Today’s passage from Saint Paul’s First Letter to Timothy serves as an important reminder that, as Christians, we are to pray “for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life….” (1 Tim 2:2). In the historical context when this letter was written, Paul’s request might not have been well received by some Christians, especially since persecutions by those “in authority” would have been commonplace. Still, Paul knows from his roots in Judaism that intercessory prayer was foundational to anyone who lived the life of the Covenant.
An often overlooked part of today’s reading is the reminder Paul gives in the very next verse: “This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved….” One of the requirements of those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism is to not one pray for the salvation of all but to work to help all to come to know salvation in Christ. If God wills it, then we cannot work against it! This is what Pope Francis is getting at when he expresses his hope that all of us would become “missionary disciples” – Christians who radiate the joy of the Gospel in the encounter we have with Christ.
So many people are really yearning for this encounter. How are you doing at helping them? How are we doing as a parish in these efforts? We know that we can be much better in bringing Christ to the world in which we live so that more and more people may encounter the God of our salvation.