top of page


Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

My dear encountered couples:

Our first reading is from a letter written by Paul to a wealthy man named Philemon who owned a slave called Onesimus. It seems Onesimus not only ran off from his master but stole something in the process. And though converted by Paul as had been his master, he was afraid to return to Philemon. So, St. Paul wrote this letter asking Philemon to forgive Onesimus and accept him back not as a slave, but as a brother in Christ.

“I had wanted to keep Onesimus with me,” wrote Paul to Philemon, “that he might serve me in your place while I am in prison for the gospel; but I did not want to do anything without your consent, that kindness might not be forced on you but might be freely bestowed. Perhaps he was separated from you for a while for this reason: that you might possess him forever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother, since now you will know him both as a man and in the Lord. If then you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me. If he has done you an injury or owes you anything, charge it to me. I agree to pay, not to mention you owe me your very self!”

Sometimes, we might be inclined to act as if we own people. Not in the slavery sense, but in that we try to control their thinking and their lives. None of us owns anybody. Even children are only put into the keeping of their parents for a period of time.

We all belong to God. And we are to treat one another as his children. If anybody hurts us or owes us anything, Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has already repaid us in full.

Did Philemon welcome Onesimus as a brother or treat him as a slave? I think we can make a pretty good guess about that, but how about us? How do we treat all the “Onesimuses” God sends to us?

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page