What is the most amazing thing you have ever done?
Have you tried really hard at something—and it showed? At school? On a team? At a special project? Even as a kid, you might have done something you’ve been really proud of.
We all know about Saint Paul, don’t we? He was one of the most important saints of the Christian Church. After Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the dead, Saint Paul was one of followers who spent the rest of his life spreading the word about our Lord. And he was successful too! Many, many people began to follow Christ after Saint Paul told them about God.
But in the epistle today, Saint Paul shows how all these great accomplishments weren’t his. They were God’s! That’s because God was working in Paul. Saint Paul wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
So whenever he did something great, Paul knew it really happened because Christ lived in him.
When we do good things too, we can think about how God is working in us. We can even ask our Lord to use us to do good things—like He used Saint Paul to do great things in his life too!
EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES
Can you name all the apostles?
You know Saints Peter and Paul. You know Saint John, Jesus’s friend. Maybe you can list even more. But did you know our holy Orthodox Church calls some other saints “equal to the apostles,” even if they lived much later on ?
Saint Nina lived 300 years later. Saints Constantine and Helen lived 300 years after Christ. Saint Cosmas lived almost 1,800 years after Him. Saint Thekla learned about Christ from Saint Paul, and she even visited him when he was locked up in prison.
Thekla took Saint Paul’s words to heart, and she really wanted to follow Christ (and not to just talk about it!) Thekla’s mother wanted her daughter to get married to a pagan man, but Thekla said she wanted to focus her life on Christ only. Her mother was angry with her and even wanted to have her punished, but Thekla was old enough to make the right decision.
Thekla spent the rest of her life telling others about Christ. People were cruel to her and even hurt her many times, but Thekla just wouldn’t give up. She lived to be over 90 years old.
Saint Thekla is a much-loved saint all over the world, but especially in the Middle East. There, many little Christian girls are baptized with the name “Thekla.” There is also a beautiful women’s monastery in Syria that is built near where she lived in a cave.
On Saturday, September 24th we celebrate the name day of Saint Thekla.