September 25, 2022
Each day, I reflect upon a word or a phrase inspired by the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.
“But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:11-16)
Pursue and compete are not passive words. They are words that call us to action. When we wake up each day, we must focus on living a life of love and service. We make a deliberate decision to be a man or woman of God.
We pursue such a life. Pursue implies that we cannot stand still. Such a life will not come to us. Rather, we must “get after it.” There is a sense of urgency, a call to action.
“Compete well for the faith.” Compete implies that there is an opponent. Our opponent is the very world we live in. We may wake up intending to pursue “righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness” just as St. Paul suggests.
However, we walk out into a world that preaches an entirely different message – a world that lacks faith, even rejects God; a world promoting love of self; a world not of patience and gentleness, but of intolerance and violence.
So if our plan is to be a man or woman of God, and to pursue a life that glorifies Him, we will have a fight on our hands. This is a countercultural pursuit, so we will need to compete if we are to be successful. If we put off the fight to another day, if we are complacent, we lose.