According to Magnificat, the Lectionary gives options for today’s first reading: “Today, the Gospel of the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is obligatory. However, for the first reading and the psalm, one can choose between the texts fo the Thrusday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time or those of the memorial.” I had two observation upon reading the selection from the first Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12-16).
First, what a wonderful reference to the sacrament of Confirmation: “Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.”
The second requires a little background. We’ve got a fellow in our men’s group who is of the faith alone, once saved, always saved variety. Paul advises Timothy, “Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.” If Timothy’s salvation was assured and could not be lost, then why is Paul telling him that he will save himself by perseverance?