Consonant with both Anglicanism’s and monasticism’s love of patristic theology-spirituality, I occasionally post selections from Durham University’s two-year lectionary for the Divine Office that draws mostly from patristic writings. The lectionary was initially edited by Stephen Mark Holmes (University of Edinburgh School of Divinity) and subsequently re-edited and formatted by Michele Freyhauf (Durham University). Click here for the link to the lectionary.]
Patristic Lectionary—11 June 2020, St. Anthony of Padua; Feria after Trinity Sunday (Saturday ~ 10th Week in Ordinary Time)
[The image is an icon of St. Polycarp.]
The Philippians’ Generosity to Paul
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only; for even in Thessalonica you sent me help once and again. Not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more; I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Letter to the Philippians 1, 3, 9-11 (Loeb Classical Library, tr. Kirsopp Lake)
Polycarp and the Elders with him to the Church of God sojourning in Philippi; mercy and peace from God Almighty and Jesus Christ our Saviour be multiplied in you.
I rejoice greatly with you in our Lord Jesus Christ that you have followed the pattern of true love, and have helped on their way, as opportunity was given you, those who were bound in chains, which are the diadems of those who have been truly chosen by God and our Lord. I rejoice also that your firmly rooted faith, which was famous in past years, still flourishes and bears fruit unto our Lord Jesus Christ, who endured for our sins, even to the suffering of death, whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of Hades, in whom, though you did not see him, you believed in unspeakable and glorified joy, into which joy many desire to come, knowing that by grace you are saved, not by works but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.
These things, brothers, I write to you concerning righteousness, not at my own instance, but because you first invited me. For neither am I, nor is any other like me, able to follow the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, whom when he was among you in the presence of the men of that time taught accurately and steadfastly the word of truth, and also when he was absent wrote letters to you, from the study of which you will be able to build yourselves up into the faith.
Now I beseech you all to obey the word of righteousness and to endure with all the endurance which you also saw before your eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and in the other Apostles; being persuaded that all of these did not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are with the Lord in the place which is their due, with whom they also suffered. For they did not love this present world but him who died on our behalf and was raised by God for our sakes. Stand fast therefore in these things and follow the example of the Lord, firm and unchangeable in faith, loving the brotherhood, affectionate to one another, joined together in the truth, forestalling one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no man.
I am deeply sorry for Valens, who was once made a presbyter among you, that he so little understands the place which was given to him. Keep yourself from all evil. For how may he who cannot attain self control in these matters enjoin it on another? If any man does not abstain from avarice he will be defiled by idolatry, and to be judged as if he were among the Gentiles who know not the judgement of God. Or do we not know that the saints shall judge the world, as Paul teaches? But I have neither perceived nor heard any such thing among you, among whom the blessed Paul laboured, who are praised in the beginning of his Epistle. For concerning you he boasts in all the Churches who then alone had known the Lord, for we had not yet known him.