October 7 Epistle Reading

Philippians 3:1-8

1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…

St. John Chrysostom in his Homily X on Philippians III said:

“How long shall we be riveted to the earth? How long until we will look up to heaven? Do you not mark the aged, what little perception they have of the past? …Why are we so wedded to unstable objects? How long before we lay hold of the things that last? …Let us never flee from poverty as an evil, for it is the procurer of heaven. Again, let us never follow riches as a good, for they are the ruin of such as walk unwarily, but in everything directing our eyes to God, let us, as occasion requires, use those gifts which He has vouchsafed us, both strength of body, and abundance of money, and every other gift; for it is unnatural that we, who have our being for Him, should make these things serviceable to others: not to Him, but to the devil. But how are we serviceable to Him? By contemplating His creatures and praising and glorifying Him …Did He make your hands? Preserve them for His use, not for the devil, not putting them out for robbery and rapine, but for His commandments and for good deeds, for earnest prayers, for holding out help to the fallen …He gave you a place of shelter, not so you should keep it to yourself, but to offer it to others also.”

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