September 25, 2016 — Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Throughout his letters St. Paul gives more than hints as to what we should be doing to seek holiness and to live lives that stress Christian virtues. In fact, his comments are often direct and to the point. The excerpt from Paul’s First Letter to Timothy, our Second Reading for today, contains one of those passages, which though brief, is the formula for seeking holiness and living lives of stewardship.
Paul says to Timothy, and thus to us, “…pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.” Of course, we are aware that in spite of its simplicity, that is a group of instructions that can be very difficult to really live out. Yet, that is exactly our calling. It all begins with pursuing “righteousness.” We tend to think of the meaning of that as being “goodness,” as in “pursuing” being a good person, but its real roots are deeper than that.
Based upon the original Greek a more accurate translation might be “pursuing justice.” More accurately the translation would be “pursuing justice as Jesus defines it.” That is really our charge — to seek lives of stewardship and discipleship in response to the Lord’s call to us. The Greek philosopher Socrates said, “All men’s souls may be immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.”