On this third day of Lent we continue in Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi where we read:
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my coworkers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:1-9).
Paul prays for his companions in ministry, Euodia and Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in Jesus. The two women were leaders in the Church in Philippi. I wonder what their disagreement was. What might cause them to be at odds with each other? Did it spread? Did it cause a scandal since they were leaders in the Church? What did that do to the Church in Philippi? Paul tells the Church community there not to worry; rather, rejoice in the Lord. Paul urges the Church to keep their minds on good things, things which are honorable, just, pure, pleasing and commendable. Paul bids them the peace of God which passes all understanding.
As the Episcopal Diocese of Texas gathers today and tomorrow for the 167th Diocesan Council, I ask your prayers.
Let us pray: O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were being cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Next Wednesday, the 17th of February 2016, we will meet at Grace Episcopal Church at 6 PM for Eucharist, followed by a light super, and then the presentation by our first Lenten speaker, The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb is Meade Professor of Biblical Interpretation and New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Mark who lost his life, for Mark’s family, Roberts’ Family, Ben and Diane his parents and his sister Kathleen; we pray for Pat, John, Katie, Gladys, Karen, and all those who have asked for our prayers.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550