Article Index

Epistle to the Philippians

This is another letter from prison. (1: 7, 13, 14) From his prison, just before the time of his martyrdom, Saint Paul recalls again the event on the road to Damascus. (3:6, 12) He awaits the day of Jesus Christ, (1: 6, 10) but he is joyful, for he says, “the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” (1:12, 13) The most important thing in Paul’s life is proclaiming the Gospel of Christ; so he wishes everyone to proclaim and announce the Gospel. He asserts that it is enough for him if Christ is preached, (1:15-18) so “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:20, 21)

Saint Paul asks the Philippians, as in all his letters, to live in Christ and to walk in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ, “striving together for the faith of the Gospel.” (1:27) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (2:5) Here Paul unfolds life in Christ with new features, with general advice and guidance, in which we find again a description of his own life in Christ. What was for him a gain, with respect to his learning, culture and Roman and Jewish origin, he considers as a loss:-

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (on the road to Damascus): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (3:7-14)

Paul has lived in Christ and he hastens to Rome for Christ, “for our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (3:20)


Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)