Benedict XVI recalled the figures of Timothy and Titus
“Church Still Needs Generous Evangelizers,” Says Pope
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 13, 2006 (ZENIT.org)
Benedict XVI affirms that the Church needs willing and generous evangelizers, just as it did 2,000 years ago.At today’s general audience the Pope recalled the lesson left by the early Christians Timothy and Titus, two of the Apostle Paul’s closest collaborators.”They teach us to serve the Gospel with generosity, knowing that this also implies a service to the Church herself,” the Holy Father said.
In his address to the people gathered in Paul VI Hall, the Pontiff continued with the series of meditations he has been giving on the first Christians. In past weeks he had addressed the figure of Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.Speaking of Timothy, the Pope said that St. Paul “entrusted him with important missions and saw in him a sort of ‘alter ego,’ as can be seen in his great praise of him in the Letter to the Philippians. ‘I have no one like him, who will be genuinely anxious for your welfare.
“Timothy followed Paul in his apostolic ventures through Asia Minor, Troas, Macedonia, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome and other localities, Benedict XVI said. With Paul, Timothy wrote some of his letters. According to Eusebius’ “Ecclesiastical History,” Timothy was the first bishop of Ephesus.
St. Paul called Titus “partner and co-worker.” On Paul’s behalf, for example, Titus went to Corinth to insist, with success, on that rebellious Christian community’s obedience. Moreover, he sent him to organize the conclusion of collections for Christians in Jerusalem.The Holy Father pointed out that Timothy and Titus carried out decisive work in St. Paul’s mission.
“He was, of course, the Apostle par excellence, founder and pastor of many Churches,” the Pope said. “Nevertheless, it is clear that he did not do it all alone, but leaned on trustworthy persons, who shared the effort and responsibility.”In particular, the Holy Father underlined “the willingness of these collaborators,” who went to innumerable cities and faced dangers in proclaiming the Gospel.
The Pope concluded the meditation with the recommendation that the Apostle Paul gave to Titus in the letter he addressed to him, in Chapter 3, Verse 8: “that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works.”Benedict XVI added: “With our concrete commitment, we must and can discover the truth of these words, and carry out in this season of Advent good works to open the doors of the world to Christ, our Savior.”(Text courtesy of Zenit)