Twenty-six Sunday In ordinary time
Paul in his letter to Timothy has some wonderful thoughts about the Christian life. He addresses Timothy, but Paul’s thoughts apply to all believers. Seeking righteousness is good for us all--actively reviewing our decisions and fine tuning them so as be reassured that we are seeking what is good and just. The daughters and sons of God are to pursue devotion, to have a spiritual life, and to foster it. Paul recommends growth in faith. This may seem hard to accomplish, but good conduct and an active prayer life certainly could help to strengthen one’s faith. We are all aware that faith is a gift from God, and while we cannot simply demand more faith, we can petition God for an increase in our personal faith or pray that the gift of faith be granted to another. To grow in love is to be a person full of love--never self-seeking, but mindful of others and sharing with others. Love promotes reconciliation and harmony between peoples; it is an enduring virtue which we all seek. As people who possess love and faith, we do all things with patience and gentleness. We trust God and allow the ways and means of God to unfold before us.
Paul again uses a word often associated with athletes: to compete well in the race, to run as to win the crown that awaits us, to REPRESENT the Lord, and his chosen ones.
Paul’s letter to Timothy is tied into the words of the prophet Amos in the first reading. The Lord speaks through Amos, warning the wealthy of Amos’ day to act rightly and fairly in their dealings with the poor. He advises moderation in food and drink and that they cease pagan practices. We are invited to be people of the Word of Truth, and to be committed to the covenant. Lastly, we are called to love and respect the poor and to conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity, in business and all our affairs.