The Fight, The Race, and the Faith
In today’s second reading, St. Paul writes to his beloved disciple Timothy and offers a sort of farewell address. In summing up his life, St. Paul beautifully states that he has “fought the good fight,” “run the race,” and “kept the faith.”
St. Paul reminds us that this life is not all about peace and contentment. It’s a fight, a battle. We’ve got to fight and fight hard and it will at times be tough. Today we often make the mistake of thinking that if there is conflict that something has gone wrong. St. Paul promises that there will indeed be conflict. St. Paul did not die at peace with all men; he had real enemies…and so will we. The point is not avoid having enemies, but to make sure that we have the right enemies.
Related to fighting the good fight, St. Paul urges us to run the race to the finish. Life can be long and monotonous like a marathon. We might be tempted to get tied and stop running, to give up. We’ve got to keep running, to get past “the wall” and catch our second wind.
Finally, St. Paul tells us that he kept the faith. As he is near his death he has no possesions. He doesn’t even have his freedom. Objectively speaking it would appear that he has nothing to “leave behind” to Timothy. Yet, despite this, St. Paul does have one treasured possesion that he has faithfully kept. He has kept the faith. This is what he leaves to Timothy and it is what has been left to us. The faith is our great inheritence. We pray that when we die, we can also be proud to have passed on the faith to our children, that we can say with St. Paul that we too have fought the good fight, run the race, and kept the faith.