For today January 24: St. Timothy, Pastor and Confessor. St. Timothy had Christian believers in his family. His mother, Eunice, was a Christian woman and was the daughter of a Christian woman named Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). Acts records that St. Paul met Timothy on his second missionary journey and wanted Timothy to continue on with him (16:1-3). Over time, Timothy became a dear friend and close associate of Paul to whom Paul entrusted mission work in Greece and Asia Minor. Timothy was also with Paul in Rome. According to tradition, after Paul’s death, Timothy went to Ephesus, where he served as bishop and was martyred around AD 97. Timothy is best remembered as a faithful companion to Paul, one who rendered great service among the Gentile churches.
For today January 25: The Conversion of St. Paul. St. Paul’s life-changing experience on the road to Damascus is related three times in the Book of Acts (9:1-9; 22:6-11; 26:12-18). As an archenemy of Christians, Saul of Tarsus set out for Damascus to arrest and bring believers to Jerusalem for trial. While on the way, he saw a blinding light and heard the words: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” In Damascus, where Saul was brought after being blinded, a disciple named Ananias was directed by the Lord in a vision to go to Saul to restore his sight: “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). After receiving his sight, Saul was baptized and went on to become known as Paul, the great apostle.
For today February 2: Purification of Mary and The Presentation of Our Lord. Thirty-two days after Jesus’ circumcision and seventy weeks after the announcement of John’s birth to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel, the Lord comes to His temple to fulfill the Torah (Luke 2:22-38). The days are indeed fulfilled with the presentation. Jesus’ parents keep the Torah and fulfull it by bringing Jesus to His true home. Also, Jesus’ parents offer the alternative sacrifice of two turtledoves or two pigions. Leveticus 12:8 allows this instead of a lamb, since not everyone could afford a lamb (showing the poverty and humility of Joseph and Mary). Yet no lamb was necessary because already here at forty days old, Jesus is the lamb braught to His temple for sacrifice. Simeon’s Nunc Dimmitis is a beautiful example of the immediate response to this inauguration of God’s consolation and redemption in the Christ Child. Speaking to Mary, Simeon also prophesies about the destiny of the child.