In this fourth and final sermon on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, Fr. Nicholas explores the fourth chapter of the epistle. He reminds us that the content, as well as the context, of the book inform our understanding of it. St. Paul is writing a letter with one hand while shackled by the other to a Roman soldier. St. Paul endured thirty-nine lashes on five different occasions. So we are to picture him as bloodied and bruised as he composes these words. The overall theme of the book is JOY. But in this final chapter of the book, St. Paul tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” And the only true joy we can have is through our union with Jesus Christ. St. Paul finally counsels us to set our minds on what is good and pure and to not let fear and negativity pull us down.
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