God Active and Effective in and Through Us (Mon. Oct. 24)

The word for the day is “work.”  In today’s reading of Philippians 2:12-16, St. Paul speaks of active striving.  We know that it takes concerted effort to achieve any worthwhile goal.  But the surprise of this reading is the object of our endeavors.  Paul writes, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (vs. 12).  What?  Isn’t salvation a “free gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9)?  So is Paul contradicting himself?  What, indeed, is St. Paul saying? The English word “work out” is a good translation of the Greek word that means “to accomplish fully” (Strong’s 2716, 135).  The adverbial phrase “with fear and trembling” adds to the idea of effective action.…

God Active and Effective in Us (Mon. Nov. 1)

The word for the day is “work.”  In today’s reading of Philippians 2:12-16, St. Paul speaks of active striving. We know that to achieve any worthwhile goal, we must make a concerted effort. But the surprise of this reading is the object of our endeavor.  Paul writes, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (vs. 12).  What? Isn’t salvation a “free gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:9?.  So is Paul contradicting himself? What indeed is St. Paul saying? The English phrase “work out” is a good translation of the Greek word that means “to accomplish fully” (Strong’s 2716, 135).  The adverbial phrase “with fear and trembling” adds to the idea of…

Poured Out As an Offering (Tues. Oct. 20)

The word of the day is “poured.”  In today’s reading of Philippians 2:17-23, St. Paul returns to the thought of his impending trial. It is certain that he will have to appear in court.  It is uncertain what the outcome will be. In the event of his execution, he writes, “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (vs. 17). Like St. Ignatius, Paul is comparing his potential death to a sacrificial offering.  More exactly, it is a “drink offering,” “a libation.”  In his martyrdom, his blood would be poured out like an offering of wine or other liquid to…

God Active and Effective in Us (Mon. Oct. 19)

The word for the day is “work.”  In today’s reading of Philippians 2:12-16, St. Paul speaks of active striving. We know that to achieve any worthwhile goal, we must make a concerted effort. But the surprise of this reading is the object of our endeavor.  Paul writes, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (vs. 12).  What? Isn’t salvation a “free gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:9?.  So is Paul contradicting himself? What indeed is St. Paul saying? The English phrase “work out” is a good translation of the Greek word that means “to accomplish fully” (Strong’s 2716, 135).  The adverbial phrase “with fear and trembling” adds to the idea of…