9th Week of Ordinary Time, Thursday, Year II

In today’s First Reading Paul reminds us that while you can imprison bearers of the truth, the truth itself can never be contained. The truth that remains free in Paul’s mind, even while he sits in prison, is to remember Jesus Christ, that he has risen from the dead, and that he is the Messiah, descended from King David. In these few words he reminds us of the truth on which we should focus and to which we should bear witness: Jesus Christ is the Savior and has conquered death. No prison can diminish that truth. Paul endures everything because of that truth, because it translates into his mission as well, and his mission continues even in chains when he offers his sufferings for others, just as we can.

Due to this truth we are the beneficiaries of promises. If we die in Christ, we will live in him too. Through fidelity to the truth in his service any trials and difficulties we face will one day draw to an end. Our core mission is to give witness to him; he watches over and cares for his own, even when they fall away from caring about him. The Gospel message is simple. It can be difficult, but by adhering to its core we will help spread the Good News and not get bogged down in debates. The measure of that is recalled in today’s Gospel: love for God and love for neighbor.

Examine your life today and see whether you’ve denied Christ in some way or lost your Gospel focus. He is always faithful and will welcome you back on track with open arms. Trust in his promises.

Readings: 2 Timothy 2:8–15; Psalm 25:4–5b, 8–10, 14; Mark 12:28–34. See also 9th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday and 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday.