Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Share On


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Corinthians 3,4-11

Such is the confidence we have through Christ in facing God; it is not that we are so competent that we can claim any credit for ourselves; all our competence comes from God. He has given us the competence to be ministers of a new covenant, a covenant which is not of written letters, but of the Spirit; for the written letters kill, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the administering of death, engraved in letters on stone, occurred in such glory that the Israelites could not look Moses steadily in the face, because of its glory, transitory though this glory was, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit occur in glory! For if it is glorious to administer condemnation, to administer saving justice is far richer in glory. Indeed, what was once considered glorious has lost all claim to glory, by contrast with the glory which transcends it. For if what was transitory had any glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts for ever.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Never as in this letter is Paul forced to speak about himself. Not to promote himself, but to hold the community of Corinth tied to the Gospel. He adds that, "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all" (v. 2). We may say that the life of the community itself is the clearer and stronger announcement of the Gospel. Rooted here is as Gregory the Great has said, "Scripture grows with those who read it." The "real" Scripture, "the letter of Christ" to the world is the living community. In a community that acts on the Gospel the power of the Word engraved by the Spirit in the hearts of believers appears. The link between the preaching of the Gospel and the heart of the listener is given not by the ability of the preacher of the Gospel but by the Spirit. Paul has already written in his First Letter to the community of Corinth: "And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (2:3-4). In the words of the apostle emerges the passionate love with which he has communicated the Word of God so that it may arrive in their hearts and his listeners may follow Jesus' teachings. The apostle has toiled and has spent years of his life to preach the Gospel. He claims paternity of the community warning them not be distracted from the foundation in the Gospel he himself planted. The passage ends with the rereading of the revelation made by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. Paul compares the revelation of the law, which was written on tablets of stone, with the revelation of the Gospel, which must be imprinted in the hearts. But this latter revelation comes from the Spirit, and is much more profound than the first. The new law must be carved in the hearts of men and women so that they are not of stone anymore but of flesh. "For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."