Paul is in jail. In those days, while incarcerated, your “room and board” was not paid for by the government. Family, friends and supporters needed to supply money for your food, clothing, and even for better accommodations – or a less horrible cell. Paul thanks the Philippian Christians for their support of his ministry from the earliest days – when no one else was supporting him. And now their messenger Epaphroditus has brought a gift, which will clothe and feed Paul, and help him survive his imprisonment. Paul tells the Philippians that their generosity to him will ensure that God will meet their needs as well – a good lesson for us!
14 It was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Lord, teach our hearts to give freely without counting the cost. Let nothing in this world keep us from reflecting your generosity. Let us trust that when we are generous, you will ensure that our needs are taken care of, for you are our good shepherd.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
St. Ignatius Loyola