Friday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Titus 2:1-10 (NKJV)
2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
No one is saved by their good works. But, good works do serve a purpose. When we live good lives, those who are outside the Christian faith cannot bring an excuse against us or the Church. St. Paul encourages St. Titus to exhort everyone under his care to live sober and reverent lives. In order that no one outside of the faith would be able to condemn them. But more so, so that by their “good” lives, the person outside of the faith would see the hypocrisy of the modern philosophers, and turn from their evil ways and cling in faith to Christ.
We do our society an injustice when we live our lives not as if we have an eternal home, but as if our lives here on Earth are the only lives that matter. When we model our lives after the world and unbelievers—when we live the same way they do—they are not given the opportunity to see that there is a life beyond this one; a life in Heaven with our Lord Jesus and all the saints who have gone before us.
Good works serve our neighbor and supply the proof that faith is living. But faith clings to the Lord Jesus alone and what He has done for us on the cross. Therefore, let us cling in faith to Christ, so that others may see our great faith, and the good works faith produces, and also come to believe on the Lord Jesus.
We pray: Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy Church with Thy perpetual mercy; and because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.