life and sins as one who persecuted the church, and his call to repentance and ministry.
Paul’s intention here is to help Timothy understand the core of the faith, that is, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners”. In this way, Paul’s conversion from sin to ministry serves as a moral example for Timothy and for all Christians, and that Christian leaders are not perfect when they are called, but they are expected to be totally converted to God.
The need for a Christian leader to experience personal conversion is emphasised in the gospel passage today. A person who fails to recognise his own blindness and whose eyes have not open in faith, cannot lead, teach or heal others. Instead of providing fraternal correction motivated by love, a hypocrite, blinded by his own sin, is only interested in exposing another’s weakness. This is a warning against the false teachers in the Christian community.
A true Christian teacher will always remain a disciple of the Master. That is, once a Christian disciple has responded to Jesus and has accepted Jesus’ teaching, his or her behaviour and teaching, must likewise, be good and he or she will, therefore, be able to lead, teach and heal their brothers or sisters like their Master does.
Jesus, You are my Master.