The Divine Lamp

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 3, 2013

This post opens with the Bishop’s brief analysis of chapter 9 of Second Corinthians as a whole, followed by his notes on verses 6-10. Text in purple represents the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on. Text in red, if any, are my additions.

2Co 9:6  Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings shall also reap blessings.

What I mean to convey is this: the man who dispenses charity sparingly, shall meet a recompense in the same proportion, and the man who dispenses it liberally and generously, shall also reap a proportionate, i.e., a liberal, recompense from God.

He says that the man who gives alms—which is meant by “sowing”—“sparingly,” “will reap,” i.e., will receive but a small reward, not trifling or small in itself, but in comparison with that which shall be received by him, who shall sow or dispense “in blessings,” i.e., plentifully and abundantly. Such a person will obtain an abundant reward.

2Co 9:7  Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Let each person, however, contribute just according to his will and inclination; but let him do so cheerfully, and not as a man acting from reluctance or constraint, because God loves and remunerates a cheerful giver.

He now recommends this quality of cheerfulness in the giving of alms. With God, who sees the heart, no alms deeds are acceptable, unless given from a cheerful heart. Hence, St. Augustine says—if you give away your bread with sadness, you lose both your bread and its reward.

2Co 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound in you: that ye always, having all sufficiently in all things, may abound to every good work,

(Let no groundless fears of personal want, resulting from the exercise of charity to the poor, deter you); for God is able to bestow upon you such an abundance of good gifts, that, having in all things, and at all times, an ample sufficiency, you may be fully equal to every good work of charity.

Having explained the conditions of alms-deeds, he now meets a difficulty, which the timid fears of some might suggest, viz., that if they were to contribute generously, they themselves might perhaps be reduced to want. He tells them to banish such groundless apprehensions; for, that God, who is generous to those who are themselves liberal, can make their substance prosper, so as to enable them to exercise without difficulty the works of charity.

2Co 9:9  As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever.

As we find it written in Psalm 111 regarding the just man:—Like a sower, he hath scattered his wealth, he liberally distributed it to the poor, his alms deeds remain in their effects, both for time and eternity.

He employs the authority of Sacred Scripture in banishing all such groundless fears. The same thing shall happen them, that is recorded of the just man (Psalm 112), of whom it is said, “he hath dispersed,” &c.—(See Paraphrase). “His justice,” by which is meant alms-deeds, to which the designation of “justice,” is applied in the Gospel (v.g.): “See, you do not your justice before men.”—(Matt. chap. 6.) “Remaineth for ever;” it remains in time, in the temporal benedictions and graces which it merits, and in eternity, in the glory with which it shall be abundantly rewarded.

2Co 9:10  And 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:

Therefore, banish all groundless fears, because God, who supplies you with the means of dispensing your charities, will also furnish you with the necessaries of life, and will even multiply your temporal substance which you dispense to the poor, and increase the spiritual fruits of your justice and sanctification.

He dispels their fears by recounting the rewards attached to almsgiving. God, who supplies them with temporal means (“the seed”), wherewith to relieve their distressed brethren, like the master who supplies the husbandman with seed to sow in his field, will supply them with food and the other necessaries of life; he will even multiply their “seed,” i.e., their temporal substance, and reward them in this life with graces, which are the seed of glory in the life to come. The ordinary course of God’s providence is to reward aims-deeds with temporal benedictions in this life, and whenever he departs from this course, as he sometimes does, it is for the trial and good of his elect, and for his own greater glory. The words “will multiply,” &c., are read optatively in the common Greek, χορηγησαι και πληθυναι, &c., may he, who … give and multiply, &c. According to this reading, the Apostle begs a blessing for them. The Vulgate reading in the future, χορηγησει, και πληθυνεῖ, &c., is, however, generally preferred by critics, on the authority of the chief MSS. Note: “optatively.” Words in the grammatical optative mood are to be taken as expressing a hope, desire, or wish.

 

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Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

Synopsis of 2 Corinthians 8:

1. He exhorts the Corinthians to imitate the generosity of the Macedonian Christians in sending alms to the poor at Jerusalem.

2. He points (ver. 9) to the example of Christ, who for our sakes was made poor, that through His poverty we might be rich.

3. He urges them (ver. 10) to fulfil their purpose and half-promise, and bids each one give according to his means.

4. He says (ver. 13) that by so doing rich and poor will be equalised, through the former giving their temporal goods in return for spiritual benefits.

5. He reminds them (ver. 16) that he had sent Titus and other Apostles to make this collection, and warns them that if they put His messengers to shame they themselves will also be put to shame before them.

The first example of the almsgiving referred to in this and the next chapters is related by S. Luke (Act_11:28). This famine under Claudius is referred by many to his fourth year, by Baronius to his second, i.e., A.D. 44. From S. Luke’s narrative it appears that the Christians of Antioch zealously met the famine beforehand by sending alms by the hands of Barnabas and Paul. Many years afterwards, in A.D. 58, the collection spoken of in this chapter was made in Corinth and the neighbouring places. Further, a greater and more lasting cause of the poverty of the Christians of Jerusalem was the constant persecution suffered by them at the hands of the Jews since the death of Stephen, frequently taking the form of banishment and confiscation of their goods (Act_8:1, and Heb_10:34). From that time forward the Jews were sworn foes to Christ: and bitterly persecuted the Christians; and since the Church of Jerusalem was the mother of all others, the custom prevailed amongst Christians in all parts of the world of sending, help to the poor of that Church. When Vigilantius found fault with this custom in the time of Theodosius, S. Jerome, writing against him, testifies to its prevalence with approbation. He says: “This custom down to the present time remains, not only among us, but also among the Jews, that they who meditate in the law of the Lord day and night, and have no lot in the earth save God only, be supported by the ministry of the synagogues, and of the uhole earth.”

In this chapter, then, the Apostle is urging the Corinthians, as being rich, to the duty of almsgiving. Corinth was the most frequented emporium of Greece, and in it were many wealthy merchants

2Co 8:1  Now we make known unto you, brethren, the grace of God that hath been given in the churches of Macedonia.

Now we make known unto you, brethren, the grace of God. God has given to the Macedonian Christians great patience, liberality, and pity for others.

2Co 8:2  That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity.

That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy. When greatly tried by sundry tribulations, they were very joyful.

And their very deep poverty hath abounded. Having sounded the depths of poverty, the Macedonians, as it were, broke out into plentiful and abundant kindness and almsgiving.

Simplicity denotes a pure, liberal, and ready will to give. Liberality is measured not by the greatness of the gift, but by the promptitude of the mind, as Chrysostom and Theophylact say. “Simplicity” says Ambrose (Ep. 10), “weighs not pros and cons, has no mean suspicions or dishonest thoughts, but overflows with pure affection.” Cf. Rom 12:8.

2Co 8:3  For according to their power (I bear them witness) and beyond their power, they were willing:

For according to their power…they were willing.  Of their own free will, without being solicited, they came forward and contributed as much as and more than they were able to afford.

2Co 8:4  With much entreaty begging of us the grace and communication of the ministry that is done toward the saints.

Begging of us. Begging us to undertake the gracious work of collection, and take our part in it. The Apostle often applies the word χάρις (gift) to what is gratuitous and munificent. Here he applies it to the work of collection. In ver. 7 and elsewhere he applies it to the alms itself.

2Co 8:5  And not as we hoped: but they gave their own selves, first to the Lord, then to us by the will of God;

Not as we hoped. They gave much more than we expected.

They gave their own selves, first to the Lord, then to us. They first surrendered themselves to the will of God and then to ours, to do and give whatever I wished.

Observe here that they who give alms ought, if they are to do it properly, first to give their hearts to God, and in token that they have so surrendered themselves to Him, they ought then to give alms, as tribute paid to Him.

By the will of God. God wishes people to follow our directions, and regard our wish as His, and us as the interpreters of His will, so what we will God also wills to be done by those under us. He Himself says: “He that heareth you heareth Me” (Anselm and Theophylact).

2Co 8:6  Insomuch, that we desired Titus, that, as he had begun, so also he would finish among you this same grace.

Insomuch that we desired Titus. We asked Titus to collect these alms, just as we had collected them in Macedonia. We doubted not for a moment that the liberality of the rich Corinthians would not be outshone in readiness and amount by the poverty of the Macedonians. This is to stimulate the Corinthians to liberality by the example of the Macedonians.

2Co 8:7  That 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.

So in this grace also you may abound. See that, as ye abound in faith, care, and love towards me, so ye abound in almsgiving to the poor (Anselm).

2Co 8:8  I speak not as commanding: but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity.

I speak not as commanding: but by the carefulness of others. I do not command, but seek to move you by the example of the Macedonians, who were so anxious to help the poor.

And improve the good disposition of your charity. I say this to make test of your love, sincerity, and goodness, and to stimulate you by others’ example. The Latin ingenium, which is the rendering of the Greek γνήσιον, does not here denote the good disposition of charity, as Anselm thinks, in which case the meaning would be: I say this, not to test and show that your charity has a good disposition, by its suggesting, dictating, and advising that you do this good deed without any order from me; but γνήσιον denotes, not ingenium, but ingenuum, or an innate disposition. Again, the word for prove has the double idea of testing and then demonstrating. Maldonatus, indeed (Notæ Manusc.), renders it, “longing to prove to others;” for, as he says, the Greek verb here denotes not the effect but the affection.

2Co 8:9  For 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.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a fresh stimulus to almsgiving. Christ, the King of kings, for your sakes became poor when He was born in the stable, because there was no room for Him in the inn. Instead of His royal throne He had a manger; for bedding, hay; for fire, the breath of ox and ass; for curtains, spiders’ webs; for sweet perfumes, stable ordure; for purple, filthy rags; for His stud, ox and ass; for a crowd of nobles, Joseph and Mary. So, too, His whole after-life was stamped with poverty, or, as Erasmus renders the Greek here, with beggary. From this it appears that Christ was not merely poor, but was also an actual beggar.

That through His poverty you might be rich. Rich with spiritual riches, with lessons of godliness, with forgiveness of sins, righteousness, holiness, and other virtues. The Corinthians are tacitly bidden, if they wish to imitate Christ closely, to enrich the poor with their alms, to impoverish themselves so as to enrich others. Cf. Anselm on the riches and poverty of Christ, and Chrysostom (Hom. 17), who points out how the Christian should not be ashamed of or shrink from poverty.

S. Gregory Nazianzen (Oral. 1 in Pascha) beautifully contrasts our benefits and Christ’s loving-kindness. He says: “Christ was made poor that we through His poverty might be rich. He took the form of a servant that we might regain liberty. He descended that we might be exalted. He was tempted that we might overcome. He was despised that He might fill us with glory. He died that we might be saved. He ascended, to draw to Himself those lying prostrate on the ground through sin’s stumblingblock.” S. Augustine again says beautifully: “What will His riches do if His poverty made us rich?” Lastly, from these words of the Apostle, Bede infers: “All good faithful souls are rich: let none despise himself. The poor in his cell, being rich in his conscience, sleeps more quietly on the hard ground than he that is Rich in gold sleeps in purple.”

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11:1-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

This post begins with the Bishop’s brief analysis of 2 Corinthians 11 followed by his notes on verses 1-11. Text in purple represent the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 11

In this chapter, the Apostle from a motive of holy zeal, and the purest necessity, is almost wholly employed in commending himself and his own actions, and depressing the false teachers, the enemies of God and his Holy Church, who, by depreciating the labours of the Apostle, wished to increase their own claims to respect in the minds of the Corinthians. And first, he claims their indulgence and forbearance for his apparent folly in praising himself—a course adopted by him from a holy jealousy which he conceived regarding their souls (verse 1).

He explains the nature and cause of this jealousy. He acted the part of paranymph in betrothing them to Christ; and he dreads lest the Devil might corrupt them, as he formerly corrupted the virginal mind of Eve (2, 3).

He next, reproaches them with their unmerited preference for the false teachers before himself (4), and shows, that he had far higher claims to respect than they, although in point of elegance and fluency in the use of the Greek tongue, he may be somewhat inferior to them (5, 6). He gave the Corinthians no grounds for depreciating his services; on the contrary, his very humiliations were intended to exalt them, and his preaching among them quite disinterested (8, 9); and he still determined to follow the same disinterested course, in order to deprive the false teachers of every ground for boasting in this respect (10, 13).

In the next place, he depicts these deceitful men in their true colours (13, 16). He then claims indulgence for the apparent folly of praising himself: he says, however, that he is better entitled to indulgence even in this respect, than the false teachers are, who treat them so contumeliously, and are always engaged in self-commendation (20). In a tone of bitter sarcasm, he says, he will adjudge the superiority in favour of the false teachers, both as regards their maltreatment of their followers, and their anxiety to commend themselves (21)

He shows how much he is superior to those deceitful men, both as regards their common origin, and the gifts of divine grace, or the Evangelical ministry (22, 23).

He employs the remainder of the chapter in showing, how much he is superior to them in everything that should distinguish a zealous minister of religion, in bodily labours, sufferings and privations, in mental anxiety, and concern for the spiritual interests and advancement of his people.

2Co 11:1  Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me.

1. Would to God you would bear with some little of my folly, while engaged in self-commendation. But as I am forced, in my own defence, into this apparently foolish course; then, bear with me, I beseech you.

“You could bear with some little of my folly.” The Greek of which is, ἀνειχεσθε μου μικρον τι ἀφροσυνης, you would bear with me a little in folly. He terms it “folly;” because, it is generally reputed folly to praise one’s self. “But do bear with me,” as I have good reason for commending myself. I am forced to it in self-defence, and to protect you against the snares and designs of your spiritual enemies.

2Co 11:2  For 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.

2. For, my folly in thus praising myself proceeds solely from the jealousy which I entertain towards you, on the part of God. For, as a bridesman, or paranymph, I have betrothed your Church to one husband, viz., Christ, and I wish to present her a chaste virgin spouse to him, as the spouse of such a husband should be.

He assigns a reason why they ought to bear with him in his apparent folly, as this folly is occasioned by his zeal for them, and by the jealousy he conceives regarding them, on the part of God. He acted as a paranymph in betrothing their Church to Christ. It was, therefore incumbent on him to deliver over this virgin spouse to Christ, pure and undefiled by any false corrupting doctrines. Hence, the jealous care with which he endeavoured to guard against the approaches of any spiritual adulterers, such as the false teachers prove themselves to be by the dissemination of corrupt doctrines. Every Christian, but especially every religious soul, is in a special manner, the spouse of Jesus Christ. Do we ever seriously reflect on the relations that exist between us and our heavenly Bridegroom? Do we ever make this thought a wall of defence against the assaults of our spiritual enemies, against the force of temptation? Do we look forward to the happy day, when these nuptials shall be consummated in our heavenly country?

2Co 11:3  But 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.

3. But I dread, lest, as Satan under a serpent’s form seduced Eve, through his crafty wiles, the judgments of your minds would also be corrupted by his ministers, and seduced from that virginal simplicity which you have in Christ.

“The serpent,” i.e., the devil under the form of a serpent, “seduced Eve,” yet a virgin, “by his subtilty,” or crafty wiles. “So your minds should be corrupted and fall from,” &c. The word “fall,” is not in the Greek. It has probably been inserted by the Latin interpreter, to make the meaning more evident. “Simplicity,” refers to their unadulterated faith and morals. It may also convey an allusion to the corruption by the serpent, of Eve, while yet a virgin. Every Christian soul is betrothed to Christ in baptism, and becomes his spouse; a number of souls, or a particular church, as also the Universal Church, form one Spouse of Christ. The virginity of this spouse is pure, unalloyed faith. Her marriage portion, the kingdom of heaven. The nuptials are prepared by faith, hope, and charity in this life, and consummated by vision and fruition in the life to come.

2Co 11:4  For 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.

4. For, in truth, if any new teacher coming amongst you, were to announce better tidings than those which have been announced by us—another Saviour, and a better one than we have announced—or if you were to receive, through his preaching, other and more excellent spiritual gifts than those imparted by us, or another gospel differing from ours and announcing better promises; you would, with some reason, bear with such a person, and admit his claims to a preference.

He shows how undeserving of preference the false teachers were before himself, since they taught nothing after entering on his labours that he himself had not taught already, nor could they impart any spiritual gift superior to those received through his preaching and ministry. “Preached another Christ.” In Greek, another JESUS.

2Co 11:5  For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.

5. (But such is by no means the case), for, neither in works nor in doctrine do I regard myself as inferior I will not say, to the false teachers; but, to the chiefs, among the apostles of Christ.

“Some interpreters say, he refers ironically to the false teachers, whom he calls of the great Apostles,” All the ancient expositors, however, assert, that he refers to the chief among the Apostles of Christ, whom (Gal. 2) he calls “pillars.” With these, St. Paul places himself on a level here, because the glory of God and the good of his people required of him to do so, although (1 Cor 15:9) he speaks of himself in different terms, from a feeling of holy humility.

2Co 11:6  For although I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge: but in all things we have been made manifest to you.

6. For, granting, that in my use of the Greek tongue, I may be rude and inelegant, compared with these false teachers; still, I am by no means their inferior in the knowledge of divine things becoming an Apostle. But in all matters, both in word and work, we act openly and undisguisedly, without reserve or dissimulation with regard to you.

He admits that he was not so perfect a master of the Greek tongue, as the learned orators of Greece or the false teachers. The Greek word for “rude in speech,” ιδιωτης, means, not better versed in it than ordinary persons are. From this passage, it is disputed whether or not St. Paul was really deficient in language. St. Jerome and Origen state, that he was not eloquent, while St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom, on the contrary, assert that he was most eloquent; and it appears, he was regarded as such, at Lystra in Lycaonia (Acts, 14). He might not be gifted with eloquence and fluent facility in the use of the Greek tongue, which was borrowed from Pagan rhetoric; nor did he write Greek, probably, with the elegance of Demosthenes and others, or even of the false teachers; but, he was gifted with eloquence of a higher order—bold and masculine—which made Festus tremble on his throne, and made St. Augustine wish, among the four things he longed to see, to behold Paul preaching. “But in all things,” &c. In this he rebukes the false teachers for their dissimulation and hypocrisy. Everything in his conduct was candid and known to them all.

2Co 11:7  Or did I commit a fault, humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached unto you the Gospel of God freely?

7. Or, have I committed a fault which would lower me in your estimation, by humbling myself among you, in order, by this humiliation, to exalt you in the faith? Or, have I been guilty of any such fault by preaching the gospel amongst you, without any temporal recompense whatever?

This is intended as a reproach to the Corinthians for the unmerited preference shown the false teachers. He made great sacrifices, working at an humble, laborious trade, to exalt them in the faith, and he preached gratuitously. The contrary was the case with the false teachers, and in the language of bitter irony, he asks, was it this that lowered him in their esteem?

2Co 11:8  I have taken from other churches, receiving wages of them for your ministry.

8. Other churches I have distressed, owing to their great poverty, by receiving from them the necessary means of subsistence in order to minister to you.

He urges the second point regarding his gratuitous preaching, and reproaches them for their cupidity. He took the necessary means of support from poor churches, while engaged in the service of the Corinthians, who were so wealthy.

2Co 11:9  And, 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.

9. And when amongst you, although destitute of the necessaries of life, I was not a burthen to any of you; for, the necessary means of subsistence, which could not be fully supplied from my own manual labour, were furnished to me by the brethren who came from Macedonia. And in all things I have kept myself from being a charge to you, and I shall observe the same course in future.

“The brethren supplied.” He says, “supplied,” because from manual labour, at the trade of a tent maker, he partly derived the means necessary for support; the Macedonian brethren supplied what was further needed. He makes no express mention of manual labour; he merely refers to the generosity of the Macedonians, in order to stimulate the avaricious Corinthians to emulate them, and to show that independently of his own manual labour, he had a right to support as a minister of the gospel. He says, he shall receive nothing in future, lest it might be supposed that he referred to the matter in hopes of future remuneration.

2Co 11:10  The truth of Christ is in me, that this glorying shall not be broken off in me in the regions of Achaia.

10. I call the truth of Christ to witness, that this subject of boasting in having preached the gospel gratuitously, shall receive no interruption, either at Corinth, or even throughout all Achaia.

“This glorying,” viz., in preaching gratuitously.

2Co 11:11  Wherefore? Because I love you not? God knoweth it.

11. Is this my resolve to receive nothing from you owing to any want of affection for you? I call God, the searcher of hearts, to witness the sincerity of my love for you.

It is not from want of affection for them, as persons who entertain mutual dislike decline presents, that he will not accept anything from them.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

This post begins with the Bishop’s brief summary of chapter 9 followed by his notes on verses 6-11. Text in purple represents the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the verses he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 9

After having commended the persons sent by him to receive their contributions, the Apostle now resumes the subject of alms-deeds. He says, it is superfluous to stimulate them to this holy work, as lie is well aware of their prompt and ready willingness in the matter. He confines himself to three qualities which should characterise their alms-deeds—viz., promptitude, generosity, and cheerfulness. He stimulates them to promptitude, by the consideration of his former boasting regarding them, and of the consequent cause of shame it would be, both to himself and them, if they were not prepared when he should arrive accompanied by some of the Macedonians (2–4). He employs the beautiful illustration of the sower who reaps according to the abundance of the seed which he sows, to stimulate their generosity (5, 6). He recommends the quality of cheerfulness in their almsgiving (7). Having recounted the conditions of alms-deeds, he meets a difficulty which the timorous fears of some might suggest—viz., that by the exercise of generous charity, they might themselves be reduced to want, and he shows the groundless nature of such fears Firstly, because God is able to supply their necessary wants, and also to furnish means of further charity (8). Secondly, because such is the ordinary dispensation of God’s Providence (9). And he illustrates this by the example of the master, who furnishes the husbandman with seed (10). Thirdly, by recounting the several advantages of alms-deeds.

2Co 9:6  Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings shall also reap blessings.

6. What I mean to convey is this: the man who dispenses charity sparingly, shall meet a recompense in the same proportion, and the man who dispenses it liberally and generously, shall also reap a proportionate, i.e., a liberal, recompense from God.

He says that the man who gives alms—which is meant by “sowing”—“sparingly,” “will reap,” i.e., will receive but a small reward, not trifling or small in itself, but in comparison with that which shall be received by him, who shall sow or dispense “in blessings,” i.e., plentifully and abundantly. Such a person will obtain an abundant reward.

2Co 9:7  Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

7. Let each person, however, contribute just according to his will and inclination; but let him do so cheerfully, and not as a man acting from reluctance or constraint, because God loves and remunerates a cheerful giver.

He now recommends this quality of cheerfulness in the giving of alms. With God, who sees the heart, no alms deeds are acceptable, unless given from a cheerful heart. Hence, St. Augustine says—if you give away your bread with sadness, you lose both your bread and its reward.

2Co 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound in you: that ye always, having all sufficiently in all things, may abound to every good work,

8. (Let no groundless fears of personal want, resulting from the exercise of charity to the poor, deter you); for God is able to bestow upon you such an abundance of good gifts, that, having in all things, and at all times, an ample sufficiency, you may be fully equal to every good work of charity.

Having explained the conditions of alms-deeds, he now meets a difficulty, which the timid fears of some might suggest, viz., that if they were to contribute generously, they themselves might perhaps be reduced to want. He tells them to banish such groundless apprehensions; for, that God, who is generous to those who are themselves liberal, can make their substance prosper, so as to enable them to exercise without difficulty the works of charity.

2Co 9:9  As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever.

9. As we find it written in Psalm 111 regarding the just man:—Like a sower, he hath scattered his wealth, he liberally distributed it to the poor, his alms deeds remain in their effects, both for time and eternity.

He employs the authority of Sacred Scripture in banishing all such groundless fears. The same thing shall happen them, that is recorded of the just man (Psalm 112), of whom it is said, “he hath dispersed,” &c.—(See Paraphrase). “His justice,” by which is meant alms-deeds, to which the designation of “justice,” is applied in the Gospel (v.g.): “See, you do not your justice before men.”—(Matt 6.) “Remaineth for ever;” it remains in time, in the temporal benedictions and graces which it merits, and in eternity, in the glory with which it shall be abundantly rewarded.

2Co 9:10  And 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:

10. Therefore, banish all groundless fears, because God, who supplies you with the means of dispensing your charities, will also furnish you with the necessaries of life, and will even multiply your temporal substance which you dispense to the poor, and increase the spiritual fruits of your justice and sanctification.

He dispels their fears by recounting the rewards attached to almsgiving. God, who supplies them with temporal means (“the seed”), wherewith to relieve their distressed brethren, like the master who supplies the husbandman with seed to sow in his field, will supply them with food and the other necessaries of life; he will even multiply their “seed,” i.e., their temporal substance, and reward them in this life with graces, which are the seed of glory in the life to come. The ordinary course of God’s providence is to reward aims-deeds with temporal benedictions in this life, and whenever he departs from this course, as he sometimes does, it is for the trial and good of his elect, and for his own greater glory. The words “will multiply,” &c., are read optatively in the common Greek, χορηγησαι και πληθυναι, &c., may he, who … give and multiply, &c. According to this reading, the Apostle begs a blessing for them. The Vulgate reading in the future, χορηγησει, και πληθυνεῖ, &c., is, however, generally preferred by critics, on the authority of the chief MSS.

2Co 9:11  That being enriched in all things, you may abound unto all simplicity which worketh through us thanksgiving to God.

11. So that having become enriched in all kinds of blessings, you may be enabled to exercise the works of charity with cheerful generosity, which, on your part, affords us matter for returning thanks to God.

“You may abound unto all simplicity,” that is, be able to exercise heartfelt generosity from pure motives. The Apostle, in the preceding passage, in order the more effectually to dispel all feelings of diffidence from the minds of the Corinthians, promises them these two things which he had shown (verse 8) to be possible with God, and (verse 9) to be ordinarily given to the just, viz., sufficiency for support, and abundance for the purposes of charity; and this he illustrates by the example of the master who furnishes the husbandman with seed. For, as the master supplies seed to the tiller of the ground, and furnishes him with the necessaries of life, and, moreover, at harvest time, assigns to him a share in the harvest, by the multiplication of which he can sow more extensively at the coming spring; so, God who supplies the almsgiver with the seed, or means or dispensing charity, which he is to dispense to his own poor, will also supply him with the necessaries of life, and will multiply more and more his resources and means for the further sowing or dispensing of charity.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

This post includes Fr. Callan’s brief summary of 2 Cor 9:6-15 followed by his notes on the reading (verses 6-11).

EXHORTATION TO GENEROSITY

A Summary of 2 Corinthians 9:6-15~The Apostle is sending his delegates to Corinth beforehand, in order that the collection may be completed in advance of his own arrival; and yet he hopes haste may not in any way interfere with the generosity and willingness of the Corinthians. Accordingly, before closing this topic, he takes occasion briefly to exhort the faithful to give freely and generously, in view of their future recompense. God will reward their charity with greater benefits, both temporal and spiritual, because their bounty will not only relieve the necessities of those who receive of it, but will also glorify God. Wherefore the Apostle concludes with an act of thanksgiving to the heavenly Father.

6. Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings.

St. Paul now tells the Corinthians that as the harvest corresponds to the sowing, so their reward will be in proportion to their generosity in giving: he who gives little will receive little; he that gives much will likewise receive much. The reward, then, will be according to the work performed, as the doctrine of merit teaches.

7. Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: For God loveth a cheerful giver.

The alms must be given joyously.

As he hath determined. The Corinthians had already shown a willingness to make the collection (2 Cor 5:2; 2 Cor 8:10 ff), and St. Paul supposes that each one has fixed what he intends to give. Therefore let him give what he has determined, not with sadness, i.e., regretfully, or of necessity, i.e., unwillingly. To enforce his words the Apostle quotes the LXX of Prov 22:8, which literally runs as follows : “God loveth a man cheerful and a giver.” These words are an addition in the LXX; they are not in the Hebrew or in the Vulgate of Proverbs A similar sentence is found in Sirach 35:11.

8. And God is able to make all grace abound in you; that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work,

St. Paul now begins to speak of the fruits of almsgiving. He who gives in charity ought not to fear want in his own case; for God is able to make him always abound in temporal blessings, so that he can take part in every work of beneficence.

All grace means here chiefly earthly blessings, but the term
is so comprehensive as to include also spiritual goods.

Sufficiency, i.e., the wherewith to help others.

9. As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever.

The Apostle confirms what he has just said by citing the LXX of Psalm 112:9. The just man scatters his gifts as the sower his grain, and his justice remaineth, etc., i.e., the remembrance of his good deeds will never be forgotten: his reward will await him hereafter. This is the most probable meaning of justice (δικαιοσυνη) here.

The saeculi of the Vulgate is not in the Greek.

10. And 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:

St. Paul now proves from a fact of experience that God will provide “sufficiency” (verse 8) for him who gives in charity.

And he that ministereth, etc. Better, “And he that ministereth seed to the sower and bread to eat, will also provide and multiply your seed,” etc. These words are a quotation from Isaiah 55:10. What the Prophet says of the rain from heaven, St. Paul applies to God’s ordinary Providence, which not only will enable the charitable man to give, but will also increase his temporal possessions, the fruits of his justice, i.e., the reward of his virtue.

11. That being enriched in all things, you may abound unto all simplicity, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God.

That . . . you may abound (Vulg., ut . . . abundetis) is not represented in the Greek, which has simply: “Ye being enriched in all things unto all simplicity,” etc. The meaning of the verse is: “Your singleness of heart, your absence of all secondary and selfish motives, provides us with the means of alleviating the distresses of others, and thus elicits from them thanks to God out of the fulness of a grateful heart” (Lias).

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

This post begins with Fr. Callan’s summary of 2 Cor 8:1-15 followed by his notes on verses 1-9.

THE COLLECTION AT CORINTH FOR THE POOR IN JERUSALEM

A Summary of 2 Corinthians 8:1-15~In the second main part of this Epistle (2 Cor 8-9), which begins here, St. Paul discusses a difficult question, but with great tact and dexterity of language. He was deeply concerned with the collection for the poor of the Holy City to be made at Corinth, first, because the need was pressing. But there were also other considerations which weighed upon him in this matter. A generous collection at Corinth would not only be a special sign of unity between that Gentile Church and their Jewish brethren so far away, but it would also be an outstanding proof that the Apostle’s own authority had been thoroughly rehabilitated where but recently it had been questioned. Furthermore, how would his lingering adversaries at Corinth and his opponents at Jerusalem regard this collection?

These were some of the considerations which made St. Paul proceed cautiously with the subject in hand. He begins, therefore, by citing the example set by the Macedonian Churches. It was the great success of the collection there that moved him to send Titus to collect among the Corinthians; and he is sure that the faithful of Achaia are not less zealous than their poor neighbors, nor less mindful of the great truth that Christ became poor that they might be enriched. They who were among the first to begin the collection (2 Cor 8:10; 2 Cor 9:2) will not fail to complete it according to their means.

In 1 Cor 16:1-3 the Apostle had already spoken of this collection, and later, in his Epistle to the Romans (Rom 15:26-27), he again returns to it. From St. Luke (Acts 24:17) we know that the proceeds of the collection were finally taken to Jerusalem by St. Paul himself.

1. Now we make known unto you, brethren, the grace of God, that hath been given in the churches of Macedonia.

Now (δε) marks the transition to another topic, as does also brethren (αδελφοι). The Apostle assumes a more serious tone.

The grace of God, i.e., the effect of the grace of God, which was manifested in the liberality of the Macedonian Christians.

The churches of Macedonia which were at Philippi (Acts 16:12), Thessalonica (Acts 17:1), and Berea (Acts 17:10).

2. That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy; and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity.

The meaning here is that, though tried by many afflictions, the Macedonians experienced so much spiritual joy, and appreciated so keenly the needs of the poor from their own abject poverty (η κατα βαθους πτωχεια) , that they made a generous contribution with a simplicity, i.e., a single-mindedness (απλοτητος) , which considers only the necessities of others and the glory of God. There are two reasons assigned for the single-minded generosity of the Macedonians, namely, their spiritual joy and their own experience of dire poverty.

3. For according to their power (I bear them witness), and beyond their power, they were willing.
4. With much entreaty begging of us the grace and communication of the ministry that is done toward the saints.
5. And not as we hoped, but they gave their own selves first to the Lord, then to us by the will of God:

These three verses make one sentence in Greek. The meaning is that the Macedonians were not only willing to contribute to the collection, but they gladly gave beyond their means; and more than this, they earnestly entreated the Apostles that they might be allowed to share in the almsgiving to the poor in Jerusalem. Their generosity and willingness exceeded all expectations. And not only did they give beyond their means, but they put their own lives and persons at the disposal, first of Christ, then of His Apostles, being moved by the will, i.e., by the grace of God.

The grace and communication, etc., i.e., the favor to share in helping the poor Christians of Jerusalem.

6. Insomuch, that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so also he would finish among you this same grace.

Insomuch, that, etc. Better, “So much so that,” etc., i.e., the generosity of the Macedonians was so great that Paul and Timothy were encouraged to send Titus to Corinth to complete the collection which he had begun there earlier. On a previous occasion Titus had been sent to Corinth to start the collection. Perhaps it was the visit from which he had just returned, and which is again referred to in 2 Cor 12:18. It is, however, thought more probable by certain scholars that the present verse and 12:18 refer to a visit by Titus to Corinth prior to the sending of the painful letter and the consequent visit to observe its effects. They rightly observe that a mission to quiet a revolt could not well be associated with one to collect money.

This same grace, i.e., grace of contributing towards the poor.

7. That 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.

Beginning his exhortation to the Corinthians (verses 7-15) the Apostle reminds them of their faith, their knowledge, their charity, etc., and he says if they so excel in these virtues, they ought also to be conspicuous for their liberality towards the poor.

Faith means the theological virtue by which we believe God’s revelation.

Word . . . knowledge. See on 1 Cor 1:5.

Carefulness, i.e., earnestness (σπουδη) in the practice of their faith.

In your charity towards us. Better, “In the charity you have from us,” i.e., in the charity we have awakened in you.

So in this, etc. (ινα και εν). The ινα here is perhaps imperative in meaning, as in 1 Cor 7:29; Eph 5:33; Gal 2:10, etc., and the sense is: Since you abound in those other virtues, see that you abound also in this grace of giving to the poor.

8. I speak not as commanding; but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity.

The Apostle observes that he is not commanding the faithful, but only reminding them of the carefulness of others, i.e., of the earnestness of the Macedonians, and is thus approving, i.e., testing, the good disposition, etc., i.e., the sincerity of their love.

The ingenium of the Vulgate is likely a copyist’s error for ingenuum (Gr.,  γνωσει, sincerity) .

9. For 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.

It was not necessary to command those to be generous who knew, as did the Corinthians, how our Lord Jesus Christ left the riches of heaven and the bosom of His Eternal Father (John 16:28; John 17:5) and became poor (Matt 8:20), in order that they might be made rich with the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). If Christ made such a great sacrifice for the Corinthians, surely they will make a sacrifice for their poor brethren.

This verse offers a very clear proof of the Divinity of Christ.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

THE APOSTLES IN THEIR MANNER OF LIFE IMITATE THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST

A Summary of 2 Corinthians 6:1-10~In verse 20 of the preceding chapter St. Paul had exhorted the Corinthians, especially those who were not yet Christians, to be reconciled to God. He now extends that exhortation directly to the faithful who, while they have received God’s friendship, must be careful not to lose it, if they wish to be saved. They have before them the life of the Apostles, who, in their way of living, in the virtues they practice, and in the vicissitudes they encounter, never allow themselves to be disturbed or moved from their faithfulness.

1. And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain.

And we helping, etc. Better, “But we co-operating” (συνεργουντες δε), i.e., we Apostles, working together with God (cf. 2 Cor 5:20), do exhort, i.e., do entreat, that you remember your obligation of being faithful to the grace which God has given you in converting you from paganism to Christianity.

2. For 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.

This verse is parenthetical. Citing the LXX of Isaiah 49:8 the Apostle now gives a reason why the Corinthians should heed his exhortation without delay.

For he saith, i.e., God says in Isaiah, etc. The Prophet represents God as addressing His Servant, the Messiah, and through Him His people, assuring Him that His prayers and labors for the salvation of mankind have been heard. Commenting briefly on the words quoted, the Apostle says that the Messianic time spoken of by the Prophet has come, and that therefore everyone should profit by the graces now given, because, if they are abused, there will be no hope of salvation, since another Messiah shall not come. “We must labor now, while still the eleventh hour is left” (St. Chrys.).

3. Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed:

After the parenthesis in verse 2 the thought goes back to verse 1, and giving no offence, etc., follows immediately upon we helping, etc. (verse 1). Hence the sense is: The Apostles, St. Paul and his companions, give no offence in anything (εν μηδενι), i.e., they avoid everything in the exercise of their ministry, and in their dealings with men, that might bring any blemish on their profession and thus keep people from the Gospel. If a preacher of the Gospel leads a life that is out of harmony with his preaching, he gives occasion to men of despising the sacred ministry.

That our ministry. Better, “That the ministry,” etc.

The nemini of the Vulgate should be in nullo.

4. But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulations, in necessities, in distresses,
5. In stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings,

But in all things let us exhibit, etc., should be, according to the Greek: “But in everything commending ourselves,” etc. St. Paul is continuing the description of the Apostles’ conduct, as in verses 1 and 3.

Ministers (Vulg., ministros) is nominative in Greek (διακονια), agreeing with the subject of the clause, (we) commending, etc., and the sense is: The Apostles, as ministers of God, commending themselves in much patience, etc.

In much patience, etc., i.e., by much patience, the preposition  εν (“in”) being used to indicate instrumentality. Nine classes of things which tried the patience of the Apostles are now mentioned in these two verses; the first three are general, the others particular. Of the last six, three came unsought from without, three are voluntarily assumed.

Tribulations . . . necessities . . . distresses, i.e., a gradation of evils, increasing in pressure.

Stripes refers to the scourgings or beatings of 2 Cor 11:23-25; Acts 16:23.

Prisons. We are told of only one imprisonment of St. Paul previous to this letter, and that was at Philippi, but there must have been others (2 Cor 11:23).

In seditions, i.e., in tumults (Acts 19:23 ff.).

In labours, etc. The Apostle now mentions three classes of troubles which were voluntarily undertaken. Labours, i.e., things that cause weariness and fatigue; watchings, i.e., things interfering with sleep, such as traveling, praying, anxiety and the like; fastings, i.e., voluntary abstinences from food and drink. For other New Testament references to fasting and its lawfulness,
see 2 Cor 11:27; Matt 4:2; Matt 9:15; Acts 13:3; Acts 14:22.

6. In chastity, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned,
7. In the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left;

From the ways in which patience was especially exercised the Apostle now passes to nine other practices by which he and his companions commended themselves and their ministry.

In chastity, i.e., in general purity of soul and holiness of life.

In knowledge, i.e., in the wisdom of the Gospel, or in the practice of religious truth, or in prudence.

In long-suffering, i.e., in forebearance of injuries.

In sweetness, i.e., in kindness towards others.

In the Holy Ghost. This likely means that the Holy Spirit is the source of the foregoing virtues, and He is mentioned, like the “power of God” below, as the closing member of a series.

The word of truth perhaps does not refer to the Gospel, but to the general sincerity of the Apostles’ utterances.

The power of God, i.e., the special divine assistance which accompanied the whole Apostolic ministry, and which was particularly manifested in the miracles of the Apostles.

By the armour of justice, etc. The preposition changes here from εν (“in”) to δια (“by”). The Apostle probably means that he and his companions made use of all the weapons of justice, or of righteousness, having on the right hand weapons of offence, i.e., virtues by which justice is promoted, and on the left weapons of defense, i.e., virtues by which justice is maintained.

8. By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known;
9. As dying, and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed;
10. As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.

In a series of antitheses St. Paul now shows how, under all conditions of life, he and his companions conducted themselves as became their high office and ministry. No external condition could make them unfaithful to their duty. When they were honored by God, they were not puffed up; when dishonored by their enemies, they were not discouraged. In their practice of virtue they were not influenced by reports bad or good. Although called deceivers by their enemies, they ever spoke the truth; although they were said to be unknown and insignificant teachers, they were known throughout the Church (1 Cor 13:12; 1 Cor 14:38). While they were always in a dying state, i.e., exposed to death (2 Cor 4:10-11), they were constantly being revived spiritually; while they were chastised, i.e., chastened by God, they were preserved from death (iv. 8 ff.). Their enemies regarded them as sorrowful, but they were in reality filled with joy (Acts 5:41 ff.). They were derided as paupers and beggars, but they were all the while enriched with the treasures of grace (1 Cor 1:5; cf. Mark 10:27-30).

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

ST. PAUL GLORIES IN HIS APOSTOLIC LABORS AND IN HIS TRIBULATIONS

A Summary of 2 Corinthians 11:16-33~The Apostle passes now from the severe condemnation just uttered against his adversaries to a further commendation of his own life and labors. Again (2 Cor 11:1), therefore, he craves the indulgence of his readers to hear him patiently, although he may seem to speak foolishly. He is simply forced to boast of himself because of the boasting of others and the toleration that has been given them. If those others can boast, then he also can boast. They glory in their Jewish origin, but he too is of the seed of Abraham; they vaunt their dignity as ministers of Christ, but he more than they is a minister of Christ. His greater sufferings and labors in behalf of the Gospel and the Churches are witnesses to his life and character.

19. For you gladly suffer the foolish; whereas yourselves are wise.

Another reason why he has a right to glory is furnished by the conduct of the Corinthians toward the false teachers, whose foolishness in praising themselves they gladly suffer. Of course they were enabled to do this, the Apostle sarcastically observes, because they were so wise. It is a characteristic of wisdom to be tolerant of foolishness.

20. For 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.

So extraordinary was the wisdom of the Corinthians that they tolerated far worse things than folly. They put up with tyranny, with extortion, with craftiness, with arrogance, with violence and insult from their seducers. Surely they can bear with the Apostle’s foolishness.

Bondage likely refers to the yoke of the Law which the false teachers were trying to impose.

Devour you, i.e., exact large remunerations for their services (cf. Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47).

Take from you, i.e., ensnare you, by preaching the Gospel for
fraud and personal gain (2 Cor 2:17; 2 Cor 4:2; 2 Cor 12:16).

If a man be lifted up, i.e., uplifteth himself, by extolling his descent from Abraham.

If a man strike you, etc., i.e., treat you outrageously (Mark 14:65; Acts 23:2).

21. I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also.

The Apostle sarcastically admits that he and his companions were inferior to the Judaizers in certain respects, such as, in bringing the Corinthians into bondage, in robbing them, and the like. With biting sarcasm he confesses his dishonour, i.e., his disgrace, in being so weak in matters like these.

Wherein if any man, etc. Rather, “Wherein any man dare,” etc. Casting aside all sarcasm now St. Paul says that if there is question of real boldness, at any time, or on the part of any person, he also is bold. He thus asserts his equality with any of his enemies, although his humility makes him call this assertion foolish.

The words in this part (Vulg., in hac parte) are not represented in the best MSS.

22. They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I.

To show that he is in nowise inferior to his adversaries St. Paul now takes up the various points which they, no doubt, had been urging in their own favor. They were Hebrews, i.e., descendants of the Hebrew race (Gen 11:14-15 the word Hebrew means “descendant of Eber”); they were Israelites, i.e., from among the chosen people of God (Exodus 19:5-6; Rom 9:4) ; they were of the seed of Abraham, to whom the Messianic promises had been made (Rom 9:5-8; Gal 3:16). To all these distinctions the Apostle asserts his equal claim.

23. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.

The false teachers had boasted that they were in a special sense ministers of Christ, but St. Paul affirms that he is much more so. They pretended to be διακονοι χριστου (diakonoi christou), but he was so in reality.

I speak as one less wise. Literally, “I speak as one beside himself.” He apologizes for language which his readers may think extravagant.

The Apostle’s greater labors and sufferings are a proof of his superior claims. He labored more abundantly, he was imprisoned more frequently, he was scourged more often, he was exposed to death on more occasions.

St. Paul does not mean his words to be taken in a relative sense, as if implying that his opponents had labored, were imprisoned, had been scourged, etc., but that he had done and suffered more: his words here express an absolute, and not merely a relative excess.

One instance of imprisonment before this Epistle is given in Acts 16:20-40; but Clement of Rome speaks of seven in all (1 Clement 5:6). From the Acts and the Epistles we know definitely of only four: the one at Philippi, one at Caesarea, and two in Rome.

24. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one.

The Apostle here and in the following verse gives some examples of his sufferings and exposure to death. He was scourged five times by the Jews. Each scourging consisted, according to law, of forty stripes (Deut 25:3); but in order not to exceed the number the Jews usually administered only thirty-nine, thirteen on the bare breast, and thirteen on each shoulder. The scourge was made of leather thongs. Sometimes these severe floggings resulted in death.

Of these scourgings of the Apostle by the Jews we have no other record.

25. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.

Beating with rods was a Roman form of punishment, and there was no legal limit to the number of blows. Only one of these beatings of St. Paul has been recorded by St. Luke in the Acts (Acts 16:22-23). Our Lord was scourged according to the Roman method (John 19:1).

Stoned, at Lystra (Acts 14:18).

Thrice I suffered shipwreck. We have no other record of this. The shipwreck on the way to Rome was several years later (Acts 27:39-44).

A day (νυχθημερον) means a full day of twenty-four hours.

I was. Literally, “I have passed” (πεποιηκα) , as in Acts 20:3.

The depth of the sea (εν τω βυθω). Better, “In the sea.” The term βυθω means the deep, the sea. We know nothing further of this incident, but perhaps Theodoret gives the right explanation: “The hull of the vessel went to pieces, and all night and day I spent, being carried hither and thither by the waves.” He was likely clinging to pieces of the wreckage.

26. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren.

The general meaning is that St. Paul was often in divers perils throughout his journeyings. Much of the countries through which he passed, especially in Asia Minor (Strabo) was beset with robbers. Waters. Literally, “rivers.” Bridges and ferries were rare in those times, and floods were frequent.

False brethren doubtless refers chiefly to the Judaizers (Gal.
11.4).

27. In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

He now enumerates a number of sufferings which resulted from his poverty.

Labour and painfulness very probably refer to earning his own living by manual work (1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 3:8).

Fastings coming immediately after hunger and thirst which must have been involuntary afflictions, doubtless means “fastings” freely suffered.

In cold and nakedness, as when robbed, cast into prison, and drenched by floods, storms and the like.

28. Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches.

Those things which are without (των παρεκτος). This is a strange expression. παρεκτος occurs elsewhere only in Matt 5:32; Acts 26:29, where it has the sense of exception. The meaning here, then, is perhaps: “things left unmentioned” (St. Chrys., and other Greeks). St. Paul, therefore, is speaking of three classes of sufferings: those which he has mentioned, those which he omits, and those which he is about to mention (Plum.).

My daily instance, i.e., that which daily presses upon me. This seems to be the meaning of επιστασις, the best Greek reading here, followed by μου. In classical Greek επιστασις means a halt, a stopping for rest (Xen., Anab. II. iv. 26). The Apostle is referring to the ceaseless daily appeals for help, advice, decision in difficulties and the like, made to him by the faithful (Cornely, Bisping, etc.).

The solicitude, etc., his watchful care of all the Churches which he has founded.

All (πασων) might even embrace other Churches than those founded by St. Paul, but certainly can not mean that he had supreme jurisdiction over all Christendom.

29. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire?

Two illustrations are now given of the Apostle’s solicitude for the Churches. New converts were sometimes naturally weak in faith, conduct or the like (1 Cor 8:10-13), and St. Paul made their trials his own in order to strengthen them. Some, too, were easily scandalized, i.e., led into sin by others’ example, and this gave the ardent Apostle intense pain (1 Cor 12:26). We have to determine the exact meaning of πυρουμαι, I am on fire, from the context, which here is in favor of keen pain rather than of indignation, although the latter is not excluded.

30. If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity.

The present verse is closely connected with what has preceded (verses 23-29) and with what follows, and it refers to both. Since his adversaries, by their own conduct, force the Apostle to boast, he will not glory, as they do, in his birth, prosperity, ancestry, or the like, but rather in his infirmities.

31. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not.

Lest his readers may be growing doubtful of all he has said and is going to say, the Apostle now solemnly swears by the Father Almighty that what he is saying is true.

The God and Father, etc. See on 1 Cor. xv. 24.

Who is blessed for ever refers to the Father.

Our (Vulg., nostri) and “Christ” (Vulg., Christi) are not represented in the best Greek MSS.

32. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me.

In this and in the following verse we have an example of those abrupt transitions so characteristic of this letter. To say that they are therefore a gloss and are to be omitted, as some Rationalists do, is absurd. Perhaps the Apostle’s enemies had pointed to his flight from Damascus and to his visions (2 Cor 12:1) as proofs that he was both a coward and a mad man, and this would explain why he takes up those two incidents.

Damascus . . . the city of the Damascenes (Acts 9:23-25), the capital of Syria, goes back to the days of Abraham (Gen 14:15) and was founded by Uz, grandson of Sem (Josephus, Antiq. L. vi. 4). It is situated at the eastern foot of the Anti-Libanus on the high road of commerce between Egypt and Upper Syria and between Tyre and the Far East.

The governor, etc. Literally, “The ethnarch of Aretas the king.” Aretas IV was King of Arabia Nabataea 9 B.C. to 40 a.d., with Petra as his capital. His daughter was married to Herod Antipas, and was afterwards divorced by Herod for the sake of a marriage with Herodias (Mark 6:17). How Damascus was subject to the Arab King shortly after St. Paul’s conversion is not easy to explain; for Syria was a Roman province from some time before the Christian era until 33 a.d., as is proved by the fact that Damascene coins from 30 B.C. to 33 a.d. bear the name of Augustus or of Tiberius. These coins are wanting from 34 to 62 a.d., but after 62 we have them with Nero’s name.

We know from Josephus (Antiq. xviii. 4, 5) that Herod Antipas and Aretas became bad friends when Herod divorced the latter’s daughter in order to marry Herodias, and that in a battle over some frontier disputes around 32 a.d. Aretas completely defeated Herod. A few years later, in 37 a.d., Caligula became Emperor. He disliked Antipas, and perhaps showed his antipathy by giving Damascus over to his enemy Aretas. This would explain how the latter was governor of that city when St. Paul had to fly from it.

Guarded the city, etc. St. Luke (Acts 9:24) says that the Jews “watched the gates day and night, that they might kill him,” but this is no contradiction of the present passage. Since it was the Jews who moved the ethnarch to persecute St. Paul they would naturally watch the gates of the city together with Aretas’ guards because they had determined to kill the Apostle (Acts 23:12).

33. And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands.

This same incident is narrated in Acts ix. 23-25.

A window. Literally, “an aperture” (θυριδος). An opening in the wall around the city of Damascus is still shown as the place.

The flight from Damascus probably took place after St. Paul’s return from Arabia (Gal 1:17). If St. Luke seems to make it follow soon after the Apostle’s conversion, it is because he omits explicit mention of the retirement to Arabia, although he leaves room for it (cf. Acts 9:19).

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

This post begins with the Bishop’s brief Analysis of the chapter, followed by his commentary on verses 1-9. Text in purple indicates the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the passage he is commenting on.

In this chapter, the Apostle exhorts the Corinthians to contribute, after the example of the Churches of Macedonia, with generous liberality towards the fund, that was being collected throughout the Churches for the afflicted poor of Jerusalem. He extols the Macedonians for their spontaneous, cheerful, and liberal offerings, going beyond their means, and devoting themselves and their personal services to God and his ministers (1–5). Influenced by this generous example, lie entreated Titus to return to Corinth and forward this good work of charity, which should be the more abundant with the Corinthians, according as their wealth was greater than that of the Macedonians (5–7). In this matter, he refrains from enjoying anything by way of precept; he merely proposes a counsel, and exhorts them, by the example set them by the Macedonians, by the example of Christ our Lord, and by a reference to their own former good desires and purposes on this subject, to come forward and contribute liberally according to their abilities, as they had resolved on, the year before (7–11). He does not wish that their contribution should exceed their ability, or that they should be carried to the extent of enriching others, and impoverishing themselves, but only that there should be a certain measure of equality between them and their poor brethren, both in temporal and spiritual matters (11–15). He highly commends both Titus and the others who were sent to solicit their charitable contributions (16–20). His motive for sending such tried men to be the receivers of their bounty was, to remove all grounds for sinister suspicions regarding their honesty and integrity (20–21). From a feeling of consideration for the distinguished men whom he sent, he renews his earnest solicitation, that the Corinthians would contribute in a manner worthy of their own distinguished charity, and of the repeated boasting which the Apostle made regarding them.

2Co 8:1  Now we make known unto you, brethren, the grace of God that hath been given in the churches of Macedonia.

1. I wish to make known to you, brethren, the singular grace of God, which has been plenteously bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.
Having already described the persecutions which he suffered in Macedonia (7:5), the Apostle now wishes to inform them of the grace conferred on these churches which were afflicted with him.

“Grace,” i.e., the holy dispositions, both of patience and liberality, which God conferred on these churches. Every good gift coming from God may, in a general sense, be termed “a grace,” in which general acceptation the word is employed here.

2Co 8:2  That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity.

2. In the first place, having been tried by many tribulations, they were not only patient, but their joy was very great and abounding; and although their poverty was excessive in the extreme, still they behaved most generously—with a sincere and cheerful heart, abundantly and liberally contributing towards the wants of the poor.

“They have had abundance of joy.” In Greek, ἡ περισσεια τῆς χαρᾶς αυτων, και ἡ πτωχεια αυτων επερισσευσεν, the abundance of their joy and their poverty hath abounded &c. Such was the perfection of the grace of patience with which they were favoured that they not only endured affliction without murmuring, but with alacrity and much joy. The persecutions which the Macedonians suffered are referred to (2 cOR 7:5); for, it is likely that they were sharers in the tribulations which he himself underwent (see also 1 Thess 1:6, 2:14). Such was their liberality, that notwithstanding their extreme poverty and depressed condition, they abundantly and with a sincere and cheerful heart, contributed to the wants of the poor. “Simplicity,” means a cheerful, sincere wish to contribute.

2Co 8:3  For according to their power (I bear them witness) and beyond their power, they were willing:

3. For, from personal knowledge, I can bear testimony to the fact that they, spontaneously and without solicitation, have come forward to contribute according to their ability, nay, beyond it.

He shows how “their poverty abounded unto the riches,” &c., for they went beyond their means in contributing, and that, unsolicited and unasked.

2Co 8:4  With much entreaty begging of us the grace and communication of the ministry that is done toward the saints.

4. With great earnestness, entreating us to receive their voluntary donations, thus to enable them to have a share in contributing to the relief of their poor distressed brethren of the faith.

“Begging of us the grace.” In Greek, begging of us (to receive) the grace, &c. The word, receive, is, however, rejected by some Protestant Commentators, it is wanting in the chief MSS., and the Vulgate conveys the meaning expressed by the Greek. They besought the Apostle to receive their gratuitous offerings, and to enable them to contribute something for the “saints,” i.e., their afflicted brethren in Judea, for whose relief these collections were originated by the Apostle.

2Co 8:5  And not as we hoped: but they gave their own selves, first to the Lord, then to us by the will of God;

5. And not only did they come up to our expectations in contributing, but they exceeded them, by offering themselves and their personal services to the Lord, in the first place; and in the next place, to us his ministers, to perform the will of the Lord, according as we might make it known to them.

“And not as we hoped,” that is, they even exceeded our expectations. Others understand the words thus: And by contributing thus generously, they acted differently from what we might be led to expect. Considering their great poverty, and the plunder to which they were subjected, we should rather expect that they would beg to be excused from contributing at all. The Paraphrase is, however, preferable. They went farther than we expected in the generosity of their contributions, by offering themselves, &c. (see Paraphrase). It is likely, some among the Macedonians offered their services to the Apostle, to be employed in collecting these alms in whatever manner he might judge most pleasing to God.

2Co 8:6  Insomuch, that we desired Titus, that, as he had begun, so also he would finish among you this same grace.

6. So much were we influenced by their generosity, that we entreated Titus, after his return to us, to go back, and bring to a happy close, as he had begun it, this work of generosity also, as well as other good works among you.

Having thus far, by way of preface, lauded the generosity of the Macedonians, the Apostle now comes to the object which he had in view, of stimulating the Corinthians to follow the laudable example set them, in the liberality of their contributions. Influenced by the generous example set by the Macedonians, he begged of Titus to return to Corinth, to finish what he had commenced, and gives the faithful of that city an opportunity of adding this “grace,” or virtue of liberality, “also,” to their other virtues.

2Co 8:7  That 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.

7. So that, as you already abound in all other good gifts, as you excel in the gifts of faith, of tongues, of knowledge, of diligence in every duty, or in employing all possible means for the salvation of your brethren and in your charity and affection for us, you would also excel and abound in this gift of liberality towards the afflicted poor.

From the 1st Epistle, chap. 1, it appears that the Corinthians were specially favoured with the abundant gifts of the Holy Ghost, and the Apostle now, by way of exhortation, expresses a desire, that they would abound in generosity, “also,” as they did in other gifts. “In word,” in the gift of tongues, or the faculty of communicating divine knowledge (as in 1 Cor 1), “in knowledge” of heavenly things.—(See 1 Cor 1:5).

2Co 8:8  I speak not as commanding: but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity.

8. I do not speak thus by way of precept; but I wish, by proposing to you the exemplary diligence of others, to elicit, and exhibit to them, a proof of the real and genuine sincerity of your charity.

As their Apostle, he might command them. But, convinced of their good dispositions, he contents himself with a mere counsel, which would effectually stimulate them to the good work. He thought it unnecessary to superadd a precept of his own to the divine precept, which binds, under pain of damnation, to give alms.

2Co 8:9  For 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.

9. For, you know the gratuitous and generous charity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who enjoying, as God, boundless riches, became poor for us, in the nature which he assumed, in order that you might be spiritually enriched in his want.

He stimulates them by the heavenly example of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was “rich.” To him, as GOD, belonged the earth and its fulness, while, as man, he lived in the utmost poverty from his birth to his death, in order that he might enrich us spiritually; and if he, though God, has thus become poor, in his assumed nature, to enrich us, why should not we part with some of our temporal substance to relieve the wants of our afflicted brethren?

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, Devotional Resources, Notes on 2 Corinthians, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 15, 2013

This post begins with the Bishop’s brief analysis of the chapter followed by his comments on verses 1-10. Text in purple indicates the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the verse he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 6

In this chapter, the Apostle, as ambassador of Christ, exhorts the Corinthians to correspond with the graces bestowed on them through the Apostolic ministry; and, in order to stimulate them the more, he tells them that the present is the acceptable time referred to by the Prophet Isaias (1, 2). In the next place, he recounts the virtues which distinguish both himself and his fellow-labourers, while, at the same time, he tacitly reproaches the false teachers with the total absence of these necessary virtues, so befitting every minister of the Gospel (3–11). He then apologizes for the freedom with which he thus addresses the Corinthians, by assuring them of his intense affection for them, from which alone this unreserved freedom of speech proceeded (12). He mildly reproaches them with a want of correspondence, by making a return of affection for himself (12, 13). As ambassador of Christ, he exhorts them to avoid all intercourse in religion with the Pagans, and assigns several reasons of propriety and congruity for this (14–16). He finally concludes with a quotation from the Old Testament, wherein God tells his people to have nothing to do with the unclean, and, in case of compliance, holds out the promise of the highest rewards.

2Co 6:1  And we helping do exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain.

1. As co-operating, therefore, with Christ in the work of your redemption, we exhort you not to receive in vain—that is, not to render unavailing—the great grace of redemption, applied to you through our ministry.

“Helping.” The Greek word, συνεργουντες, means, co-operating in the great work of redemption and reconciliation with God. “Grace of God,” viz., the great benefit of redemption and reconciliation through Christ, applied to mankind by the ministry of the Apostles. Under it are included the particular graces necessary to attain the great end of redemption. “In vain”; rendering it useless and of no avail to you for want of due correspondence.

2Co 6:2  For 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.

2. For, God has promised, through his Prophet Isaias (49:8), that in an accepted time, he would hear his Son praying for the salvation of the world; and, that in the day of salvation he would assist him, while labouring in the same cause. Behold, now is the acceptable time referred to by the Prophet; now is the day of salvation, of which you should avail yourselves.

For the purpose of conveying a stronger inducement to the Corinthians to correspond the more faithfully with divine grace, and to attend to their salvation, he says that the present is the time of grace and salvation referred to by the Prophet, Isaias (49:8). These words of the Prophet are generally understood to have been spoken by the Eternal Father to his Son, promising that at a future day, at a time acceptable to all, and to be desired by them, when he was to call the Gentiles to the faith, he would listen to his prayers in their behalf, and assist him in the work of salvation. The prophetic quotation is read in the past tense, although it has a future signification, a thing not unusual in prophetic writings. “Behold now is the acceptable time referred to by the prophet,” “now is the day,” &c. The fulfilment of this promise has been reserved for the time of the New Law, which may be justly termed, the law of grace.

2Co 6:3  Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed.

3. While co-operating with God in the work of your redemption (verse 1); we take care to give no cause whatever for offence to any person, lest our ministry should be brought into disrepute or censure of any kind.

“Giving no offence,” &c. (In Greek, μὴδεμίαν ἐν μηδενὶ διδόντες προσκοπήν, giving no offence in anything). This verse is to be immediately connected with verse 1; and verse 2 is to be read in a parenthesis. “We co-operating,” &c., verse 1 (…), and “giving no offence to any one,” lest by any irregularity of life, or any conduct unbecoming our state, our ministry should be brought into disrepute and rendered useless, “exhort you,” verse 1. The first duty which every minister of religion owes himself and the gospel is, to avoid scandal of every kind; otherwise, his preaching will be as contemptible, as his life. “That our ministry.” In Greek, ἡ διακονία, that the ministry.

2Co 6:4  But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses,

4. But rather, in all things, we commend and exhibit ourselves to men as becomes the ministers of Christ, in the exercise of much patience, in enduring daily and ordinary wants, in grievous necessities, in anguish and trials of the most distressing nature.

In the next place, he must not only be irreprehensible, but, a pattern of all virtues. “Let us exhibit.” In Greek, συνιστανοντες, exhibiting ourselves, i.e., commending ourselves in everything as becomes the ministers of Christ. “In much patience.” He particularizes the instance in which patience is to be practised, viz., “in tribulation,” i.e., ordinary wants.—(See Paraphrase). These three instances, in which patience is to be exercised, increase in intensity. “Distresses” are more severe than “necessities,” and the latter more severe than “tribulations.”

2Co 6:5  In stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings,

5. In enduring stripes, in chains and imprisonment, in tumults of the people stirred up everywhere against us, in sustaining labours for the preaching of the gospel, in want of rest and sleep, in fasting, whether voluntarily undertaken, or resulting from want and necessity.

Under “stripes” is included stoning. “Seditions” refer to tumults of the people driving the Apostles from place to place.

2Co 6:6  In chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned,

6. We exhibit ourselves, as becomes the ministers of Christ, in purity of mind and body, in the knowledge of the truths of faith, and in the power of explaining them by human examples—in the exercise of lenity towards those who offend us—in an accommodating sweetness of temper and of manners—in a line of conduct which will manifest and display the gifts of the Holy Ghost—in unfeigned and efficient love of our neighbour.

“In “chastity.” i.e., purity of mind and body. This is the precious ornament of the Christian priesthood. By many divines it is assigned as a mark of the true Church, inasmuch as it is never practised among heretics, nor can it; because the persevering practice and preservation of this amiable virtue is most difficult, and requires the continual aids of divine grace, which grace is principally imparted through the sacrament of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, of which those outside the Church are totally bereft.

“In knowledge.” This word bears the same signification here as in chap. 12, 1 Epistle, viz., the faculty of explaining the truths of faith by examples derived from human things. A knowledge of the sacred sciences, viz., Scripture—Theology, Dogmatic, Moral, and Ascetic—should ornament the Christian minister. “The lips of the priest should guard knowledge.” “If he repel knowledge, God will repel him.”

“Sweetness.” That urbanity of manners which accommodates itself to the wants and dispositions of all. “In the Holy Ghost,” i.e., in the manifestation of all the gifts of the Holy Ghost. “In charity,” &c. In sincere charity and love of our neighbour, manifesting itself not only in word, but in work and in truth.

2Co 6:7  In the word of truth, in the power of God: by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left:

7. In preaching the pure, unadulterated word and holy truths of God, which derive their efficacy from the divine power; by being girt with the armour of justice both on the right and on the left, i.e., in making prosperity and adversity the instruments of virtue.

“In the word of truth.” The words, exhibiting ourselves, &c. (verse 4), are here continued. We exhibit ourselves in preaching God’s word unadulterated and unalloyed. “In the power of God.” These words are generally connected with “the word of truth,” thus—which word derives its efficacy from the power of God, who alone can impart and increase. Some commentators understand “virtue,” or “power of God,” to refer to the gift of miracles.

“Armour of justice on the right hand and on the left.” By “right and left,” are generally understood prosperity and adversity, which the Apostles made the arms or instruments of justice. Prosperity, the season for exercising humility and moderation; adversity, the season for patience and fortitude. “Justice” denotes, in a general manner, the practice of the different Christian virtues.

2Co 6:8  By honour and dishonour: by evil report and good report: as deceivers and yet true: as unknown and yet known:

8. We pursue a course of virtue, as well when despised, as when honour is rendered to us, when men speak ill, as when they speak well of us. We are regarded by many as impostors, teaching errors; but unjustly, since we are faithful heralds of God’s truth. By many we are regarded as contemptible and obscure, but still, we are known and prized by God, who values our ministry.

We exhibit ourselves as ministers of God (verse 4). (These words are understood in the different members of these sentences). “By honour and dishonour,” by practising the several virtues suggested and dictated by each kind of treatment. These are the arms of justice, on the right and on the left.

2Co 6:9  As dying and behold we live: as chastised and not killed:

9. Our death is regarded as always inevitable, owing to the risks we run, and still, through God’s interposition, we live. We are publicly chastised, and still, we are not put to death.

“Dying;” owing to continual exposure to the most imminent risks. “Chastised,” by being whipped with scourges. Still, they are “not killed,” because God interposes to save them.

2Co 6:10  As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing and possessing all things.

10. In consequence of the many evils we endure, we are regarded as sorrowful; still, we interiorly rejoice in the Lord. We are considered to be poor and needy; and still, we enrich many. We appear like men destitute of everything; and still, we possess all things in Christ.

“Needy;” owing to their renunciation of all temporal possessions. “Enriching many,” with spiritual blessings, and also with alms collected for them among the faithful. “As having nothing”; no dominion over property. “Possessing all things”; all they wish for are the necessaries of life, with which God supplies them. They possess all things, as to use, just as much as if they were their real owners. Moreover, they possess all things in God, in whom every good is eminently contained. It is deserving of remark, that in recounting the several virtues practised both by himself and his colleagues, the Apostle marks out a line of conduct which all future ministers of the gospel should pursue, after his own example. He, at the same time, indirectly strikes at the false teachers, by insinuating that their lives were distingnished by none of those apostolic virtues.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, liturgy, Notes on 2 Corinthians, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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