November 15, 2012, Reading

The Letter of Saint Paul to Philemon    1: 7-20

1:7 For I have found great joy and consolation in your charity, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
1:8 Because of this, I have enough confidence in Christ Jesus to command you concerning certain things,
1:9 but I beg you instead, for the sake of charity, since you are so much like Paul: an old man and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
1:10 I beg you, on behalf of my son, whom I have begotten in my chains, Onesimus.
1:11 In times past, he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to me and to you.
1:12 So I have sent him back to you. And may you receive him like my own heart.
1:13 I myself wanted to retain him with me, so that he might minister to me, on your behalf, while I am in the chains of the Gospel.
1:14 But I was willing to do nothing without your counsel, so as not to make use of your good deed as if out of necessity, but only willingly.
1:15 So perhaps, then, he departed from you for a time, so that you might receive him again for eternity,
1:16 no longer as a servant, but, in place of a servant, a most beloved brother, especially to me: but how much so more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord!
1:17 Therefore, if you hold me to be a companion, receive him as you would me.
1:18 But if he has harmed you in any way, or if he is in your debt, charge it to me.
1:19 I, Paul, have written this with my own hand: I will repay. And I need not tell you, that you are also in debt yourself, to me.
1:20 So it is, brother. May I delight with you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ.

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