Epistle reading for the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ
BROTHERS and SISTERS, I proclaim to you that the Gospel which I preached is not of human origin, for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard of my earlier life in Judaism, how I violently persecuted the Church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, Who had set me apart before I was born and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia. And afterwards, I returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other apostle, except James, the Lord’s brother.
Epistle reading for the 30th Sunday after Pentecost
BROTHERS and SISTERS, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another, and forgive each other. If anyone has a complaint against another, forgive, even as Christ forgave you. Above all, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God, to which also you were called in one body, rule in your hearts, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.
From Saint John Chrysostom,
Christ says in another place, "No one knows Who the Son is except the Father, or Who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him" (Luke 10:22). You observe that the Father reveals the Son, and the Son reveals the Father. So it is as to Their glory, the Son glorifies the Father, and the Father glorifies the Son. "Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You" (John 17: 1, 4). But why does Paul say, "to reveal His Son in me," and not "to me"? It is to signify that he had not only been instructed in the faith by words, but that he was richly endowed with the Spirit, that the revelation had enlightened his whole soul, and that he had Christ speaking within him. The object, Paul says, of His thus specially revealing Himself to me, was not only that I might myself behold Him, but ate I might also manifest Him to others, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, thus touching beforehand on that great ground of his defense which lay in the respective characters of the disciples. For it was necessary to preach differently to the Jews and to the pagans.
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