Saturday of week 24 of Ordinary Time – First Reading


Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:13-16
Our last reading from this letter. It is an appeal to Timothy to consecrate his life totally to God and Jesus Christ, in the way that Jesus proclaimed his messianic mission before Pilate. Truly, a model for us to follow. The reading is actually an immediate continuation from yesterday’s reading.
As the Letter comes to an end, Timothy is once more reminded by Paul to follow “with no faults or failures” the instructions that he has been given. Paul makes his statement solemnly in the presence of God, “the source of all life”, and before Jesus Christ, “who witnessed to his noble profession of faith before Pontius Pilate”. It was in the presence of Pilate that Jesus declared his royal messiahship-kingship and his office as revealer of Truth. He said to Pilate: “My Kingdom does not belong to this world” and “anyone committed to the Truth hears my voice” (John 18:36-37). The mention of Pontius Pilate, as a public official, lends strength to the official tone of the witness. This is an example for Christians to follow, whether making a profession of faith at our Baptism or when faced with persecution. It is easy to make professions of faith in private.
Timothy is to keep carrying out these instructions until “the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
The last part of the reading is a doxology in praise of Christ, the Christ of the Second Coming. It may be inspired by a liturgical hymn. It consists of seven scriptural phrases transposed into Hellenic language, the themes being that God is the only object of worship and no one may claim to fully understand the mystery that is God.
Jesus Christ,
who at the due time will be revealed
by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all,
the King of kings and the Lord of lords,
who alone is immortal,
“At the due time” – just as Jesus’ first coming occurred at the precise time God wanted (Gal 4:4), so also his Second Coming will be at God’s appointed time.
whose home is in inaccessible light,
whom no human being has seen or is able to see:
to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.
“No one has seen or can see”, echoing John’s gospel – “No one has ever seen God.”
It is God the only Son, ever at the Father’s side, who has revealed him” (John 1:18).
(Those who know their Handel will remember the Hallelujah chorus which sings majestically of the “King of kings and Lords of lords”. The phrase also appears in Revelation 19:16.)
Let us today also renew our total commitment to the King of kings and Lord of lords and work for the day when we will be invited to live with him in that now unapproachable light. We could do worse than follow some of the advice that Paul gives to Timothy in this Letter, especially if we have any pastoral responsibilities in our community.
 

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