Scripture Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 1:18-22 (read it here)
Behind our First Reading there is another accusation and slander against Paul.
Paul had said that he would visit the Corinthians, but the situation had become so bitter that he postponed his visit so as not to give them more pain. His enemies then immediately accused him of being the kind of man who made empty promises, often changed his mind, and could not be pinned down to a definite yes or no.
That was bad enough, but they went on to argue that if they could not trust Paul’s everyday promises, how could they trust the things he told them about God?
Paul’s answer was that we can rely on God, and that there is no vacillation in Jesus between yes and no.
Then Paul put the matter in a vivid phrase—Jesus is the “yes” to every promise of God. He meant this: a God who loves us so much that he gave us his Son, quite certainly will fulfil every promise he ever made. Christ is the personal guarantee of God that the greatest and the least of his promises are all true.
Paul also reminded his readers that it is through Jesus that we say “Amen” to the promises of God. Here he stressed the fact that Jesus Christ is the personification of God’s truth, never breaks his word, and, therefore, is unchangeable. Jesus Christ was, is, and remains true to his word.
By the way, we finish our prayers by saying, “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” and we end with “Amen,” which means, “So let it be.”
The great truth is that it is not just a formality and a bit of ritual; Amen is the word that expresses our conviction that we can offer our prayers with every confidence to God, and that we can appropriate with boldness all his great promises, because Jesus is the guarantee that our prayers will be heard and that all the great promises are true.
God also “has sealed us.” Seals denote ownership and authenticity. Not only in ancient times, but also today seals are placed on legal documents to authenticate them. By analogy, God attaches a seal us, his people, to confirm that we belong to him and to shield us from harm.
Paul also spoke about the Spirit as our “first installment.” Also, for us, the first installment of a payment is a guarantee that the rest of the payment will follow, and the contract will be honored.
When Paul spoke of the Holy Spirit as the “first installment” given us by God, he meant that the kind of life we live by the help of the Holy Spirit is the first installment of the life of heaven and the guarantee that the fullness of that life will someday open upon us.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s token and pledge of still greater things to come.
In the Eucharist Jesus keeps his promise to always remain with us.
Let us also renew our Baptismal promise to abandon all forms of evil to embrace the Lord as our only master.
Taught by Mary, let us also be aware of the Holy Spirit living in us.
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Que la palabra de Cristo habite y se sienta a gusto en ustedes (Col. 3:16)
Let us make this a blessed day.
Keep Jesus in your mind and heart and share him with all you meet.
Fr. Michael Brizio, IMC
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