By Br. André Marie, M.I.C.M., Prior
It consists of 15 talks given in 2012.
Brother Andre devoted fifteen lectures in 2012 to the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians. He had covered the First Epistle to the Corinthians shortly before. The Epistle indicates that a previous letter had been written, a “letter of tears” or admonition, but that letter is not extant. Thus we read in chapter 12: “Lest again, when I come, God humble me among you: and I mourn many of them that sinned before, and have not done penance for the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, that they have committed.” Although it is addressed to the church of Corinth it is meant to be shared with all the faithful of neighboring Achaia. Brother notes that Saint Paul in chapter two has forgiven the incestuous man whom he had excommunicated in his first epistle, lest Satan drag him into despair.
In the First Corinthians, the Apostle discussed the sacraments; in this one he discusses the ministers, both good and bad, of these sacraments. The reason he wrote this epistle was that although he had born them in Christ, they had welcomed certain false apostles, whom they preferred to him. Therefore he commends the dignity of the true apostles, and reproves the falseness of the false apostles. The Letter is divided into greetings which include that of the apostle Timothy who seems to be in part at the start a co-author. From chapter 1:12 to 7:16 Paul defends his apostleship against false ministers. One chapter is then devoted to instructions for a collection for the poor in Jerusalem. And until the end of the Letter Paul gives a beautiful and detailed account of all that he has suffered for Christ but not without setting forth his own unworthiness, For not he who commendeth himself, is approved, but he, whom God commendeth” (vs 18).
From here follows that part of the epistle which moves our hearts whenever we read it: “They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I. 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. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one. 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.” After writing of his incredible labors he speaks (as he says “foolishly”) in chapter 12 of “a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth), That he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter. For such an one I will glory; but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities.” And, too, he reveals his humbling “sting of the flesh” which has intrigued commentators of every age.
There is much to savor in this epistle. It was written around the year 57 from Macedonia. He tells the Corinthians of his intent to visit them again, his third time.
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