The second reading at Sunday mass today was from 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18. As the title was read, my wife gave me a nudge. It was a secret nudge every time we hear a reading taken from the book of St. Timothy, which is our only child’s namesake. Unexpectedly, when verse 7 was read, my son, sitting on my other side, also gave me a nudge. The verse read:
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
It was a verse alluding to running. It is one of our favorite inspirational running quotes which we first read in a tribute to Ryan Shay, a young USA Marathon Champion who collapsed and died during the Olympic Qualifying Trials in 2007.
The verse was part of St. Paul’s letters from prison to St. Timothy. Timothy was St. Paul’s trusted disciple and companion during his missionary journey. When he wrote this letter, Paul knew that his time was near. He had fought a good fight.
As runners, we know how to fight a good fight means. We know how to train hard and give it all you’ve got in a race to the finish.
So I pondered on that little nudge from my son who is seldom expressive of his feelings to me. I thought it was a sign of our bonding. It was a nudge that needed no explanation from either one of us. We both knew what it meant to us.
The letters between Sts. Paul and Timothy also spoke about their relationship. Though Paul was his mentor, Timothy provided comfort and encouragement to him during times of trial. It was a very special relationship, which ultimately, helped build the foundation of a Christian community.
So a nudge from my wife and my son, my two great sources of inspiration and comfort, on both sides, I love it!