quod pro nobis traditum est

Sunday, February 18, 2007

that we might live in him . . .

"Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Mt 5:44)

Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth," (1P 2:22) but endured all things for us, that we might live in him. Let us then be imitators of his patience; and if we suffer for his name's sake, let us glorify him. For he has set us this example in himself, and we have believed that such is the case… Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one…

For I trust that you are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted. It is declared then in these Scriptures, "Be angry, and sin not," and, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (Ep 4:26). Happy is he who remembers this, which I believe to be the case with you.

But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may he bestow on you a lot and portion among his saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in his Father, who raised him from the dead. Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross. May your fruit be manifest to all, and may you be perfect in him.

- Saint Polycarp (69 – 155) Bishop and Martyr, Letter to the Philippians, 8-12

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