October 12 Epistle Reading

Colossians 1:1-2, 7-11

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

St. John Chrysostom in his Homilies I and II on Colossians I said:

“Holy indeed are all the Epistles of Paul: but those which he sent after he was in bonds have some advantage: those, for instance, to the Ephesians and Philemon, to Timothy, to the Philippians, and the one before us. For this epistle was also sent when he was a prisoner, since he writes in it thus ‘for which I am also in bonds, that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak’ (Col. 4:3,4). But this Epistle appears to have been written after that to the Romans …near the close of his preaching …As if a champion were to write in the midst of carnage and victory, so also in truth did he …This was a city of Phrygia, as is plain from Laodicea’s being near to it…”

“How does he say you are made a saint? Tell me. How are you called faithful? Is it not because you were sanctified through death? Is it not because you have faith in Christ? …This love (of Epaphras’) is wonderful and steadfast; all other love has only the name. And there are some persons who are not of this kind, but such is not friendship; for this reason it is easily dissolved. There are many causes producing friendship …the social sort …or commonality of trade …the natural …that of wife to husband …But spiritual love is higher than all. As if she were some queen ruling her subjects …she descends from above, out of heaven. And why do you wonder that she needs no benefits to subsist, seeing that she is not even overthrown by injuries? …In the world indeed, when a father has been insulted, he withdraws his love. Not so there however: he even went to those who stoned him, seeking to do them good. For nothing, nothing is so strong as the bond of the Spirit. Someone who became a friend from receiving benefits, will, should these be discontinued, become an enemy. One who by habitual intercourse was made inseparable, will, when the habit is broken through, let his friendship become extinct. A wife, after a broil, will leave her husband, and withdraw affection…”

“But in the case of spiritual love there is nothing of this. For by none of these things can it be dissolved, seeing it is not composed of them. Neither time, nor length of journey, nor ill usage, nor being evil spoken of, nor anger, nor insult, nor any other thing, make inroads on it, nor have the power of dissolving it… Let us then follow after the friendships of the Spirit.”

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