TITUS was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of St. Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostles in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow-laborers in many apostolic missions. From the Second Epistle which St. Paul sent by the hand of Titus to the Corinthians we gain an insight into his character and understand the, strong affection which his master bore him. Titus had been commissioned to carry out a twofold office needing much firmness, discretion, and charity. He was to be the bearer of a severe rebuke to the Corinthians, who were giving scandal and were wavering in their faith; and at the same time he was to put their charity to a further test by calling upon them for abundant alms for the church at Jerusalem. St. Paul meanwhile was anxiously awaiting the result. At Troas he writes, "I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother." He set sail to Macedonia. Here at last Titus brought the good news. His success had been complete. He reported the sorrow, the zeal, the generosity of the Christians, till the Apostle could not contain his joy, and sent back to them his faithful messenger with the letter of comfort from which we have quoted. Titus was finally left as a bishop in Crete, and here he, in turn, received the epistle which bears his name, and here at last he died in peace.
The mission of Titus to Corinth shows us how well the disciple caught the spirit of his master. He knew how to be firm and to inspire respect. The Corinthians, we are told, "received him with fear and trembling." He was patient and painstaking. St. Paul "gave thanks to God, Who had put such carefulness for them in the heart of Titus." And these gifts were enhanced by a quickness to detect and call out all that was good in others, and by a joyousness which overflowed upon the spirit of St. Paul himself, who "abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus."
Reflection. —Saints win their empire over the hearts of men by their wide and affectionate sympathy. This was the characteristic gift of St. Titus, as it was of St. Paul, St-Francis Xavier, and many others. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 9, 2, 6
A light shall shine upon us this day: for Our Lord is born to us; and He shall be called wonderful, God, the prince of peace, the Father of the world to come; of Whose reign there shall be no end. Ps. 92, 1. The Lord hath reigned, He is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself. Glory be …
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who are filled with the new light of Thine Incarnate Word, may show forth in our deeds that which by faith shineth in our minds. Through the same.
Epistle • Titus 3, 4-7
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Titus.
[Other instructions and directions for life and doctrine.]
Dearly beloved, the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared: Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost; Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour: That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs, according to hope of life everlasting: in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 117, 26, 27, 23
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; the Lord is God and He hath shone upon us. This is the Lord’s doing; and it is wonderful in our eyes.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 92, 1. The Lord hath reigned, He is clothed with beauty; the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself with power. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 2, 15-20
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[The birth of Christ. His presentation in the temple. Simeon's prophecy. Christ at twelve years of age, is found amongst the doctors.]
At that time, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.
And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Offertory • Ps. 92, 1, 2
God hath established the world, which shall not be moved: Thy throne, O God, is prepared from the old; Thou art from everlasting.
May our gifts, we pray Thee, O Lord, come forth agreeable to the mysteries of this day’s nativity, and my they shower upon us peace; that as He who was begotten as man shone forth also as God, so also may this earthly substance bring us that which is divine. Through the same.
Communion • Zach. 9, 9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout of joy, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold the King comes, holy and the Saviour of the world.
May the Christmas renewal of this sacrament ever restore us, O Lord, Whose miraculous birth did put away the ancient things of mankind Through the same.