In today’s second reading, Timothy is issued a strong directive: “Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” For the early Christians this could mean torture and execution. For most Christians today enduring hardship for the Gospel might include accepting ridicule or mockery, or the suggestion that we lack sophistication. Nevertheless, in his letters, Saint Paul is adamant that we should not be ashamed of being followers of Christ. Good stewards are not ashamed of their allegiance to Christ. They do not hide their faith. Reflect on this question: Are you willing to speak about following Christ Jesus no matter who your listeners happen to be?