Sunday Vigil

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Corinthians 10, 1-11

I urge you by the gentleness and forbearance of Christ -- this is Paul now speaking personally-I, the one who is so humble when he is facing you but full of boldness at a distance.

Yes, my appeal to you is that I should not have to be bold when I am actually with you, or show the same self-assurance as I reckon to use when I am challenging those who reckon that we are guided by human motives.

For although we are human, it is not by human methods that we do battle.

The weapons with which we do battle are not those of human nature, but they have the power, in God's cause, to demolish fortresses. It is ideas that we demolish,

every presumptuous notion that is set up against the knowledge of God, and we bring every thought into captivity and obedience to Christ;

once you have given your complete obedience, we are prepared to punish any disobedience.

Look at the evidence of your eyes. Anybody who is convinced that he belongs to Christ should go on to reflect that we belong to Christ no less than he does.

Maybe I have taken rather too much pride in our authority, but the Lord gave us that for building you up, not for knocking you down, and I am not going to be shamed

into letting you think that I can put fear into you only by letter.

Someone said, 'His letters are weighty enough, and full of strength, but when you see him in person, he makes no impression and his powers of speaking are negligible.'

I should like that sort of person to take note that our deeds when we are present will show the same qualities as our letters when we were at a distance.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

From the tenth chapter until the thirteenth (chapters which seem to form a separate letter also addressed to the Corinthians, and are generally called the “letter of tears”), the apostle dwells at length on the defence of his apostolic ministry. Some Christians in the community of Corinth, in order to escape the authority of Paul, accuse him of acting in an ambiguous manner: weak when he is present and strong when away; moreover inconsistently and with worldly attitudes (“accord¬ing to the flesh”). In truth, Paul from his first letter onwards has written: “I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” (1 Cor 2:3). It is true that he was living “in the” flesh, and thus in a condition of weakness, but certainly not “according to” the flesh, that is, by accepting the criteria of self-love. His behaviour was guided uniquely by his passion for the Gospel to be communicated to the ends of the earth. It was a real battle, which he did not conduct, however, with the force of external means, but solely with preaching, with apostolic zeal, with the gift of his life. The strength to fulfil this mission came to him from God Himself. And because of this it was efficacious. Indeed it was the Lord himself doing battle with the sheer abundance of his love that destroys all pride and conquers the thoughts of our hearts, subjecting them to Christ. The apostle warns those believers who, through pride, speak of being with Christ while instead they are only with themselves. He also warns against glorifying oneself. Each person, in fact, tends instinctively to have a good judgement of himself and to inflate himself before God and men, even if he is able to display only a few of his works. In truth, the apostle emphasizes that he was sent to preach the Gospel, to destroy therefore that which is false, and to build up the holy edifice that is the Church. The letter he had sent to the Corinthians, and that had caused some suffering by the tone of reproach which it contained, was written amidst tears and for the edification of the community. He did not want to intimidate, but rather wanted to recall all to being obedient to the Word of God, because every rebirth depends on it.