Readings

January 26: Titus and Timothy, Companions of Saint Paul

The Collect of the Day

Titus and Timothy

Almighty God, who called Timothy and Titus to be evangelists and teachers, and made them strong to endure hardship: Strengthen us to stand fast in adversity, and to live godly and righteous lives in this present time, that with sure confidence we may look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Titus and Timothy

Almighty God, who didst call Timothy and Titus to do the work of evangelists and teachers, and didst make them strong to endure hardship: Strengthen us to stand fastin adversity, and to live godly and righteous lives in this present time, that with sure confidence we may look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Timothy was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor, the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother who was a believer. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that “he was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1–3). In addition to being a devoted companion of Paul, Timothy was entrusted with missions to the Thessalonians, to encourage them under persecution, and to the Corinthians, to strengthen the converts in the faith. Timothy became Paul’s representative at Ephesus, and, according to Eusebius, the first bishop of that city.

Titus was, like Timothy, a companion of Paul, who calls him“my true child in the common faith” (Titus 1:4). Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to Jerusalem at the time of the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey, Titus was sent on urgent missions to Corinth. Paul writes, “And besides our own comfort we rejoice still more at the joy of Titus because his mind has been set at rest by you all... And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all and the fear and trembling with which you received him” (2 Corinthians 7:13, 15).

Later, Titus was entrusted with the organization of the Church in Crete, where Eusebius reports he was the first bishop. Paul writes, “This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective and appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5).

As companions of Paul, Timothy and Titus are commemorated together close to the feast of Paul’s conversion. Paul several times mentions their youth, while entrusting them with great responsibilities in administration and in the proclaiming of the Gospel, a reminder that not age but faithfulness, care, and the love of Christ are the important qualities for Christian leadership.

Lessons and Psalm

First Lesson

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Psalm

1Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord *and have great delight in his commandments!

2Their descendants will be mighty in the land; *the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3Wealth and riches will be in their house, *and their righteousness will last for ever.

4Light shines in the darkness for the upright; *the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.

5It is good for them to be generous in lending *and to manage their affairs with justice.

6For they will never be shaken; *the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.

7They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; *their heart is right; they put their trust in the Lord.

8Their heart is established and will not shrink, *until they see their desire upon their enemies.

9They have given freely to the poor, *and their righteousness stands fast for ever; they will hold up their head with honor.

Gospel

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John 10:1–10

1 “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

2 Timothy 1:1–8

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. 8 Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God,

Titus 1:1–5

1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— 3 in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: