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From: Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

Duties of Christians in Different Situations

[1] But as for you, teach what befits sound doctrine. [2] Bid the older men be tem-
perate, serious, sensible, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. [3] Bid the
older women likewise to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to
drink; they are to teach what is good, [4] and so train the young women to love
their husbands and children, [5] to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and sub-
missive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited. [6] Like-
wise urge the younger men to control themselves. [7] Show yourself in all re-
spects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, [8]
and sound speech that cannot be censured, so that an opponent may be put to
shame, having nothing evil to say to us.

The Incarnation, the Basis of Christian Ethics and Piety

[11] For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, [12] training
us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and tolive sober, upright, and god-
ly lives in this world, [13] awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of
our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, [14] who gave himself for us to redeem us
from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for
good deeds.


1-10. To counter the fallacies of those whose depraved conduct is at odds with
what they profess to believe, Titus is urged to be sincere in everything he does
and always to act in accordance with the faith. A key feature of Christian mora-
lity is that it can never be reduced to an abstract ethical code with no theological
basis; rather, it flows directly from the deep truth one professes: doctrinal ortho-
doxy leads to upright conduct—and upright conduct equips one to understand and
accept revealed truth. As the Second Vatican Council teaches, faith is meant to
shape the Christian life: “Bishops should be especially concerned about cateche-
tical instruction. Its function is to develop in men a living, explicit and active faith,
enlightened by doctrine. It should be very carefully imparted, not only to children
and adolescents but also to young people and even to adults. In imparting this in-
struction the teachers must observe an order and method suited not only to the
matter in hand but also to the character, the ability, the age and the lifestyle of
their audience. This instruction should be based on holy Scripture, tradition, li-
turgy, and on the teaching authority and life of the Church” (”Christus Dominus”,

In this section of the letter St. Paul reminds Titus about the obligations and the
virtues people have (depending on their age, state-in-life, social position, etc.);
this advice is very like that given to Timothy in 1 Timothy (cf. 1 Tim 5:1-6:2).

2-3. “Sound in faith...”: in the Pastoral Epistles physical health is often used me-
taphorically in connection with Christian doctrine and its transmission (cf. 1 Tim
6:3; 2 Tim 1:13; 4:3; Tit 1:9; 2:8); it is also applied to people: as the years go on
their interior life should grow stronger and stronger.

“Be reverent in behavior”: older women are given special mention (cf. 1 Tim 5:2-
16); they must be exemplary, because younger women have to learn from them.

4-5. All members of the Church are responsible for the formation and Christian
life of their juniors; this general principle applies to adult women: they have to
show younger women that their role as mothers, their place in the home, is so im-
portant that it must be given priority over outside activities (in which they do have
a right to engage). In connection with the role of women in society and in the fa-
mily Bl. John Paul II said: “the mentality which honors women more for their work
outside the home than for their work within the family must be over- come. This
requires that men should truly esteem and love women with total respect for their
personal dignity, and that society should create and develop conditions favoring
work in the home” (”Familiaris Consortio”, 23).

“That the word of God may not be discredited”: an expression very similar to that
used by St. Paul when advising slaves to be submissive (cf. 1 Tim 6:1). The Apo-
stle is not approving behavior which women or slaves find obnoxious; what he is
saying is that obedience and humility is the best way to do God honor and to
offer others a testimony of love, following the example of the Master, who “hum-
bled himself and became obedient unto death” (cf. Phil 2:6-11).

6-8. The model for the younger men should be Titus himself; as in the case of Ti-
mothy in Ephesus (1 Tim 4:12), Titus’ duty to be exemplary derives from the fact
that pastors have an obligation to reflect Jesus’ life in their life: “Be imitators of
me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1; cf. Phil 3:17; 2 Thess 3:9). “The priestly per-
sonality must be for others a clear sign and indication.” This is the first condition
for our pastoral service. The people from among whom we have been chosen and
for whom we have been appointed want above all to see in us such a sign and in-
dication, and to this they have a right” (Bl. John Paul II, “Letter to All Priests”, 8
April 1979).

9-10. The fact that there are these references to the duties and slaves (and others
in 1 Tim 6:1-2) shows that slaves were very much taken account of in the early
Christian community. Christianity has been responsible for an enormous amount
of social change, because being a Christian means that, whatever one’s position
in society, one should give honor and glory to God and recognize the innate dig-
nity of everyone, without exception.

11-14. This section is almost like a hymn in praise of saving grace and God’s lo-
ving kindness as manifested in Christ. The terse, sober style, with phrases piled
on one another, and very few verbs, is typical of St. Paul. The duties just des-
cribed (2L1-10)—of older men, women, young people and slaves—all point to Chris-
tians’ having a common lifestyle, which is the fruit of grace. God is the source of
that grace, and salvation its goal, and it is given to us through Jesus Christ.

Thus, divine grace manifested in the Incarnation is actively at work to redeem us;
it brings salvation; it sanctifies us, enabling us to live godly lives; and it is the ba-
sis of our hope in the second coming of the Lor0d. All these dimensions of the ac-
tion of grace summarize revealed doctrine on righteousness (justification) in Je-
sus Christ. Thus, in the Incarnation, God’s salvific will, embracing all men, is ma-
nifested in a special way (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); in the Redemption, Christ, the only Me-
diator and Savior (cf. 1 Tim 2:5) obtains for us the gift of grace, whereby man be-
comes a sharer in the good things of salvation. Jesus is our model; by means of
grace he instructs the Christian on how to control his defects and grow in virtue.
The instruction we receive is not only an external one: God inwardly moves us to
seek holiness (cf. Rom 5:1-5 and note). Grace also channels our hope, for Chris-
tians are motivated not only by the memory of a past event (our Lord’s life on
earth) but also, and especially, by the fact that Jesus is in the glory of heaven
even now and that we are invited to share his inheritance (cf. 2 Pet 3:12-13).

13. “The glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”: an explicit confession
of faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, who is stated at one and at the same time
(with only one article in the original Greek) to be God and Savior. This expression
is the hinge on which the entire hymn turns: Jesus Christ our God is the one who
came at the Incarnation, who will manifest himself fully at his second coming,
and who through his work of redemption has made it possible for man to live a
life pleasing to God.

This verse is reminiscent of Romans 9:5, where St. Paul wrote: “to them belong
the patriarchs, and of their race according to the flesh is the Christ, who is God
over all, blessed for ever. Amen.”

14. The mention of Jesus Christ at the end of the previous verse leads St. Paul
to summarize the doctrine of the Redemption in this lovely passage. Four essen-
tial elements in redemption are listed: Christ’s self-giving; redemption from all in-
iquity; purification; and Christ’s establishment of a people of his own dedicated
to good deeds. The reference to Christ’s self -giving clearly means whereby we
are set free from the slavery of sin; Christ’s sacrifice is the cause of the freedom
of the children of God (analogously, God’s action during the Exodus liberated the
people of Israel). Purification, a consequence of redemption, enables a man to
become part of God’s own people (cf. Ezek 37-23). The expression “a people of
his own” is a clear allusion to Exodus 19:5: through the covenant of Sinai God
made Israel his own people, different from other nations; through the New Cove-
nant of his blood Jesus forms his own people, the Church, which is open to all
nations: “As Israel according to the flesh which wandered in the desert was al-
ready called the Church of God, so, too, the new Israel, which advances in this
present era in search of a future and permanent city, is called also the Church of
Christ. It is Christ indeed who has purchased it with his own blood; he has filled
it with his Spirit; he has provided means adapted to its visible and social union
[...]. Destined to extend to all regions of the earth, it enters into human history,
though it transcends at once all times and all racial boundaries” (”Lumen Gen-
tium”, 9).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 11/12/2012 8:23:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 17:7-10

Humble Service

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [7] “Will any of you, who has a servant ploughing
or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once
and sit down at table’? [8] Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me,
and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat
and drink’? [9] Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
[10] So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are
unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”


7-10. Jesus is not approving this master’s abusive and arbitrary behavior: He is
using an example very familiar to His audience to show the attitude a person
should have towards his Creator: everything, from our very existence to the eter-
nal happiness promised us, is one huge gift from God. Man is always in debt to
God; no matter what service he renders Him he can never adequately repay the
gifts God has given him. There is no sense in a creature adopting a proud atti-
tude towards God. What Jesus teaches us here we see being put into practice
by our Lady, who replied to God’s messenger (the Archangel Gabriel), “Behold,
I am the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 11/12/2012 8:24:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies ]

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