Father Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 2 Cor 8:16-24 for the Feast of St Luke the Evangelist
Posted by Dim Bulb on October 13, 2012
16. But thanks to God, who gave the same solicitude for you, in the heart of Titus.
17. Because indeed he accepted the exhortation; but since he was very earnest, of his own will he set out to you.
18. We have sent also with him the brother whose praise is in the Gospel through all the Churches.
19. And not that only, but also was ordained by the Churches as a companion of our pilgrimage, for this grace which is ministered by us, to the glory of the Lord, and our destined good will.
20. Avoiding this, lest any blame us in this plenitude which is ministered by us.
21. For we provide what is good, not only before God, but also before men.
I thank God that Titus was as zealous as myself to engage in your service, and did not need exhortation to do so, for he goes of his own accord. He (Titus) was one of the bearers of this letter, and though the Apostle says he set out, he must have written before Titus had actually left. This is the opinion of St. Chrysostom. One of his companions is the well-known Evangelist, whose praise is in all Churches, for the Gospel he has written, and preaches; and who has been especially commissioned to accompany me with a view to this special service, the administration of the fund for the Christians of Judea. Our destined good will, verse 19, or purpose and resolution to this effect, is in the Greek, for the glory of the Lord and the exhibition or declaration ofyour readiness and zeal. And also because, being entrusted with the care of very large sums of money, I am anxious to avoid all suspicion or calumny, and do not choose to encounter alone the responsibility of conveying it. For we should regard, not our conscience only, but the eyes of the world, and avoid suspicion. Our conscience is our own affair, says Saint Augustine, but our good fame affects our neighbours.
The brother referred to in verse 18 is by Theodoret supposed to be St. Barnabas. But it is certain that St. Barnabas was not now the companion of St. Paul. Baronius thinks it was Silas; but the majority of writers agree in the received opinion, which is that of St. Jerome, that it means the Evangelist St. Luke. St. Ignatius, writing to the Ephesians, uses the same phrase, in referring to St. Luke, which is here used by St. Paul; whose praise is in the Gospel.
22. And we have sent with them also our brother, whose zeal we have proved on many occasions; and now is much more zealous, from his great confidence in you.
23. Whether for Titus, who is my companion, and coadjutor towards you, or our brethren, they are Apostles of the Churches, a glory of Christ.
24. Exhibit to them, therefore, the attention which belongs to your charity, and our glory for you, in the face of the Churches.
Together with Titus and Luke, we have sent another, who is not named, but is characterised as habitually diligent in any business entrusted to him, and most anxious to undertake this commission, from his confidence in you. In the Greek, these last words are simply with great confidence in you, and are by some interpreters considered to refer to what follows. I send these three in
perfect confidence that you will accord them a suitable and honourable reception. Titus is my colleague or companion in my Apostolical journey; the other two are Apostles of the Churches, who must be distinguished from the Apostles of Christ; and are worthy of the splendid title which St. Paul further adds. I am sure you will accord them such a reception as may be expected from your charity, and such as will bear out all I have said to them in your praise; and in doing so you will be paying a mark of attention and respect, not to them only, but to the Churches from whom they are sent.