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Home » Daily Readings

God’s Yes and Our Amen

Submitted by on Tuesday, 9 June 2009One Comment


We continue our reading of the reconciliatory letter of Paul, a letter he wrote as a response to the good news that Titus brings to him from Corinth. We have already explained the circumstances that surrounded this letter: the resolution of the conflict in Corinth caused by a misunderstanding arising from Paul’s not being able to carry out his promise of a visit.
Now we find Paul beginning to explain his side in the misunderstandings that caused the crisis. He had wanted to pass by Corinth twice except that plans had to be changed (v.15). This was not due to some sudden whim, Paul is saying; for his commitment to the Corinthians is not a “yes-no”, but a “yes” (v.17-18). From here, Paul moves to a reflection on Jesus Christ as God’s “yes”.

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. (2Corinthians 1:20)

And then he builds on the idea of “Amen” to talk about the security that God gives and the firmness of faith on which the Corinthians stand (vv. 21.24). Interesting in this passage, and which the liturgy would like us to focus on, are three ideas:
(a) of Christ as God’s firm “Yes” and it is also through Him that the Christian’s “Amen” is addressed to God
(b) of the apostle’s commitment as a reflection of God’s firm commitment towards his people
(c) and the Holy Spirit as God’s seal and first installment

The first idea is something that we’ve become familiar with chiefly because of the eucharistic liturgy. All good things pass from the Father to the Son and to us. At the same time, the blessing that we utter to God passes in, through and with Christ.
The second idea is something that Paul insists on. Later on he will be harping on the integrity of his apostolate as his credential for the ministry. This too is something that any minister worthy of the name should reflect on. The commitment of the minister to his work should be a reflection of the fidelity of God to his people. This is His “hesed“, a commitment that flows from His covenantal commitment. Later, Paul will be referring to his being a minister of the new covenant. In fact, all ministry is based on that covenantal basis.

Lastly, Paul refers to the Spirit, completing a Trinitarian reference. Here he talks of the Spirit as God’s “seal”. In antiquity, a transaction is closed with a seal, a mark made on a contract — a very formal signature if you will. The concept continues the one about God’s “Yes.” God’s commitment is made in the Word and in the Spirit giving it finality. At the same time, however, Paul says that the Spirit is the first installment. God does not wait for some time to elapse before he carries out His “Yes”. He at the same time gives an installment of the good things He promises. That installment which is filled up through time is the Spirit until it is fully paid in eternity.

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One Comment »

  • Daily Inspirations » Reconcile with God said:

    […] and is about swearing oaths.  The parallel from Paul is 2 Corinthians 1:17–18 which was read in the liturgy some days ago.  Matthew 5:33View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek33Again you have heard that it was said to […]

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