Friday, January 27, 2012

Leadership in Place

Today we celebrate Timothy and Titus. It is, I think, difficult for us to understand how Paul with the help of these men transformed the Christian faith. We can easily forget that Christianity had begun as a minority within a minority, a subset of the Jews within a world that, at best, saw the Jews as a whole as a bothersome little sect of little importance.

Yesterday we celebrated Paul and today we celebrate his co-workers Timothy and Titus who truly transformed Christianity into a catholic faith, open to all.

The first reading today from the opening of the letter to Titus also reminds us that with their generation the fundamental structure of the church was firmly in place. Titus spent the rest of his life as Bishop of Crete and in the reading was instructed to name priests (presbyters) for the towns. In short, a diocese as we now know it.

These leaders did two things simultaneously. They opened the doors to new people and cultures and at the same time held to the truths of the faith and held the church together. This is never an easy balancing act.

As we remember them today, we can look around and ask who are the people today who feel excluded and need to be welcomed more fully into the church. We also must ask, how we can show the world that we really are the ONE faith that we proclaim the Christian faith to be.