Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
2 Corinthians 1:1-7 + Matthew 5:1-12
June 12, 2017
“For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.”
Today the Church begins to proclaim St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians at weekday Mass. We will hear from this letter this week and next. Today we hear just the first seven verses of this letter (or epistle, to use a more distinguished term) that is thirteen chapters long.
The first two verses constitute Paul’s salutation. But he used this simple part of an epistle to make a point. Here, he establishes his own relationship with the Corinthians, basing it on the authority that he’s received from Christ in God. He also reminds the Corinthians what it means to be a member of a church by using the term “holy ones”, a single word in Greek that literally means “saints”. Saints are not just those in Heaven who have been canonized. To be a member of the Church on earth is to be challenged in the here and now to be holy.
In the next five verses Paul expands on his relationship with the Corinthians by sketching with one word a theme he will repeat over and over. He uses many forms of the word “encouragement” to stake a claim amongst the Corinthians. He even calls the Father the “God of all encouragement”. Write down just the two verses of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Keep this piece of paper in a pocket or purse, and read it often today, as a reminder not only to seek encouragement from God, but also to offer it to others.