Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday: Late Posting

Today's Readings

We are nearing the conclusion of the Pauline Year. Now for the next two weeks we will be reading and hearing words from the great preacher's Second Letter to the Corinthians. The First Letter to the Corinthians dealt with community divisions, moral disorders and abuses. In the Second Letter Paul is somewhat on the defensive to protect his ministry and to substantiate his authority as a preacher of the word.

The second letter begins with an outpouring of encouragement to the people. Paul speaks of afflictions that anyone has to endure in life. He writes to encourage. He reminds them that God the Father of Jesus Christ is the "Father of compassion and the God of all encouragements " (v 3). It is to God the Father that they should turn to partake of the consolations he offers us. It is the same consolation we should be able to share with those who are bearing the burden of afflictions in their lives.

Paul assures the Corinthians it is this same consolation e has enjoyed during the trials that have afflicted his life that he wants to share with the them. These very inflictions are what unites the apostle with them.

It is the same identity that comes from Jesus in the gospel reading, the most well-known words of Matthew's rendition of the Sermon on the Mount. Here we encounter Jesus' genuine encouragement to those who have suffered afflictions.

Consider how Paul and Jesus call us to recognize how God is so wanting to bless us in whatever struggles that have to endured. Hopefully the Holy Spirit leads us to a greater openness and awareness to be messengers of encouragement to those who are weighed down. Be a beacon of hope as St. Paul strove to be to the Corinthians.