1 Timothy 6:2-12; Luke 8:1-3
Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. Luke 8:1-3
Enthusiastic or Sober?
Contrasting with the sober reading from Timothy, is the tone of enthusiasm, hope and achievement in today’s Gospel story. While the Gospel has more appeal, the other text also have its necessary place in church life. Sometimes we need to be sobered up from intense excitement.
Luke’s brief account mirrors the first springtime of Jesus’ apostolate. The scene is idyllic, that of a glorious tour in which the Lord is winning everyone for the kingdom. The community of disciples around him, the apostles, the women and “many others,” impress us with their serene way of life. Some of them had been cured of serious illness or physical handicap. The “seven devils” from which Magdalene had been released do not necessarily mean sinfulness, much less demonic possession, but do suggest a profound cure that Jesus had worked in her. Sickness and death were reflected the reign of evil in the world and must be totally conquered and removed within the Kingdom of God. God’s final triumph is already anticipated by Luke, who in his “Gospel of women,” gives them a place of honour in this peaceful scene. Again, typical of Luke, the names of influential public figures are introduced, like “Johanna, the wife of Herod’s steward, Chuza,” Somehow, the political and the spiritual Kingdom have come graciously toether. He is already anticipating the purpose of the cross, which is complete redemption, body and spirit, men and women, friends and strangers, heaven and earth.
First Timothy comes to our help in calmer moments. After we have completed a stretch of joy, peace and accomplishment, it may be time to settle down and review the situation. We need to interrelate events and achievements, to take stock where we have gone, to realize the scope of what we have done and who we are. Perhaps, we need most of all a time of silence, prayer and settling in the Lord.
Source: Association of Catholic Priests