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2 Corinthians in the Weekday Masses

Submitted by on Monday, 8 June 2009No Comment


From June 8-20 (2 weeks) we are going to read parts of 2 Corinthians. The series will be broken on June 11 and 19 because of two feasts, the one of St. Barnabas, and the other of the Sacred Heart; here different bible passages will be given. If there were no feast days, 2 Cor. 3:15 -4:1.3-6 will be read on Thursday 10th Week and 2 Corinthians 11:18-21-30 on Friday, 11th Week.

What we call “Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians” is not one letter but at least three or more. These letters have been “stitched” together to look as if it were only one. There are elements in the letter however that force us to admit the probability of more than one letter. 2 Cor. 8-9 is clearly one letter (or two) distinguishable from the rest of the epistle by subject matter. Then there is what Paul calls the “severe letter” (or parts of it) — 2 Cor. 10-13 — of which Titus is the carrier. Then the letter of reconciliation in 2 Cor. 1-7.

We know from 1 Corinthians that there was a problem in the Corinthian community. The letter that Paul sent through Timothy did not solve the problem; in fact, it escalated. In that letter (1 Corinthians 16:5-7) Paul promised another visit which he was not able to keep. This caused further tensions in his relationship with the Corinthians. Later, Paul did make a quick visit to Corinth but he was not received well by the Corinthians influenced by new missionaries (the “superapostles” of 2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11) who discredited Paul’s credentials. This was Paul’s “painful visit.” Paul went back to Ephesus and wrote his “severe letter”, the letter “of many tears” (2 Corinthians 2:3-4.9;7:8-12). The letter was a call to repentance and reconciliation and Titus carried the letter to Corinth. Paul, wishing to learn about the reaction of the Corinthians, became anxious of Titus when he did not return on time. Restless, Paul decided to meet Titus. He went as far as Troas, but not finding Titus there, proceeded to Macedonia where the two finally meet. Titus was the bearer of good news now. The crisis at Corinth has been resolved. So Paul wrote his letter of reconciliation (cc. 1-7). Before the crisis, Paul had been preparing a letter of collection for the mother Church in Jerusalem. Because of the crisis, however, he had to defer sending the letter. Now that the crisis has been resolved, Paul can now ask for collections (see cc. 8-9). These letters were written around 57 AD.

If we are going to keep in mind the above reconstruction of events, we should be reading 2 Corinthians according to the following order:

  • 2 Cor. 10-13, part of the “letter of tears” which Paul writes after he was badly received by the Corinthians and the new missionaries.
  • 2 Cor. 1-7, the letter of reconciliation which Paul writes after finding out from Titus that his severe letter has helped resolve the crisis
  • 2 Cor. 8-9, the collection letter

In the lectionary, selections from these letters are distributed in the order of the chapters in which they are marked. Below is a table that shows when in the following days we are going to read a certain portion of 2 Corinthians; an additional column is given for identifying which of the above letters the passage read belongs to.

Day Bible Verses Section
Monday 2 Corinthians 1:1-7 Letter of Reconciliation
Tuesday 2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Wednesday 2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Thursday 2 Corinthians 3:15 – 4:1.3-6*
Friday 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Saturday 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Monday 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Tuesday 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 Collection Letter
Wednesday 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Thursday 2 Corinthians 11:1-11 Severe Letter
Friday 2 Corinthians 11:18.21-30**
Saturday 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

*For the feast of St. Barnabas, the reading will be Acts 11:21b-26;13:1-3
**For the feast of the Sacred Heart, the reading will be HHosea 11:1.3-4.8c-9

Today’s reading comes from the thanksgiving part of the letter of reconciliation. Paul is relieved that the crisis is over and more, the Corinthians wish to reconcile with him. In verses 3-7 one finds Paul’s heart hanging as it were out of his sleeves. If our reconstruction above is probable, then the sufferings that Paul endured is the pain he endured during his “painful visit” and the anxiety he had over the effect of his “severe letter”. Since the crisis is passed and he anticipates reconciliation with his community, Paul can now bless God for this consolation.

2 Corinthians 11:18-21
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18Seeing that many glory according to the flesh, I will glory also.
19For you gladly suffer the foolish; whereas yourselves are wise.
20For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face.
21I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also.
1 Corinthians 16:5-7
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5Now I will come to you, when I shall have passed through Macedonia. For I shall pass through Macedonia.
6And with you perhaps I shall abide, or even spend the winter: that you may bring me on my way whithersoever I shall go.
7For I will not see you now by the way, for I trust that I shall abide with you some time, if the Lord permit.
2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11
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115For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.
1211I am become foolish: you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you: for I have no way come short of them that are above measure apostles, although I be nothing.
2 Corinthians 2:3-4
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3And I wrote this same to you; that I may not, when I come, have sorrow upon sorrow, from them of whom I ought to rejoice: having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
4For out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote to you with many tears: not that you should be made sorrowful: but that you might know the charity I have more abundantly towards you.
2 Corinthians 1:1-7
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1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother: to the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in all Achaia:
2Grace unto you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.
4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation; that we also may be able to comfort them who are in all distress, by the exhortation wherewith we also are exhorted by God.
5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us: so also by Christ doth our comfort abound.
6Now whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation: or whether we be exhorted, it is for your exhortation and salvation, which worketh the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
7That our hope for you may be steadfast: knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation.
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
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18But God is faithful, for our preaching which was to you, was not, It is, and It is not.
19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ who was preached among you by us, by me, and Sylvanus, and Timothy, was not, It is and It is not, but, It is, was in him.
20For all the promises of God are in him, It is; therefore also by him, amen to God, unto our glory.
21Now he that confirmeth us with you in Christ, and that hath anointed us, is God:
22Who also hath sealed us, and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:4-11
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4And such confidence we have, through Christ, towards God.
5Not that we are sufficient to think any thing of ourselves, as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is from God.
6Who also hath made us fit ministers of the new testament, not in the letter, but in the spirit. For the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth.
7Now if the ministration of death, engraven with letters upon stones, was glorious; so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which is made void:
8How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather in glory?
9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more the ministration of justice aboundeth in glory.
10For even that which was glorious in this part was not glorified, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is in glory.
2 Corinthians 3:15
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15But even until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
2 Corinthians 4:7-15
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7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God, and not of us.
8In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute;
9We suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not:
10Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.
11For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake; that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13But having the same spirit of faith, as it is written: I believed, for which cause I have spoken; we also believe, for which cause we speak also:
14Knowing that he who raised up Jesus, will raise us up also with Jesus, and place us with you.
15For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
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14For the charity of Christ presseth us: judging this, that if one died for all, then all were dead.
15And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.
16Wherefore henceforth, we know no man according to the flesh. And if we have known Christ according to the flesh; but now we know him so no longer.
17If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new.
18But all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ; and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
19For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins; and he hath placed in us the word of reconciliation.
20For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God.
21Him, who knew no sin, he hath made sin for us, that we might be made the justice of God in him.
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
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1And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain.
2For he saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee; and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed:
4But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses,
5In stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings,
6In chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned,
7In the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left;
8By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known;
9As dying, and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed;
10As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
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1Now we make known unto you, brethren, the grace of God, that hath been given in the churches of Macedonia.
2That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy; and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity.
3For according to their power (I bear them witness), and beyond their power, they were willing.
4With much entreaty begging of us the grace and communication of the ministry that is done toward the saints.
5And not as we hoped, but they gave their own selves first to the Lord, then to us by the will of God:
6Insomuch, that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so also he would finish among you this same grace.
7That as in all things you abound in faith, and word, and knowledge, and all carefulness; moreover also in your charity towards us, so in this grace also you may abound.
8I speak not as commanding; but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity.
9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich he became poor, for your sakes; that through his poverty you might be rich.
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
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6Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings.
7Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8And God is able to make all grace abound in you; that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,
9As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever.
10And he that ministereth seed to the sower, will both give you bread to eat, and will multiply your seed, and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice:
11That being enriched in all things, you may abound unto all simplicity, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 11:1-11
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1Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly: but do bear with me.
2For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or another gospel which you have not received; you might well bear with him.
5For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.
6For although I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but in all things we have been made manifest to you.
7Or did I commit a fault, humbling myself, that you might be exalted? Because I preached unto you the gospel of God freely?
8I have taken from other churches, receiving wages of them for your ministry.
9And, when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was wanting to me, the brethren supplied who came from Macedonia; and in all things I have kept myself from being burthensome to you, and so I will keep myself.
10The truth of Christ is in me, that this glorying shall not be broken off in me in the regions of Achaia.
11Wherefore? Because I love you not? God knoweth it.
2 Corinthians 11:18
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18Seeing that many glory according to the flesh, I will glory also.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
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1If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed), but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven.
3And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth),
4That he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter.
5For such an one I will glory; but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities.
6For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me.
7And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.
8For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me.
9And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful.
Acts 11:21
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21And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believing, were converted to the Lord.
Hosea 11:1
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1As the morning passeth, so hath the king of Israel Israel was a child, and I loved him: and I called my son out of Egypt.

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