FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
"I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the course. I have kept the faith." Paul was
about to be martyred and this was his way of consoling Timothy
and his community. He was like a father bidding good-bye. "Son
we have done things very well together. We have lived the good
life and we have lived up to a ripe old age. Our life has been
This manner of speaking would
console any child and bring him good cheer, knowing his father has
finished all his work and has done all things well.
I have fought the good fight.
Heaven is my merited crown. Heaven is bestowed on winners, on those
who passed their test, on those who engaged in combat. It is not
given to spectators. So, though he was hungry, imprisoned and
chained, Paul fought for the sake of Christ. There is no worthier
battle than this; the crown is eternal, the audience are the angels.
Living the Gospel is not the good
fight, it is merely the training ground wherewith the soul prepares
itself. And he who is trained will surely win.
"I have finished the
course." We cannot tarry, we cannot take our sweet time. It
behooves us to run towards a good end. This race is not merely
display of skill; it is either eternal salvation or damnation. And
Paul, indeed, ran around the whole known world for the sake of the
"I have kept the faith."
This is a great achievement in an era described by Christ in these
words: "When I come, will I find faith on earth?" Many
things could have robbed Paul of his faith: human friendship, death,
threats, chains. . . but he stood firm against all.
If, like Paul, we have fought the
good fight, run the race and kept the faith, then, like Paul, we can
say, "Henceforth, there is laid for me a crown of
St. John Chrysostom "2 Tim.