Discernment: In today’s first reading, 2 Tim 1: 1-3, 6-12, we are challenged to “fan into a flame the gift of God that…[we] possess through the laying on of…[the priest’s ] hands” when we were baptized and the bishop’s hands when we were confirmed. God, St. Timothy tells us, “did not give us a spirit of timidity but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.” Over and above these gifts, God has saved us and called us to be holy—not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace.”
Each one of us possesses “the gift of God” ! We know, from Timothy teaching, that timidity does not come the God but from humans who taught us to be afraid. Neither does hatred and a lack of discipline, that is of not being restrained or obedient, originate from our Creator God. If we experience ourselves being timid when it comes to being our true selves, the self that reflects God’s nature, that is unafraid to be honest, caring, forgiving and loving, we know that we are not in sync with the will of God for us. God has given us “the Spirit of power and love and self-control.” So when we exercise the power of the Spirit, we find ourselves fanning “into a flame the gift of God”, that is, the gifts of love, kindness, forgiveness, hope, faith, justice, obedience, restraint, and so on in imitation of Jesus, who has shown us the way to the Father.