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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

The Letter to the Colossians

Submitted by on Wednesday, 31 August 2011No Comment

Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Colossians 1:1-8
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 52
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 4:38-44

The Letter to the Colossians

map-of-colossae

Today we begin the lectio cursiva of the letter to the Colossians. The selection from Colossians 1:1-8 can be divided into two parts: (a) the address, which names the sender and the receiver of the letter (1-2), and (b) the beginning of Paul’s thanksgiving (3ff).

Paul and his companions thank God after hearing of the faith, love and hope of the Colossians (3-5). They have their hopes fixed on the things stored in heaven for them, something they have heard from the gospel which they received, the word which even now grows and bears fruit from the time they heard of "the grace of God in truth" (6-7). And they heard this from Epaphras, one of their own and Paul’s co-worker. And it was from Epaphras too that Paul heard of the condition of the Colossians — a report that occassions the letter (v.8)

The City of Colossae

The City of Colosse was located in the southwest corner of Asia Minor in what was then the Roman province of Asia. Hierapolis and Laodicea were situated only a few miles away. All three were in the Lycus River valley. A main road from Ephesus to the east ran through the region. See Asia Minor.

Colosse was prominent during the Greek period. By Paul’s day it had lost much of its importance, perhaps due to the growth of the neighboring cities. Extremely detrimental to all of the cities of the region were the earthquakes which occasionally did severe damage. Shortly after Paul wrote Colossians, the entire Lycus Valley was devastated by an earthquake (about A.D. 61) which probably ended occupation of the city.

The region included a mixture of people native to the area, Greeks, Romans, and transplanted Jews. The church probably reflected the same diversity. As far as we know, Paul never visited Colosse. His influence was felt, however, during his ministry in Ephesus. (Acts 19:10 records that all Asia heard the gospel.) The letters to Philemon and to the Colossians indicate that many of Paul’s fellow workers (if not Paul himself) had worked among the churches of the Lycus Valley. As a result, the relationship between the apostle to the Gentiles and the Colossian church was close enough that when trouble arose some of the church turned to Paul for instruction. [Source]

Son of God and Christ

Jesus Strong Man

The narrative continues from the previous day’s reading. Jesus enters the house of Simon and cures this latter’s mother-in-law. This is followed by a healing marathon. The demons shout out his identity, "Son of God", but he rebukes them. Jesus had previously faced Satan in the desert where this latter tempted Him to prove that He is "Son of God" by using his powers for his own benefit. Jesus showed the Devil that to be "Son of God" is to be obedient and loyal to the Father, even to the point of suffering. In that match in the desert, Jesus proved himself to be the Strong Man who comes and plunders the Kingdom of Satan. Thus, the helplessness of the unclean spirits before Him. The narrative ends with Jesus telling those who wish Him to remain among them that He intends to go to other towns to proclaim God’s reign.

Colossians 1:1-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother,
2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus, who are at Colossa.
3Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
4Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have towards all the saints.
5For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,
6Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world, and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.
7As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;
8Who also hath manifested to us your love in the spirit.
Luke 4:38-44
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
38And Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought him for her.
39And standing over her, he commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them.
40And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them to him. But he laying his hands on every one of them, healed them.
41And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them he suffered them not to speak, for they knew that he was Christ.
42And when it was day, going out he went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought him, and came unto him: and they stayed him that he should not depart from them.
43To whom he said: To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God: for therefore am I sent.
44And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
Colossians 1:1-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother,
2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus, who are at Colossa.
3Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
4Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have towards all the saints.
5For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,
6Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world, and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.
7As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;
8Who also hath manifested to us your love in the spirit.
Acts 19:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10And this continued for the space of two years, so that all they who dwelt in Asia, heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Gentiles.

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