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MEMORIAL OF SAINTS CORNELIUS, POPE, AND SAINT CYPRIAN, BISHOP, MARTYRS, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021



A Reading from the letter of St. Paul to 1 Tm 4:12-16


Beloved:

Let no one have contempt for your youth,

but set an example for those who believe,

in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.

Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.

Do not neglect the gift you have,

which was conferred on you through the prophetic word

with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.

Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,

so that your progress may be evident to everyone.

Attend to yourself and to your teaching;

persevere in both tasks,

for by doing so you will save

both yourself and those who listen to you.


REFLECTION:

"Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity."


This first letter of St. Paul to Timothy is a pastoral one. Can you imagine the consolation this "young priest" might have felt when he received a letter from St. Paul?


Have you ever had a "freshly ordained" priest in your parish?


For a while, a few years ago, we had a seminarian. Saw him being ordained into the transitional Deaconate, and eventually into the priesthood.


Heard his sermons since he was a Deacon, and he eventually heard our confessions once he was an ordained priest.


In our immaturity, we would call him "Father Deacon". And to aggravate things, he is much younger than us, at least, than me. So going to confession with someone that could have been almost my son felt somehow weird.


However, pretty much since the formation of PAPA, we have prayed for this young man: throughout his journey, into his vows as a priest, and now beyond them.


We have seen him change from an awkward shy guy, who would stutter during sermons, or in large gatherings, into a young priest that can deliver powerful homilies, and great counsel during confession or spiritual direction.


St. Timothy, the young companion of St. Paul and Silas, eventually became a good and saintly Bishop. Tradition says he died a martyr for preaching the Gospel.


Let us be respectful of all young priests, and pray for them the PAPA Prayer for Priests, so they can also be an "example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity." (1 Tim 4:12)


God bless all y'all!

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