Article Index

Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Christ, in Paul’s eyes, is the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega. That is why all his letters begin with Jesus. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ: grace be to you and peace … from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1: 1, 2)

This letter is characterised by the description of Paul’s participation in Christ’s sufferings. “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” (1:5) However, Saint Paul remains firm unto death in faith, despite his sufferings. (1:9, 10) “But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, …was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.” (1:18,19)

Paul “forgives in the person of Christ.” (2:1) He travels, going to one place after another (2:12) and going from one victory to another in Christ. (2:14) He is “a sweet savour of Christ” (2:15) and his trust even amid difficulties, is boundless. (3:4) All his strength and capability is in Jesus Christ. (4:4-6)

In this letter, especially in chapters three, four and five, Saint Paul expresses his passionate love for Christ and his experience of life in Christ, despite troubles and perplexities, persecutions, sufferings, pains, spiritual and bodily illnesses and betrayals. “For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (4:10-12) But he is not, so to speak, limited; he does not fall into despair; he is never disappointed, despite troubles and persecutions. (4:8, 9) As he says, “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (4:16) “For the love of Christ constraineth us.” (5:14) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (5:17) “We are ambassadors for Christ” (5:20) and “ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned.” (6:4-10)

There is an example of the experience of Paul in his life in Jesus Christ, but nothing destroys his will and enthusiasm, “for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (10:4-6a) Again, Saint Paul describes all his toil with respect to life in Christ: (11:23-33) prisons, stripes, mortal perils, beatings with rods, stoning, shipwrecks, journeyings, floods, robbers, false brethren, weariness, painfulness, watchings, hunger, thirst, fastings, nakedness and from Damascus, escape down by the wall into the desert. (11:23-33)

But Jesus strengthens Paul and says to him in his temptations, “‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (12:9,10)

These are the great challenges and experiences of faith that Saint Paul has lived through in his Epistles, that he might live in Christ and Christ in him.


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We honor the relics of the martyrs, that we may adore Him whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants that their honor may be reflected upon their Lord who Himself says: "He that receives you receives me."

St. Jerome, Epistle 109:1, NPNF II, 6:212