Catholic Bible Study – Philippians

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Fr. Larry Young is a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Washington (DC), ordained in 2003. He is passionate about preaching and teaching the Catholic Faith and leading people deeper into the adventure of a relationship with Jesus. He firmly believes in orthodoxy and fidelity to the Magisterium.

The principal divisions of the Letter to the Philippians are the following:

  1. Address (1:111)
  2. Progress of the Gospel (1:1226)
  3. Instructions for the Community (1:272:18)
  4. Travel Plans of Paul and His Assistants (2:193:1)
  5. Polemic: Righteousness and the Goal in Christ (3:221)
  6. Instructions for the Community (4:19)
  7. Gratitude for the Philippians’ Generosity (4:1020)
  8. Farewell (4:2123)

Lectionary Index


Gospel Reading Day Year Lec.#
Phil 1:1-11 Ord. Time, Week 30, Fri 2 483
Phil 1:18b-26 Ord. Time, Week 30, Sat 2 484
Phil 2:1-4 Ord. Time, Week 31, Mon 2 485
Phil 2:5-11 Ord. Time, Week 31, Tues 2 486
Phil 2:12-18 Ord. Time, Week 31, Wed 2 487
Phil 3:3-8a Ord. Time, Week 31, Thurs 2 488
Phil 3:17—4:1 Ord. Time, Week 31, Fri 2 489
Phil 4:10-19 Ord. Time, Week 31, Sat 2 490


Gospel Reading Lect # – Year Sunday or Feast
Phil 1:4-6, 8-11 6-C 2nd Sunday of Advent
Phil 1:20c-24, 27a 133-A 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Phil 2:1-11 or 2:1-5 136-A 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Phil 2:6-11 38-ABC Palm Sunday Mass
Phil 3:8-14 36-C 5th Sunday of Lent
Phil 3:17—4:1 or 3:20—4:1 27-C 2nd Sunday of Lent
Phil 4:4-7 9-C 3rd Sunday of Advent
Phil 4:6-9 139-A 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Phil 4:12-14, 19-20 142-A 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Four Lesson Study w/Handouts

by Michal Hunt

Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi is one of Paul’s most personal letters. He wrote the letter from prison where he awaited the verdict of either acquittal or death. In the letter, he shares his sufferings to advance the Gospel and his struggle over whether he prefers to die to be with Christ or to live and continue serving the spiritual welfare of his dear Christians friends at Philippi.

The church in Philippi was the first Christian community St. Paul founded when he traveled to northern Greece on his second missionary journey in c. 50 or 51 AD. Throughout the years of his ministry, Paul maintained a close relationship with the community.

Most of the Philippian Christians were Gentile converts who had a great affection for Paul and supported him generously with material help. Paul had great confidence in the Philippian Christians.

In his letter, he demonstrates his deep affection for them when writing, “I hold you in my heart” (Phil 1:1), and when he describes them as “my brothers whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown” (Phil 4:1).

His letter to this Christian community is especially tender and made even more poignant by the fact that he was writing from his imprisonment (probably in Rome) where he didn’t know if this letter would be his last before suffering martyrdom.

References for the course are found in the Course Bibliography.

Course Handouts

Lesson Number Chapter Description Handouts
Lesson 1 Introduction
and Chapter 1
Paul’s Greeting and Present Circumstances Handouts
Lesson 2 Chapter 2 Having the Mind of Christ Handouts
Lesson 3 Chapter 3 Having Knowledge of Christ Handouts
Lesson 4 Chapter 4 Instructions for Living in the Peace of Christ and Paul’s Farewell Handouts


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