“Tell the older men that they must be temperate, serious-minded, and self-controlled; likewise sound in the faith, loving, and steadfast.” –Titus 2:2
“Tell the young men to keep themselves completely under control.” –Titus 2:6
In the USA, we often expect our parishes and pastors to provide for the religious education of our children. We expect our pastors to provide the sacraments and to reach out especially to the elderly and the sick. These expectations are good, but they are different than the early Church’s expectations for ministry.
St. Paul expected St. Titus, the pastor of the church of Crete, to focus his ministry on old men and young men so as to call these men to holiness (Ti 2:2, 6). Paul expected that holy men would make their marriages and families holy. In this way, the Church would have credibility. Many would listen to the Gospel and become Christians, thus making disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).
In today’s Church, there is something wrong. Symptoms of our problem are:
- our children leaving the Church,
- our inability to stop millions of children from being aborted,
- the breakdown of Catholic marriages, and
- the refusal of many young people to accept vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.
Considering the casualties the Church is suffering in our culture of death, we should “stand beside the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old which is the way to good, and walk it” (Jer 6:16). This means focusing on the ministry to men.
PRAYER: Father, may men lead their families in prayer, and in every place “offer prayers with blameless hands held aloft” (1 Tm 2:8).
PROMISE: “Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart’s requests.” –Ps 37:4
PRAISE: St. Frances became the first American to be canonized.