October 18 Epistle Reading

Colossians 4:5-9, 14, 18

5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. 7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, 9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here. 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. 18 This salutation by my own hand–Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.

St. John Chrysostom in his Homily 11 on Colossians said:

“‘Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt’; that is, that this graciousness may not lapse into indifferentism. For it is possible to be simply agreeable, it is possible also to be so with due seemliness. ‘That ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.’ So that one ought not to discourse alike to all, Greeks, I mean, and Brethren. By no means, for this were the very extreme of senselessness.”

“(v.8) Here he shows his great love, seeing that for this purpose he sent him, and this was the cause of his journey; and so when writing to the Thessalonians, he said, ‘Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left behind at Athens alone, and sent Timothy our brother.’ (I Th. 3:1-2) And to the Ephesians he sends this very same person, and for the very same cause, ‘That he might know your estate and comfort your hearts.’ (Eph. 6:21-22) See what he says, not ‘that you might know my estate,’ but ‘that I might know yours.’ So in no place does he mention what is his own. He shows that they were in trials too, by the expression, ‘comfort your hearts.’

“(v.9) Onesimus is the one about whom, writing to Philemon, he said, ‘Whom I would fain have kept with me, that in your behalf he might minister unto me in the bonds of the Gospel: but without your mind I would do nothing.” (Philemon 1-3, 14) And he adds too the praise of their city, that they might not only not be ashamed, but even pride themselves on him. ‘Who is one of you,’ he says. ‘They shall make known unto you all things that are done here.’

And from Homily 12 on Colossians, Chrysostom continues:

“(v.14) This is the Evangelist. It is not to lower this man that he places him after, but to raise the other, viz. Epaphroditus. It is probable that there were others called by this name. ‘And Demas,’ he says. After saying, ‘Luke, the physician, salutes you,’ he added, ‘the beloved.’ And no small praise is this, but even great exceedingly, to be beloved of Paul.”

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