Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Being young has great advantages: high energy, zest for life, a fresh approach. Of course, it also has a downside: others might not take a young person seriously! “You’re so young,” an older employee might say to his/her younger colleague, with a figurative pat on the head.
I wonder if that’s a frustration Timothy felt as a leader in his community. Paul encourages this young disciple not to be annoyed by other people’s attitudes, but to set a positive example and persevere in what he is doing. Paul reminds Timothy about the gift Timothy already has. Often I worry about the gifts I don’t have rather than nurturing the gifts I do have.
Are there gifts I’ve neglected to appreciate in my life? What are simple ways I can glorify God by serving others with these gifts? How has God blessed me today: in my family, friends, work, or studies?
—Maggie Melchior is a convert to the Catholic faith. She currently serves as Coordinator of New Evangelization and Faith Formation for a parish in the Diocese of Green Bay.
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing–sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death–can take that love away.
—Fr. Henri Nouwen,
Dutch priest, author, teacher: 1932-1996