A friend of mine works in a very tense work environment. Nevertheless, she’s always been able to maintain her composure and a sense of peace on the job. During one especially hard day, a colleague came to her in tears and asked her how she was able to handle all of their workplace stresses. My friend explained that she could do so only on account of her Catholic faith. As it was, she was on her way to the lunchtime Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and she invited her co-worker to come along. One year later, that co-worker was baptized at Easter- and my friend was her sponsor.
I share this story of evangelism because Sts. Timothy and Titus, whose feast we celebrate today, were great evangelists during the earliest years of the Church. Many people came to embrace the faith because of their evangelistic efforts. Titus himself probably came to faith through the evangelism of St. Paul, who was a friend and mentor. Timothy, however, as Paul acknowledged in today’s first reading, came to faith because of the witness of his grandmother Lois, and Eunice his mother. Just like my friend’s co-worker, Timothy came to faith thanks to the witness of those close to him.
This is something for all of us to keep in mind. As Pope Paul VI once said, “The church exists to evangelize.” Unfortunately, evangelism isn’t something we’re always comfortable with. That’s why Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, “do not be ashamed of our testimony to our Lord,” is good advice for us too.
Maybe we’re not called to be a Timothy or a Titus. But we can be like Lois, Eunice, and my acquaintance, and share our faith with those in our lives. They remind us that evangelism, like charity, begins at home. Beginning from there, let us, in the words of today’s psalm, “Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations!”