A blessed Leave-taking (Apodosis) of the Theophany to all! May God manifest his Trinitarian life in the life of each of us!
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Greeting and Blessing
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
1) Are we satisfied with whatever state of life God has given us? Are we able to say with St. Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”? Or do we complain when things seem to go badly? If God is present in our lives and if we have committed our whole life to him (as we say in the Divine Liturgy), how would this change our attitude to the way our lives are going?
2) The gift which the Philippians sent to Paul in Ephesus seems to have been one of many gifts they sent to him in his need. In other words, Paul is praising their spirit of generosity which is a sign of the grace of God in them. How is God calling us to exhibit the grace he has given us by becoming a partner in the sufferings of others? The gift of the Philippians was certainly not just “writing a check”; the money they sent St. Paul was certainly a sacrifice on their part, a gift out of their want rather than out of their abundance. How can we concretely show this same sort of love towards those in need? Not out of our abundance, but in a spirit of self-sacrificial love?