19.09.2023 — Leadership Reputations

Posted under Reflections on September 19th, 2023 by

24th Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 19th September 2023 – 1 Tim 3,1-13; Gospel: Lk 7,11-17

Leadership Reputations

The first reading expresses requirements for two different levels of church leadership. These are men, who are placed in high leadership positions within the church. The first are “elders” also known as pastors, bishops, or overseers (1 Tim 5,17; 1 Pet 5,1; Eph 4,11). These men are to be experienced Christians, respectable, capable teachers, with a good reputation and a well-ordered family life. The second group are “servants”, or deacons, (Acts 6,2.4) who share many of the same expectations of the elders. However, unlike elders, deacons are not necessarily called on to teach. They are expected to be “tested” prior to taking on their role. The focus here is on the character sketch of the person, rather than the position. Authority and ministry in the community are always seen in terms of service rather than control.  As 1 Pet 5,2 states, church leaders are to be those who help others “not under compulsion, but willingly.” However, those who desire it desire a good thing. Two Greek words for aspire/desire are used here. The first is oregetai, emphasizing an internal or private desire. The other is epithymei, emphasizing an external or overt desire.

18.09.2023 — Prayer to Overcome Dissension

Posted under Reflections on September 18th, 2023 by

24th Week in Ord. Time, Monday – 18th September 2023 – 1 Tim 2,1-8; Lk 7,1-10

Prayer to Overcome Dissension

In the first reading, Paul continues to advise his young colleague and companion, Timothy. Here Paul’s first order of business is prayer. He uses four main Greek words for prayer to emphasize his point. They are prayer of supplication, petition, intercession and thanksgiving. According to Paul, these prayers need to be made for people everywhere, but especially for those in authority and government. Although it looks like a very ordinary prayer, this marked insistence in a liturgical prayer for the community’s concern may imply that a refusal to pray for pagans existed at Ephesus. In actuality, such prayer aids the community to achieve a peaceful relationship with non-Christians (2,2) and contributes to their salvation. It helps to focus on the presence of Christ within the community who is the one and only Saviour of all (2,3-6). It reflects the vital apostolic mission to the Gentiles (2,7) which should be unmarred by internal dissension (2,8). Once again Paul reminds them that God Wills that all people be saved. In prayer, he urges them not to let resentment or bitterness prevent them from praying for those with whom they disagreed.

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