ST. PAUL KNEW THEIR NAMES
(Friday, July 7)
“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (diakonon) of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.” (Rom 16:1-2)
In today’s epistle-reading, from the final chapter of Romans, St. Paul first “commends” to them Deacon Phoebe, who was probably the one who brought this letter or epistle to Rome. After his recommendation of Deacon Phoebe, St. Paul takes the time to greet, by name, many members of the church in Rome: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…; Greet Mary, who labored much for us. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners…”
As we Older Calendar people are in the final stretch of the Apostles’ Fast, I’m thinking, Thank you, St. Paul, for taking the time to greet your fellow workers in the church, both the women and the men. So we know about them, and also about the way you, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, cherished them and remembered their names. Remember also all of us, and pray for all of us, Holy Apostle Paul, as we walk through the ups and downs of church-life in this tumultuous year 2023.