June 25 Epistle Reading II

Romans 16:1-16

[1] I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of
the church which is at Cenchrea:[2] That ye receive her in
the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever
business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many,
and of myself also.[3] Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers
in Christ Jesus:[4] Who have for my life laid down their own
necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of
the Gentiles.[5] Likewise greet the church that is in their
house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia
unto Christ.[6] Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.[7]
Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who
are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.[8]
Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.[9] Salute Urbane, our
helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.[10] Salute Apelles
approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household.[11]
Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of
Narcissus, which are in the Lord.[12] Salute Tryphena and
Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which
laboured much in the Lord.[13] Salute Rufus chosen in the
Lord, and his mother and mine.[14] Salute Asyncritus,
Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.[15]
Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and
all the saints which are with them.[16] Salute one another
with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

St. John Chrysostom writes in his Homily 15 on Romans 15:

"You see how many ways he takes to give her dignity. For he has both mentioned her before all the rest and called her sister. And it is not slight thing to be called the sister of Paul. Moreover he has added to her rank, by mentioning her being a 'deaconness'…so…for the Lord's sake, she may enjoy honor…He who receives a person for the Lord's sake, even though it may not be anyone great whom he receives, still he receives him with attention…For she had two grounds for having attention shown her by you: that of her being received for the Lord's sake, and that of her being a saint herself…How can the woman be blessed otherwise when having the blessing of so favorable a testimony as that of Paul, when she also had the power to render assistance to him who had righted the whole world? For this was the summit of her good deeds; and so he placed it the last, as he says, 'and of myself also'…Let us then imitate, both men and women, this holy woman and the one who follows with her husband also…To the excellence of [Priscilla and Aquila] St. Luke also bears witness. Partly when he says that Paul 'abode with them'…and partly when he points out the woman as receiving Apollos, and instructing him in the way of the Lord (Acts 18:3,26)…You see they are thoroughly endowed martyrs. For in Nero's time it is probably that there were thousands of dangers at the time, as he even commanded all Jews to be removed from Rome (Acts 8:1)…She had moreover been estimable in making their house a church..For he was not in the habit of calling any houses churches except where there was much piety and much fear of God deeply rooted."


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