Archive for January 4th, 2020

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Philippians 4:10-14: Strength for Everything

Timothy and Epaphroditus

Timothy and Epaphroditus

From the CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE footnotes: “Paul . . . here thanks the Philippians for their gift of money sent through Epaphroditus. Paul’s own policy was to be self-sufficient as a missionary, supporting himself by his own labor.  In spite of this reliance on self and on God to provide, Paul accepted gifts from the Philippians . . . as he does here now, in prison”.  (cf. Senior 317)

Paul sets out in his missionary zeal to earn his own wages as he travels through the Roman Empire telling the Good News to all. He suffers great deprivation and knows great bounty.  Where he had once thought only to support himself, he now – in his prison cell – fully realizes the secret to a life lived well: Not only do we depend on God the Creator, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient and All Knowing but we also depend on God present to us in and through others.  God of little surprises and sudden kindnesses.  God ever-present in the faithful who remain as remnant.  God providing power in our distress.  This is where we find strength for everything.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at last you revived your concern for me.  Help us, Oh God of surprises, to be faithful to those with whom you have linked us.

You were, of course, concerned for me but lacked an opportunity.  Guide us, Oh God of small wonders and powerful miracles, to be watchful for any opportunity to do your work.

I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient.  Remind us, Oh God who comes to us in the small Bethlehem Babe, that you came to humanity as a vulnerable child.

I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live in abundance.  Show us, Oh God who was born in a stable, that the material goods we seek are dust in our hands.

In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.  Call us, Oh God who dwells in each of us, to fully know and express the great secret you teach us through tribulation and joy.

I have strength for everything through him who empowers me.  Tell us once again, Oh God who never falters, that our limitations become power when we live in you.

It was kind of you to share in my distress.  Confirm for us, Oh God who never abandons the sheep of his kingdom, that you bring us liberation even in our deepest suffering.

And so we pray . . . Oh God of our dreaming and our waking, help us to balance the good and the bad, the sorrow and the joy, the pain and the elation.  Abide in us all days and all nights, through our comings and goings, during our encampments and our wanderings, as we experience need and revel in plenty.  Show us how to traverse the hills and valleys, how to endure the deserts and the wastelands, how to undergo deprivation and how to delight in bounty.  Remind us to rejoice greatly in you always for you are never far, you are forever constant, and you are eternally present to us . . . even though we see you but darkly.  We rely on you to bring us strength for everything both in our distress and in our gladness.  We ask all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

A re-post from December 30, 2012.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.317. Print.

To reflect a bit more on Chapter 4 of Philippians, enter the words Cause for Joy into the blog search bar and explore.

To hear a sermon on Model Servants, go to http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/50-26/Model-Spiritual-Servants-Part-3-Epaphroditus

To spend time reflecting on how Timothy and Epaphroditus are Models of Faith, click on the image above or go to: http://biblicaljoy.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/week-29-timothy-and-epaphroditus/

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: