Titus’ Catechism on Christian Life
Titus is giving us a short catechism on the Christian life here. In this section he is giving advice to the young men of the Christian community on Crete. He is telling them how they ought to conduct themselves in the faith publicly. It is advice that is good for all of us to hear.
As Christians, we should conduct ourselves in all things in a manner that models what we preach. This means that in every respect, and in every part of our lives, we ought to be models of good deeds that are in accord with the doctrines of the faith. We should be dignified in our behavior and treat others with the dignity they are due as human beings made in the image and likeness of God. When we teach, or when we speak with others it should be in ways that are beyond reproach. We should be honest, teaching the Gospel clearly and truthfully, so that those who wish to criticize us, or condemn us, have nothing to condemn us with.
This is difficult for the young, as it is for all of us, because of the social pressures that are often brought to bear on us. There is in us, especially in our younger years, a need to belong, to be a part of the “in crowd.” That need is not unknown to the rest of us either, but with maturity of character, and greater knowledge of the self as we get older, we are more able to remain true to ourselves and what we believe in when opposition, or the threat of being ostracized, raises its’ head.
Titus’ purpose, through the Holy Spirit, is to make us aware that it is this consistantly moral conduct, this quality of self-discipline, this open commitment to our faith and to doing good works, that brings others to the Lord. If we are seen walking our talk; if we remain consistent with our words and our deeds, in accord with our faith, we will be teaching the faith in the most effective of ways. This is our calling. We are to be good disciples of Christ interiorly and exteriorly. Everything about our lives ought to be an open expression of our faith. We are not only to preach Christ, we are to be like Christ. This is what the world of Crete needed in Titus’ time. It is still what our local “worlds” need in our own lives and times. We are to bring the living Christ to the wounded realms of our own daily lives.
Lord, give us the graces we need to grow strong in our faith so that we will be able to live it openly, joyously, and courageously each day. In you we put our trust. In you we place our hope. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!
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