Reflections: January 26, 2021
St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor
By Jacob Ehrhard
To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. (Titus 1:4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. They couldn't have been more different. Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews, of the tribe of Benjamin, by training a Pharisee, now the older, more experienced apostle, converted miraculously on a trip to Damascus. Titus was the younger pastor, newer to the faith, presumably converted under ordinary means, a Greek, a Gentile who was not even compelled to be circumcised (Galatians 2:3). Yet for all the differences, Paul calls Titus his "true child in a common faith." The bond of faith is stronger than any division of age, class, or ethnicity.
Paul's spiritual relationship with Titus grows from the grace and peace of God the Father. St. Augustine wrote of the Holy Trinity that the Holy Spirit is the mutual love shared between the Father and His beloved Son. Paul became Titus's spiritual father and Titus became Paul's "true child in a common faith" because both became children of God the Father through Baptism. You are likewise brought under the fatherhood of God by your Baptism.
In his explanation of the Fourth Commandment in the Large Catechism, Martin Luther identifies spiritual fathers as those who govern and guide us by the Word of God. As Paul was the spiritual father of Titus, Titus also became a spiritual father for those who heard his preaching.
You also have a spiritual father in your pastor. Like Pastor Titus, your pastor is appointed to govern and guide you with the Word of God. So today, celebrate the Feast of St. Titus by remembering Paul's true child of the common faith and giving thanks for your spiritual father. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, You called Titus to the work of pastor and teacher. Make all shepherds of Your flock diligent in preaching Your holy Word so that the whole world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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