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TRUE FRIENDS IN CHRIST

Father Francis's picture
Saints Timothy and Titus

Timothy and Titus were close friends of the apostle Paul whom he addressed as ‘his true sons’ and to whom he wrote pastoral letters containing much useful instruction for clergy and laity.

Timothy was a convert of Paul around the year 47, and later joined him in his apostolic work. During their 15 years together Timothy shared Paul’s triumphs and difficulties. He was with Paul when the Church of Corinth was founded and again in Rome when Paul was arrested. At some period Timothy himself was in prison. Although he was comparatively young, Paul gave him responsibility to build up new Christian communities. As well as being courageous Timothy must have had qualities of patience and diplomacy because he often had to settle arguments and quell disturbances while supervising the day to day administration. Eventually, Paul installed him as his representative at the Church in Ephesus. There was evidently great affection between them and one of Paul’s frequently quoted lines was addressed to Timothy: “Stop drinking water only. Take a little wine for the good of your stomach and because of your frequent illnesses.”

Timothy is venerated by the Eastern Church because of the work he did in that region.

Titus was a Greek, apparently from Antioch. When he became a Christian there were some who said he should be circumcised but. Paul would not hear of it because circumcision was never a necessary condition for being a Christian. Titus is seen as a peacemaker, administrator and a great friend of Paul serving at Corinth, Crete and Dalmatia. Paul’s second letter to Corinth affords an insight into the depth of his friendship with Titus. He wrote, “I was restless and exhausted. I was under all kinds of stress, quarrels with others and fears within myself. But God who gives heart to those who are love in spirit gave me strength with the arrival of Titus”.

Timothy and Titus carried out vital work in supporting and encouraging the early Church, accomplishing so much because Paul had faith in them and give them responsibility. It was his confidence and trust that enabled them to achieve more that they would have ever thought possible. How much we can achieve if only someone believes in us! Jesus believes in all of us. If He didn’t, His Father would never have created us. As we remember Saint Timothy and Saint Titus we should ask ourselves the question - are we achieving our full potential?