Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

The little instruction of St. Paul to Timothy about bishops, women and deacons seems quaint. And it’s sure a relief to me because he doesn’t mention priests! Actually, he doesn’t mention priests because they were of course a later development. You can even see how the office of bishop has changed over time, with his reference to being married only once and managing his household well. But the real point here is that St. Paul is outlining the characteristics of the Christian disciple, for which all of us are responsible.

We Christian disciples are the public face of Christianity. What we portray to the world is how others will come to see our way of life as a whole. We must be people without reproach, not conceited and well-regarded by outsiders. We must be not deceitful, not addicted to anything, and not in love with sordid gain. Really, what he is telling us is almost impossible, isn’t it? We all fall short of these standards in some way.

Which is why we can be revived by Jesus Christ like the widow’s son on the way to Nain. Only Jesus Christ can help us in our weakness and fill in our lack. We might be tempted to weep over our sinfulness and unworthiness, but Jesus tells us not to weep and raises us up. Only with Jesus’ help can we do as the psalmist says: walk with a blameless heart.