Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Philippians 4:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
Love, the sum of every desirable quality for the Christian, is hindered if the faithful do not stand united as one, thinking in harmony. This is what St. Paul means here by “Stand fast in the Lord, beloved.” We may understand that he wants them to be united in understanding from the fact that he calls them, literally, “my beloved brothers and longed for object of joy.” Mutual love is the result of thinking in unison and standing together in Christ. When all have sound faith in Christ, all of us stand together in Him and the gates of Hades cannot prevail.
The Psalmist also reflects this when he says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). When the Church is united in love for each other, it is united in doctrine and purpose. It looks past the sinfulness of each person and rejoices that it is thinking, teaching, and fighting in unison. How good and how pleasant it is indeed when such unity occurs, for this unity cannot exist without love. And love cannot exist without trust; trust that we all speak the same truth.
Those who possess this kind of unity live in true fellowship and are true companions who labor together in the Gospel. They are fellow workers whose names are written in the Book of Life and possess true love, the love that only comes from God as a gift to us through our participation in the means of grace.