LETTERS OF ST. PAUL: 2 Timothy
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands…Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.
2 Timothy 1:5-6,8
In this the second of the pastoral letters, Timothy is reminded that his faith is a gift from God that was passed along to him by his mother and grandmother. Do you remember who taught you about God and Jesus? Timothy, even though he is a great believer already, needs to rekindle his faith. So do we who read 2000 years later. He is also reminded to never be ashamed to tell others about his faith in Jesus and to labor generously, knowing that God will provide strength.
2 Timothy is a passionate and intimate letter in which the author expresses fatherly care for this young leader. 2 Timothy is actually a much more personal letter than 1 Timothy and speaks to Timothy in vivid terms. Although named 2 Timothy, many scholars believe that 2 Timothy was written before 1 Timothy. It contains fragments of material that came from St. Paul himself while he was in prison. One can easily imagine modern day diarists such as Anne Frank or Dietrich Bonhoefer when reading 2 Timothy. Paul has undergone tremendous discouragement and persecution in his work of spreading the Christian faith. This letter contains his message to Timothy as he himself awaited becoming a martyr, an innocent man awaiting capital punishment. Still, he writes to encourage and inspire Timothy. Paul emphasizes that had he to do it all over again, he would. It is not only intimate but heart warming when you realize that this letter served to encourage a young man with his whole life ahead of him to follow the same exciting path that Paul followed…following Jesus— which often led to a painful death but ultimately triumph!
2 Timothy is one of the deutero-Pauline letters.