Transmitting the Faith: the Important Role of Women
On the feast of Ss. Timothy and Titus, January 26, 2015, the first reading was the beginning of St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy, which includes the note that Timothy’s faith “first lived in [his] grandmother Lois and in [his] mother Eunice.”
In his daily homily, Pope Francis said, “Mothers and grandmothers are the ones who [in primis] transmit the faith.” Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit that is transmitted to the next generation through the “beautiful work of mothers and grandmothers.” The Holy Father referenced Mary as the one through whom we receive the Lord: “[Jesus] wanted to have a mother: the gift of faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary.”
Pope Francis asked the congregation to consider whether today’s women understand the importance of their role in transmitting the faith. He noted that the faith must not be “watered down” but loved and cared for to remain strong. If we do not do this, he said, “Faith ends up being a culture: ‘Yes, but, yes, yes, I am a Christian, yes yes,’ – a mere culture – or a gnosis, [a specialized kind of] knowledge: ‘Yes, I know well all the matters of Faith, I know the catechism’. But how do you live your faith? This, then, is the importance of reviving every day this gift: to bring it to life.”
The Holy Father went on to speak of the courage that the faithful must have in order to combat the spirit of timidity and shame. Faith is “a spirit of power and of love and of prudence” (2 Tim 1:7). Prudence, Pope Francis said, is “looking for the ways, the path, the manners by which to carry the Faith forward, cautiously.” Lastly, he shared with the faithful his daily prayer for a revival of his own faith from the Holy Spirit.
Available here, on Radio Vaticana: Pope Francis Homily for the Feast of Ss. Timothy & Titus