Saturday, January 8, 2011

2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

#359 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the Church of God that is at Corinth,
with all the holy ones throughout Achaia:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 1:1-7

This passage contains the Apostle’s introduction to this second letter, and his message of solidarity with the Church in Corinth. The address is to Timothy who was with St. Paul when he established the Christian Community (inferred by Acts 18:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:1). While the Greek translation is a bit confused, the point being made is that St. Paul shares the suffering of Christ, and in doing so shares in his saving work. The Corinthians who are suffering persecution and hardships receive this same consolation with Christ, and likewise share in the Savior'
s mission.

CCC: 2 Cor 1 2627; 2 Cor 1:3-7 2627
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2 Corinthians 1:3-7

#41O-3 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Consolation)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 1:3-7

The point being made by St. Paul is that he shares the suffering of Christ and in doing so shares in his saving work. The Corinthians who are suffering persecution and hardships receive this same consolation with Christ and likewise share in the Saviors mission.

CCC: 2 Cor 1 2627; 2 Cor 1:3-7 2627
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2 Corinthians 1:18-22

#80B Solemnities B Context (7th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

#360 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

As God is faithful,
our word to you is not "yes" and "no."
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me,
was not "yes" and "no," but "yes" has been in him.
For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him;
therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.
But the one who gives us security with you in Christ
and who anointed us is God;
he has also put his seal upon us
and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 1:18-22

St. Paul has been criticized by the people at Corinth. He is making it clear that there is no ambiguity in what they have been told regarding the Lord and the Kingdom of God. There is only truth and it is not variable. His critics have accused him of failing to deliver on promises he made. In this part of his response to that charge he recounts his singleness of purpose in confessing the absolute truth in Christ Jesus. God, says the Apostle, is always faithful (“For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him;”). The point he intends is that as God is faithful so is his servant who proclaims his fidelity to Christ Jesus who is God’s Amen (using the Hebrew word for yes). This assent they give to Christ is an assent to God since God and Christ are one.

The last reference to being sealed with the Holy Spirit is a reference to the unity shared by the faithful in Baptism and Confirmation.

CCC: 2 Cor 1:20 1065; 2 Cor 1:21-22 1274; 2 Cor 1:21 695, 735; 2 Cor 1:22 698, 1107, 1296
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2 Corinthians 3:1-6a

#722 Commons Context (Common of Pastors)

Brothers and sisters:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again?
Do we need, as some do,
letters of recommendation to you or from you?
You are our letter, written on our hearts,
known and read by all,
shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us,
written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God,
not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.

Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
Not that of ourselves we are qualified
to take credit for anything as coming from us;
rather, our qualification comes from God,
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant,
not of letter but of spirit.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 3:1-6a

In this passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the apostle is defending the Christian “Way” against Jewish factions that are clearly either attaching or claiming superiority over the faithful. ("Paul seems to allude to certain preachers who pride themselves on their written credentials. Presumably they reproach him for not possessing similar credentials and compel him to spell out his own qualifications (2 Cor 4:2; 5:12; 6:4)."[3]) The Apostle first establishes that proof of their identity is in their outward witness of Christ. They do not need to claim the Hebrew heritage (“You are our letter, written on our hearts… not on tablets of stone”. They are the living sign. In this part of his apologetic, he first compares the Covenant of Moses (which ends in death) with the New Covenant (which ends in eternal life).

CCC: 2 Cor 3:3 700; 2 Cor 3:6 859
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2 Corinthians 3:1b-6

#83B Solemnities B Context (8th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

Brothers and sisters:
Do we need, as some do,
letters of recommendation to you or from you?
You are our letter, written on our hearts,
known and read by all,
shown to be a letter of Christ ministered by us,
written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God,
not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
Not that of ourselves we are qualified
to take credit for anything as coming from us;
rather, our qualification comes from God,
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant,
not of letter but of spirit;
for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 3:1-6a

The apostle is defending the Christian “Way” against Jewish factions that are clearly either attaching or claiming superiority over the faithful. The Apostle first establishes that proof of their identity is in their outward witness of Christ. They do not need to claim the Hebrew heritage (“You are our letter, written on our hearts… not on tablets of stone”) –tablets of stone referring to the delivery of the Decalogue. They are the living sign. In this part of his apologetic, he first compares the Covenant of Moses (which ends in death) with the New Covenant (which ends in eternal life).

Paul is drawing from two prophecies about the messianic age. Writing on the heart evokes Jeremiah’s promise that God will ratify a new covenant and inscribe his law on the hearts of his people (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The contrast between stone and human hearts evokes Ezekiel’s promise that God will replace the stony hearts of his people with fleshly hearts that are ready to obey him through the Spirit (Ezekiel 11: 19; 36:26-27).[4]

CCC: 2 Cor 3:3 700; 2 Cor 3:6 859
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2 Corinthians 3:4-11

#361 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit
for anything as coming from us;
rather, our qualification comes from God,
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant,
not of letter but of spirit;
for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious
that the children of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses
because of its glory that was going to fade,
how much more will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious?
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious,
the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory.
Indeed, what was endowed with glory
has come to have no glory in this respect
because of the glory that surpasses it.
For if what was going to fade was glorious,
how much more will what endures be glorious.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 3:4-11

In this passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the apostle is defending the Christian “Way” against Jewish factions that are clearly either attacking or claiming superiority over the faithful. In this part of his apologia, he first compares the Covenant of Moses (which ends in death) with the New Covenant (which ends in eternal life). His concluding statements compare the relative glory of these two views with the view of eternal life outshining the fading glory of the Covenant of Moses, which ends in death.

CCC: 2 Cor 3:6 859
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2 Corinthians 3:15—4:1, 3-6

#362 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
To this day, whenever Moses is read,
a veil lies over the hearts of the children of Israel,
but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed.
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
as from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
And even though our Gospel is veiled,
it is veiled for those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this age
has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,
so that they may not see the light of the Gospel
of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God
on the face of Jesus Christ.
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2 Cor 3:15—4:1, 3-6

St. Paul continues his apologetic to the Christian converts in Corinth who were being attacked by the unconverted Jewish population who were still struggling with the Christian doctrine. Here he makes reference to the veil placed between the Torah and the people. The book is just words but the Holy Spirit of God transforms the words into actions which bring glory to God. Those who cannot understand or come to faith in the Gospel reject it because they have chosen to do so and that path leads to death (of the soul).

CCC: 2 Cor 3:14-16 1094; 2 Cor 3:17 693, 1741; 2 Cor 4:4 1701; 2 Cor 4:6 298, 2583
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2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-7

#547 Proper of Saints Context (St. Isidore, Apr 4)

#602 Proper of Saints Context (St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Jul 21)

#635 Proper of Saints Context (St. Gregory the Great, Sep 3)

#655 Proper of Saints Context (St. John Leonardi, Oct 9)

#722 Commons Context (Common of Pastors, 6.)

#771 Ritual Mass Context (II. For the Conferral of Holy Orders, 6.)

#844 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 5. For Priests, 2.)

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things;
not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God,
but by the open declaration of the truth
we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.
But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 4:1-2, 5-7

St. Paul speaks of his own ministry to the people of Corinth. Using his actions as an example, he makes the case for repentance (“…we have renounced shameful, hidden things”) and against false teachers (“…not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God”). Paul then uses the “light in the darkness” metaphor. He seems to be thinking of Genesis 1:3 and presenting his apostolic ministry as a new creation. In his final statement he makes it clear that it is for God’s glory in Christ that he proclaims this message and that the messenger himself is the humble “earthen vessel.”

CCC: 2 Cor 4:6 298, 2583; 2 Cor 4:7 1420
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2 Corinthians 4:6-11

#86B Solemnities B Context (9th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

Brothers and sisters:
God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.
But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 4:6-11

St. Paul begins this selection paraphrasing Genesis 1:3. The Apostle views conversion of the faithful as a new beginning, a light shining in the darkness. “The transformation we experience in Chris thus parallels the transformation effected by the word of God when he first dispelled the darkness with light at the dawn of history. This was already hinted at by Isaiah, who developed the theme of light’s victory over darkenss as a sign of salvation (Isaiah 9:2; 49:6; 60:1-3). Paul experienced this first hand when the blinding light of Christ knocked him to the ground on the Damascus road (Acts 9:3; 26;13) (CCC 2583)”[5]

The Apostle continues explaining the paradoxical nature of ministry in Christ. Our immortal souls, transformed in Christ contained within perishable bodies. The earthly body (earthen vessels) may be destroyed but the glorified body is imperishable.

CCC: 2 Cor 4:6 298, 2583; 2 Cor 4:7 1420
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2 Corinthians 4:7-15

#363 Weeday Year I Context (Friday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#517 Proper of Saints Context (St. Vincent, Jan 22)

#605 Proper of Saints Context (St. James, Jul 25)

#640 Proper of Saints Context (St. Cornelius, Sep 16)

#662 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. John De Br├ębeuf and Isaac Jogues & Companions, Oct 19)

#716 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, / believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 4:7-15

St. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about suffering and death in the human existence of this life, in spite of living in the faith. The image he uses, fragile earthen pots, speaks of God’s instruments being easily broken but nonetheless effective. The image of small terracotta lamps in which light is carried is mentioned elsewhere. The point the evangelist makes contrasts our mortality with God’s omnipotence and power, our death in the flesh with life in the spirit of Christ. With such a spirit at work within us, we must, like St. Paul, spread that news to others (“
we too believe and therefore speak”).

CCC: 2 Cor 4:7 1420; 2 Cor 4:14 989
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2 Corinthians 4:10-18

#934 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 24. For the Sick, Second Option)

Brothers and sisters:
We always carry about in the body the dying of Jesus,
  so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
  for the sake of Jesus,
  so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
  according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke,"
  we too believe and therefore we speak,
  knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
  will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
  so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
  may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Therefore, we are not discouraged;
  rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
  our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction is producing for us
  an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
  as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen;
  for what is seen is transitory,
  but what is unseen is eternal.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 4:10-18

St. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about suffering and death in the human existence of this life, in spite of living in the faith. He speaks of the tribulations and sufferings which apostolic ministry involves using examples from his own experience.  The point the evangelist makes contrasts our mortality with God’s omnipotence and power; our death in the flesh but life in the spirit of Christ. With such a spirit at work within us, we must, like St. Paul spread that news to others (“…we too believe and therefore speak”).  The Apostle encourages the Corinthians to view affliction as God does; ignoring the pains of the flesh and looking to the spiritual gifts flowing from God's mercy and salvation.

CCC: 2 Cor 4:14 989
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2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

#89B Solemnities B Context (10th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore we speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more
people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
Therefore, we are not discouraged;
rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction
is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison,
as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen;
for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.
For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
should be destroyed,
we have a building from God,
a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.
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Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

St. Paul quotes the Greek version of Psalm 116:10. The Hebrew reads “I believed, even when I said.” It is a hymn of thanksgiving in which David recalls his faith in Yahweh during times of distress and remembers how he was rescued. Paul and the other disciples share this faith that God will deliver them from mortal dangers-even death itself-and expect to thank him in return.

In either Greek or Hebrew, faith is the cause of belief. “…knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence.” The Apostle encourages the faith community to disregard the trials to which the body is subjected, keeping always before them the certain knowledge of the resurrection. Taking this understanding to its logical next level, in 5:1, the Apostle reflects upon the body, the human form we wear on earth. He differentiates it from the glorified body to be received in the resurrection “…a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

CCC: 2 Cor 4:14 989; 2 Cor 5:1 1420
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2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1

#668 Proper of Saints Context (The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls))

#1014 Mass for the Dead Context (9.)

Brothers and sisters:
Knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus
  will raise us also with Jesus
  and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
  so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
  may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Therefore, we are not discouraged;
  rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
  our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction
  is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
  as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen;
  for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
  should be destroyed,
  we have a building from God,
  a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.
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Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1

Paul and the other disciples share the faith that God will deliver them from mortal dangers-even death itself-and expect to thank him in return. In either Greek or Hebrew, faith is the cause of belief. “…knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence.” The Apostle encourages the faith community to disregard the trials to which the body is subjected, keeping always before them the certain knowledge of the resurrection. Taking this understanding to its logical next level, in 5:1, the Apostle reflects upon the body, the human form we wear on earth. He differentiates it from the glorified body to be received in the resurrection “…a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

CCC: 2 Cor 4:14 989; 2 Cor 5:1 1420
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2 Corinthians 4:16-18

#792 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 7.)

Brothers and sisters:
We are not discouraged;
  rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
  our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction
  is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
  as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen;
  for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.
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Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The Apostle encourages the faith community to disregard the trials to which the body is subjected, keeping always before them the certain knowledge of the resurrection.   The sufferings of the body last but a short time in comparison to the eternal reward that awaits all those consecrated to Christ.

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2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10

#668 Proper of Saints Context (The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls))

#792 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 8. (For the Dying))

#1014 Masses for the Dead Context (10.)

Brothers and Sisters;
We know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
should be destroyed,
we have a building from God,
a dwelling not made with hands,
eternal in heaven.

We are always courageous,
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 5:1, 6-10

In the first verse of this selection the Apostle reflects upon the body, the human form we wear on earth. He differentiates it from the glorified body to be received in the resurrection “…a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.”

He next reflects upon the courage needed to live the Christian faith in the face of persecution and secular resistance. With the certain knowledge of the resurrection with Christ, the Apostle wistfully reflects on the bliss awaiting the faithful with the resurrected Lord. In doing so he also refutes prominent Greek Philosophers of the day who proposed the body was a prison for the soul; a premises that could lead to unhealthy attitudes about life in general. He sees the temptation of desiring heavenly bliss while suffering the ills imposed upon the temporal body, the flesh worn in our life on earth, enjoining the faithful to be courageous in the face of such suffering.

With these verses Paul provides an recapitulation of Romans 6:8: “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” He concludes with the reminder that there will be a final judgment at which time Christ will assign a place for all depending upon their earthly conduct.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:1 1420; 2 Cor 5:6 769; 2 Cor 5:7 164; 2 Cor 5:8 1005, 1021, 1681
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2 Corinthians 5:6-10

#92B Solemnities B Context (11th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

Brothers and sisters:
We are always courageous,
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 5:6-10

This selection of the Second Letter to the Corinthians is a message of hope. St. Paul reflects upon the courage needed to live the Christian faith in the face of persecution and secular resistance. With the certain knowledge of the resurrection in union with Christ, the Apostle wistfully reflects on the bliss awaiting the faithful with the resurrected Lord. In doing so, he also refutes prominent Greek Philosophers of the day who proposed the body was a prison for the soul, a premise that could lead to unhealthy attitudes about life in general. He sees the temptation of desiring heavenly bliss while suffering the ills imposed upon the temporal body, the flesh worn in our life on earth, enjoining the faithful to be courageous in the face of such suffering.

With these verses Paul provides a recapitulation of Romans 6:8: “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” He concludes with the reminder that there will be a final judgment at which time Christ will assign a place for all depending upon their earthly conduct.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:6 769; 2 Cor 5:7 164; 2 Cor 5:8 1005, 1021, 1681
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2 Corinthians 5:14-21

#364 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 5:14-21

This passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians has a distinctly initiative flavor. First he speaks of dying with Christ, becoming one with him in the spirit. This occurs in the sacrament of Baptism. The whole idea of being reconciled to God in Christ is inherent in the Sacrament of Confirmation and concluded in the Eucharist. These of course are the three sacraments of Christian Initiation.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:14 616, 851; 2 Cor 5:15 605, 655, 1269; 2 Cor 5:17 1214, 1265; 2 Cor 5:17-18 1999; 2 Cor 5:18-21 2844; 2 Cor 5:18 981, 1442, 1461; 2 Cor 5:19 433, 620; 2 Cor 5:20 859, 1424, 1442; 2 Cor 5:21 602
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2 Corinthians 5:14-20

#511 Proper of Saint Context (St. Raymond of Penafort Jan 7)

#664 Proper of Saint Context (St. John of Capistrano Oct 23)

#722 Common Context (Common of Pastors, 7.)

#771 Ritual Mass Context (II. For the Conferral of Holy Orders, 7.)

#844 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 5. For Priests, 3.)

#858 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 8. For Vocations to Holy Orders or Religious Life, First Option (For Priestly Vocations)

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us.
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 5:14-20

This passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians has a distinctly sacramental flavor. First he speaks of dying with Christ, becoming one with him in the spirit. This occurs in the sacrament of Baptism. The whole idea of being reconciled to God in Christ is inherent in the Sacrament of Confirmation and concluded in the Eucharist. These of course are the three sacraments of Christian Initiation.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:14 616, 851; 2 Cor 5:15 605, 655, 1269; 2 Cor 5:17 1214, 1265; 2 Cor 5:17-18 1999; 2 Cor 5:18-21 2844; 2 Cor 5:18 981, 1442, 1461; 2 Cor 5:19 433, 620; 2 Cor 5:20 859, 1424, 1442
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2 Corinthians 5:14-17

#95B Solemnities B Context (12th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

#603 Proper of Saints Context (St. Mary Magdalene, Jul 22)

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 5:14-17

In this passage the Apostle describes the transformation that occurs when a person accepts Christ and his mission. That Christian no longer considers Christ in terms of what was accomplished as man, but rather the spiritual dimension of the human person. Life in the spirit is forged anew in baptism. The “old things,” the old covenant, pass away, and new life and a new creation are brought forth in the one reborn in baptism.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:14 616, 851; 2 Cor 5:15 605, 655, 1269; 2 Cor 5:17 1214, 1265; 2 Cor 5:17-18 1999
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

#33C Solemnities C Context (4th Sunday of Lent C)

#14L BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary/ Mother of Reconciliation, Lent 14)

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 5:17-21

St. Paul begins this passage with an image of Baptism (“Whoever is in Christ is a new creation”) which is how we are reconciled to God through Christ. He (God) goes on using Christ as the tool for the remission of sin (trespasses) and using Christians to spread that word to the world. The evangelist then continues to exhort the Corinthians. He calls them to faithfulness, to be reconciled with God in Christ because of Jesus’ great sacrifice for us all.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:17 1214, 1265; 2 Cor 5:17-18 1999; 2 Cor 5:18-21 2844; 2 Cor 5:18 981, 1442, 1461; 2 Cor 5:19 433, 620; 2 Cor 5:20 859, 1424, 1442; 2 Cor 5:21 602
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2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2

#893 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 15. Reconciliation, 2nd Option)

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 5:17-6:2

St. Paul begins this passage with an image of Baptism (“Whoever is in Christ is a new creation”) which is how we are reconciled to God through Christ. He (God) goes on using Christ as the tool for the remission of sin (trespasses) and using Christians to spread that word to the world. Next evangelist  exhorts the Corinthians. He calls them to faithfulness, to be reconciled with God in Christ because of Jesus’ great sacrifice for us all.

In Chapter 6, St. Paul brings home the need for reconciliation to God and within the Christian Community. He quotes Isaiah 48:8 from the Septuigant to establish the urgency of this need. He anticipates the salvation of the Lord and the judgement that will accompany it.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:17 1214, 1265; 2 Cor 5:17-18 1999; 2 Cor 5:18-21 2844; 2 Cor 5:18 981, 1442, 1461; 2 Cor 5:19 433, 620; 2 Cor 5:20 859, 1424, 1442; 2 Cor 5:21 602; 2 Cor 6:2 1041
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2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2

#219 Weekday Years I & II Context (Ash Wednesday)

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 5:20—6:2

St. Paul calls the Corinthians to reconciliation with God. He reminds them that through reconciliation, grace is received and through grace, God pours out salvation. The Apostle also reminds the people why God came: as a sacrifice of atonement for sins (“For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin“). His urgent call tells his audience that now (not later) is the time for this to occur. “In an acceptable time: Paul cites the Septuagint text of Isaiah 49:8; the Hebrew reads "in a time of favor"; it is parallel to "on the day of salvation." Now: God is bestowing favor and salvation at this very moment, as Paul is addressing his letter to them.”[1]

CCC: 2 Cor 5:20 859, 1424, 1442; 2 Cor 5:21 602; 2 Cor 6:2 1041
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2 Corinthians 6:1-10

#365 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
As your fellow workers, we appeal to you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
We cause no one to stumble in anything,
in order that no fault may be found with our ministry;
on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves
as ministers of God, through much endurance,
in afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots,
labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech,
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 6:1-10

St. Paul’s main message in this passage is to encourage Christians to remain steadfast as he and his companions have done. He describes nine different trials they have encountered (“afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts) and provides a litany of seven contrasting negative external perceptions with positive internal spiritual realities (virtues). The passage concludes (v. 8-10) with the first of seven accusations the Apostle makes against his detractors, essentially refuting any challenge to his authority as an authentic teacher of the Gospel.

CCC: 2 Cor 6:2 1041; 2 Cor 6:4 859
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2 Corinthians 6:4-10

#553A^ Proper of Saints Context (St. Adalbert, Apr 23)

#575 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, Jun 1)

#654 Proper of Saints Context (St. Denis, Oct 9)

#716 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

Brothers and sisters:
In everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God,
through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships,
constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love,
in truthful speech, in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 6:4-10

St. Paul’s main message in this passage is to encourage those of the faith to remain steadfast as he and his companions have done. He describes nine different trials they have encountered (“afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts”) and provides a litany of seven contrasting negative external perceptions with positive internal spiritual realities.

CCC: 2 Cor 6:4 859
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2 Corinthians 8:1-5, 9-15

#883 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 13. For the Country or a City or For those Who Serve in Public Office or For the Congress or For the President or For the Progress of Peoples, 3.)

#923 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 21. In Time of Famine, or For Those Who Suffer From Famine, Second Option)

We want you to know, brothers and sisters,
  of the grace of God that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
  for in a severe test of affliction,
  the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
  overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For according to their means, I can testify,
  and beyond their means, spontaneously, they begged us insistently
   for the favor of taking part in the service to the holy ones,
  and this, not as we expected,
   but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us
  through the will of God.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
   that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
   so that by his poverty you might become rich.
And I am giving counsel in this matter,
   for it is appropriate for you who began not only to act
   but to act willingly last year:
   complete it now, so that your eager willingness may be matched
   by your completion of it out of what you have.
 For if the eagerness is there,
   it is acceptable according to what one has,
   not according to what one does not have;
   not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
   but that as a matter of equality your surplus at the present time
   should supply their needs,
   so that their surplus may also supply your needs,
   that there may be equality.
 As it is written:

   Whoever had much did not have more,
          and whoever had little did not have less.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 8:1-5, 9-15

St. Paul writes to the Corinthians about the generosity of the churches of Macedonia. He has started a collection to relieve the mother church in Jerusalem that was in the middle of a famine (Acts 11:27-30). He clearly felt this act of charity strengthened the unity of the whole Church and was encouraging the community in Corinth to follow that example. He sends Titus to them with two companions to begin the charitable act there.

In the second section of the appeal he uses the gracious act of Jesus who gave up his wealth (his pre-existence with the Heavenly Father) for poverty (his earthly life). He then proceeds to introduce the discussion of equality between the various parts of the Body of Christ (the Church). The Apostle encourages this fiscal equality to the extent possible but not to the extent were the donor becomes poorer than the recipient of the donation. He concludes with a quote from Exodus 16: 18 using the example of the rules imposed about manna gathered in the desert.

CCC: 2 Cor 8:1-15 2833; 2 Cor 8:9 517, 1351, 2407, 2546
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2 Corinthians 8:1-9

#366 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God
that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction,
the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For according to their means, I can testify,
and beyond their means, spontaneously,
they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part
in the service to the holy ones,
and this, not as we expected,
but they gave themselves first to the Lord
and to us through the will of God,
so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun,
he should also complete for you this gracious act also.
Now as you excel in every respect,
in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

I say this not by way of command,
but to test the genuineness of your love
by your concern for others.
For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 8:1-9

St. Paul writes to the Corinthians about the generosity of the churches of Macedonia. He has started a collection to relieve the mother church in Jerusalem that was in the middle of a famine (Acts 11:27-30). He clearly felt this act of charity strengthened the unity of the whole Church and was encouraging the community in Corinth to follow that example. He sends Titus to them with two companions to begin the charitable act there.

CCC: 2 Cor 8:1-15 2833; 2 Cor 8:9 517, 1351, 2407, 2546
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2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15

#98B Solemnities B Context (13th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

Brothers and sisters:
As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
As it is written:
Whoever had much did not have more,
and whoever had little did not have less.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15

St. Paul continues an appeal to the church at Corinth for funds to support the Church of Jerusalem. In this section of that appeal, he uses the gracious act of Jesus, who gave up his wealth (his preexistence with the Heavenly Father) for poverty (his earthly life). He then proceeds to introduce the discussion of equality between the various parts of the Body of Christ (the Church). The Apostle encourages this fiscal equality to the extent possible, but not to the extent where the donor becomes poorer than the recipient of the donation. He concludes with a quote from Exodus 16: 18, using the example of the rules imposed about manna gathered in the desert.

CCC: 2 Cor 8:1-15 2833; 2 Cor 8:9 517, 1351, 2407, 2546
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2 Corinthians 8:9-15

#584 Proper of Saints Context (St. Paulinus of Nola, Jun 22)

Brothers and sisters:
You know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
And I am giving counsel in this matter,
for it is appropriate for you who began not only to act
but to act willingly last year:
complete it now, so that your eager willingness may be matched
by your completion of it out of what you have.
For if the eagerness is there,
it is acceptable according to what one has,
not according to what one does not have;
not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your surplus at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their surplus may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
As it is written:

Whoever had much did not have more,
and whoever had little did not have less.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 8:9-15

St. Paul continues an appeal to the church at Corinth for funds to support the Church of Jerusalem. In this section of that appeal he uses the gracious act of Jesus who gave up his wealth (his pre-existence with the Heavenly Father) for poverty (his earthly life). He then proceeds to introduce the discussion of equality between the various parts of the Body of Christ (the Church). The Apostle encourages this fiscal equality to the extent possible but not to the extent were the donor becomes poorer than the recipient of the donation. He concludes with a quote from Exodus 16:18 using the example of the rules imposed about manna gathered in the desert.

CCC: 2 Cor 8:1-15 2833; 2 Cor 8:9 517, 1351, 2407, 2546
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2 Corinthians 9:6-15

#883 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 13. For the Country or a City or For those Who Serve in Public Office or For the Congress or For the President or For the Progress of Peoples, 4.)

#923 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 21. In Time of Famine, or For Those Who Suffer From Famine, Third Option)

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
  and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
  for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
  so that in all things, always having all you need,
  you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

  He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
     his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
  will supply and multiply your seed
  and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
   which through us produces thanksgiving to God,
   for the administration of this public service
   is not only supplying the needs of the holy ones
   but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God.
Through the evidence of this service, you are glorifying God
   for your obedient confession of the Gospel of Christ
   and the generosity of your contribution to them and to all others,
   while in prayer on your behalf they long for you,
   because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
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Commentary on 2 Cor 9:6-15

This is possibly part of a second letter, written after Titus was sent from the churches of Macedonia to initiate a collection for the Church in Jerusalem. Here St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that they should be generous as the Heavenly Father is generous and have faith that he will supply their needs as a consequence of their own generosity.  He paraphrases Psalm 112:9, reminding his audience that what the give to those in need will be returned to them bountifully in grace from God.

CCC: 2 Cor 9:12 1070; 2 Cor 9:14 2636; 2 Cor 9:15 1083
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2 Corinthians 9:6-11

#367 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters, consider this:
whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
which through us produces thanksgiving to God.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 9:6-11

This is possibly part of a second letter, written after Titus was sent from the churches of Macedonia to initiate a collection for the Church in Jerusalem. Here St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that they should be generous as the Heavenly Father is generous and have faith that he will supply their needs as a consequence of their own generosity. “The behavior to which he exhorts them is grounded in God's own pattern of behavior. God is capable of overwhelming generosity, as scripture itself attests (2 Corinthians 9:9), so that they need not fear being short. He will provide in abundance, both supplying their natural needs and increasing their righteousness. Paul challenges them to godlike generosity and reminds them of the fundamental motive for encouragement: God himself cannot be outdone.”[2]

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2 Corinthians 9:6-10

#618 Proper of Saints Context (St. Lawrence, Aug 10)

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 9:6-10

This reading describes Paul’s call for action from the community at Corinth: “The behavior to which he exhorts them is grounded in God's own pattern of behavior. God is capable of overwhelming generosity, as scripture itself attests (2 Corinthians 9:9), so that they need not fear being short. He will provide in abundance, both supplying their natural needs and increasing their righteousness. Paul challenges them to godlike generosity and reminds them of the fundamental motive for encouragement: God himself cannot be outdone.”[2]

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2 Corinthians 9:8-11

#913 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 19. For Productive Land, First Option)

Brothers and sisters:
God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
  so that in all things, always having all you need,
  you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

  He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
     his righteousness endures forever.


The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
  will supply and multiply your seed
  and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
  which through us produces thanksgiving to God.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 9:8-11

This is possibly part of a second letter, written after Titus was sent from the churches of Macedonia to initiate a collection for the Church in Jerusalem. Here St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that they should be generous as the Heavenly Father is generous and have faith that he will supply their needs as a consequence of their own generosity.  He paraphrases Psalm 112:9, reminding his audience that what the give to those in need will be returned to them bountifully in grace from God.

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2 Corinthians 10:17-11:2

#628 Proper of Saint Context (St. Rose of Lima Aug 23)

#692 Proper of Saint Context (St. Lucy Dec 13)

#734 Commons Context (Common of Virgins, Second Option)

#740 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

Brothers and sisters:
"Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."
For it is not the one who recommends himself who is approved,
but the one whom the Lord recommends.
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 10:17-11:2

St. Paul, in these chapters from his second letter to the Corinthians, is in the middle of a defense of his own ministry. He tells them that rather than immodestly boasting about his own forceful proclamation of the Gospel, he boasts only in Christ who accomplishes all good works through those chosen by him, not those who put themselves forward bragging of what they accomplished. The reading concludes reminding the faithful that God has adopted them (St. Paul’s jealousy is of that adoption). His feelings, as he hands them on to Christ in faith, are those of a father who gives his virgin daughter to her husband, in this case Christ.

Used on the feast of a martyred saint, we see in those concluding remarks from Ch. 11 the heroic virtue of a virgin saint as she embraces her martyrdom infused with the love of one betrothed to Christ.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 Corinthians 11:1-11

#368 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these "superapostles."
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted,
because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge?
I plundered other churches by accepting from them
in order to minister to you.
And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone,
for the brothers who came from Macedonia
supplied my needs.
So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
By the truth of Christ in me,
this boast of mine shall not be silenced
in the regions of Achaia.
And why? Because I do not love you?
God knows I do!
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Commentary on 2 Cor 11:1-11

In the first part of this selection we hear St. Paul being somewhat ironic as he chastises the Church in Corinth about listening to false prophets and those teaching an unorthodox version of the Gospel (in this instance it sounds as if there may be some heretical teachings on the nature of Christ). He goes on to ask them if they reject his message because it was brought to them free of charge, and refers to his support coming from other Christian communities while he stayed in Corinth.

CCC: 2 Cor 11:2 505, 796
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2 Corinthians 11:18, 21b-30

#369 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.
To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of
(I am speaking in foolishness)
I also dare.
Are they Hebrews? So am I.
Are they children of Israel? So am I.
Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
Are they ministers of Christ?
(I am talking like an insane person).
I am still more, with far greater labors,
far more imprisonments, far worse beatings,
and numerous brushes with death.
Five times at the hands of the Jews
I received forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I passed a night and a day on the deep;
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers,
dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race,
dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city,
dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea,
dangers among false brothers;
in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights,
through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings,
through cold and exposure.
And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me
of my anxiety for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak?
Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on 2 Cor 11:18, 21-30

St. Paul continues his criticism of false teachers in Corinth with a list of his sacrifices for the Gospel message. Of these hardships suffered he says “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” Presumably, those who are contradicting St. Paul in Corinth cannot make such claims of dedication to the ministry of Christ.

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2 Corinthians 12:1-10

#370 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Brothers and sisters:
I must boast; not that it is profitable,
but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago
(whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows),
was caught up to the third heaven.
And I know that this man
(whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows)
was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things,
which no one may utter.
About this man I will boast,
but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.
Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish,
for I would be telling the truth.
But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me
than what he sees in me or hears from me
because of the abundance of the revelations.
Therefore, that I might not become too elated,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 12:1-10

As part of his defense of his own Apostolate, St. Paul describes, in rather convoluted terms, an out of body experience (although it is described as “a man in Christ” he is referring to himself) where he was taken to heaven (The “third heaven” is the place where God dwells –the first is earth, the second the stars.) in which he was given “Ineffable things” privileged information that could not be repeated. Rather than helping him, these revelations brought persecution “a thorn in the flesh”. The Apostle uses the Christ-like response to physical and rhetorical challenges by saying that through his weakness and humility he is given the power of the Holy Spirit to carry on the Lord’s work.

CCC: 2 Cor 12:9 268, 273, 1508
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2 Corinthians 12:7-10

#101B Solemnities B Context (14th Sunday in Ordinary Time B)

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness."
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 12:7-10

As part of his defense of his own apostolate, St. Paul describes, in rather convoluted terms, an out-of-body experience in which Christ revealed the mission he was to undertake. Rather than helping him, these revelations brought persecution, “a thorn in the flesh.” The Apostle uses his Christ-like response to physical and rhetorical challenges by saying that, through his weakness and humility, he is given the power of the Holy Spirit to carry on the Lord’s work.

“The passage also shows us what attitude we should take to our own weakness: 'We have to glory.' St Alphonsus says, 'in the knowledge of our own weakness in order to acquire the strength of Jesus Christ, which is holy humility,' without 'giving in to lack of confidence, as the devil wants, and falling into more serious sins' ('Treasury of Preaching Material', II, 6).”[6]

CCC: 2 Cor 12:9 268, 273, 1508
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2 Corinthians 12:7b-10

#934 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 24. For the Sick, Third Option)

A thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness."
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 12:7-10

As part of his defense of his own Apostolate, St. Paul describes, in rather convoluted terms, an out of body experience in which Christ revealed the mission he was to undertake. Rather than helping him, these revelations brought persecution “a thorn in the flesh”. The Apostle uses the Christ-like response to physical and rhetorical challenges by saying that through his weakness and humility he is given the power of the Holy Spirit to carry on the Lord’s work. This should be seen as great consolation for those going through physical trials. Like St. Paul, suffering by the Christian is seen as sharing the passion of Christ.

CCC: 2 Cor 12:9 268, 273, 1508
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2 Corinthians 13:11-13

#164A Solemnities A Context (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity A)

Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the holy ones greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
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Commentary on 2 Cor 13:11-13

These verses, which conclude the second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, are perhaps the clearest Trinitarian passage in the New Testament. It takes the form of a blessing, proposing the peace of Christ, almost ironic after the many stormy passages contained within the letter.

CCC: 2 Cor 13:13 249, 734, 1109, 2627
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^ Citation was omitted from Lectionary Index
[1] See NAB footnote on 2 Corinthians 6:2
[2] See NAB footnote on 2 Corinthians 9:6ff
[3] See NAB footnote on 2 Corinthians 3:1
[4] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. p.316
[5] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. p.317
[6] The Navarre Bible: “Letters of St. Paul”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2003, p.342

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