Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Tim 1:6-8, 13-14

6. For which reason I admonish thee, that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee, by the imposition of my hands.

For which reason, etc. Having reminded Timothy of the alacrity with which he had received the faith, the aged Apostle now exhorts him to “stir up”—more literally, “kindle to fresh flame” (the word occurs onlv here in the New Testament)—the sacramental “grace of God” which he received when Paul ordained him, and which remains with him still (cf. 1 Tim 4:14). Timothy
was naturally timid and may have been somewhat remiss in the exercise of his sacred powers. But perhaps St. Paul is only anxious that his young disciple will ever be courageous and faithful in spite of difficulties. The Council of Trent (sess. XXIII, cap. 3) cites this verse to prove that Holy Orders is a true Sacrament.

7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of sobriety.

In this verse the Apostle gives the reason why Timothy should rekindle in himself the grace of his ordination; for God has given his chosen Apostles the graces and powers necessary for a faithful and rigorous fulfillment of all their duties, however great the obstacles they may encounter.

Us refers to Paul and Timothy both. St. Paul includes himself so as to soften his words. In giving His Apostles the Holy Ghost, God has endowed them with the spirit (a) of “power,” to discharge all their offices and to encounter all difficulties, (b) of “love,” to endure all things patiently for Christ’s sake, (c) of “sobriety” (better, “wisdom” or “prudence”) in dealing with others, and therefore in the exercise of discipline.

8. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure your share of suffering for the gospel, according to the power of God;

Timothy must not be ashamed to bear witness to Christ in preaching the Gospel; nor should he be ashamed of his master who is in prison for preaching the Gospel. On the contrary, he must be willing to endure his share of suffering, along with Paul, for the sake of the Gospel, not trusting in his own strength, but in the “power of God,” which will never fail him.

The collabora of the Vulgate does not express the sense of the Greek, which means “suffer with,” i.e., to take one’s share in suffering for the Gospel. The word is found only here and in 2:3 below in the Greek Bible.

13. Hold the form of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and in the love which is in Christ Jesus.
14. Keep the good deposit through the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in us.

Timothy is earnestly exhorted to guard faithfully the Gospel teaching which he has been taught by St. Paul; and the means by which he will be able to do this are faith and love, assisted by the grace of Christ. The word for “form” is found only here and in 1 Tim 1:16 in the New Testament, and it means “model,” “pattern,” “norm.”

Which thou hast heard. These words show that the doctrines of faith are contained not only in what is written, but also in the unwritten words of Apostolic tradition.

In faith, etc. Here we have indicated the means by which the sound doctrine can be preserved; it can be done only through the grace of Christ and His Holy Spirit. In the Vulgate there should be a comma after audisti, instead of after fide.

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One Response to Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Tim 1:6-8, 13-14

  1. Pingback: Commentaries for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C | stjoeofoblog

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