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the brotherhood and sisterhood
"I yearn to see you again. That would make my happiness complete." —2 Timothy 1:4
Paul loved Timothy and Titus as brothers in the Lord. He prayed for them "constantly, night and day" (2 Tm 1:3). Timothy loved Paul so much that he cried when they parted (2 Tm 1:4). When Paul "was under all kinds of stress," he was strengthened just by "the arrival of Titus" (2 Cor 7:5-6). He so depended on Titus that he did not preach in Troas because he did not find his brother Titus there (2 Cor 2:12-13).
Paul, Timothy, and Titus loved one another and their other Christian brothers and sisters so much that they finally laid down their lives for Jesus and each other (see 1 Jn 3:16). The Bible seems to indicate that our baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood is as deep a relationship as is possible for a human being. It is not necessarily deeper than the marriage relationship, but it does not seem less deep.
Brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ is not a sexual relationship. It is characterized by "absolute purity" (see 1 Tm 5:2). It is a miraculous relationship only made possible by our baptism into Christ. In baptism, we can be united with our Christian brothers and sisters, as Jesus and the Father are united. Jesus is specifically praying for this (Jn 17:21). Thus, we as brothers and sisters in Christ can share in the unity of the Trinity.
Prayer: Father, give me a divine love for my brothers and sisters through baptism.
Promise: "The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather One That makes us strong, loving, and wise." —2 Tm 1:7
Praise: St. Timothy learned Christian love from his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Tm 1:5).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Brother-Sister Relationships on audio AV 7A-1 or video V-7A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006
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