I rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at last you revived your concern for me. You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity. Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. (Philippians 4: 10-13)
How should we live this Word
This passage that ends the Letter to the Philippians, lets us see the delicateness of the heart of a shepherd, and also the unconquerable fierceness of his soul. In order to clear the field of his interior liberty and of his apostolate from any pretext and impediment, he had adopted as his norm of behavior to not accept anything from anyone and to earn his livelihood by the work of his hands.
Now, in the act of accepting the offering of help from the Philippians, more for the love they show than for need, he emphasizes again his norm of conduct, affirming he has been initiated into everything from hunger to thirst, from abundance to indigence, in a word, to be always self-sufficient. However, we must note that Paul proclaims his self-sufficiency, not as being ambitious like the stoics of his times, but because his strength comes from within, “I can do everything in the One who gives me strength”, that is, from Christ who makes him able to dare everything! Paul again shows us that he is one thing with Christ.
In prayer today, I will insistently repeat to Jesus: O Jesus, my Lord, I endure everything together with You, who gives me interior strength.
The voice of St. Ignatius of Antioch
In order to suffer together with Him, I support all, because He, who became the perfect man, gives me interior strength.