Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ( Corinthians 1: 1-3)
This is a salutation from Paul to the Christians in Corinth. He does the usual greeting, which names the writer and the recipient, and offers good wishes. He does more than that, however. He proclaims his faith in Jesus. He also gives the topic for the rest of the letter in the first chapter of Corinthians. In fact, for the next six Sunday Masses, Paul will be addressing the ekklesia (church) in Corinth. He has heard that the community is bickering among themselves and Paul will be addressing that problem. This salutation is reminding the Corinthian church that they are holy people--sanctified in Christ Jesus. The call comes from God, Himself, for those who believe in Him. By grace, all Christians have God's love. They must remember this and act accordingly. Paul ends his greeting with "peace."
Sosthenes is with Paul. Scholars believe Sosthenes was in charge of the synagogue in Corinth. He was seized and beaten by a mob, in front of Gallio, the Roman governor, when he refused to prosecute Paul when demanded to, by the Jews.
This scripture is for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. I am reading this passage. At first, I dismissed the verses as just a simple salutation. But is anything in the Bible useless? Even a simple salutation must have some lesson for the church. So I thought doing a Lectio Divina on the verses would bring me to a greater understanding and appreciation of the text.
This greeting is a lesson in love. Paul will be addressing the discord that has arisen in Corinth. This is why he reminds the Corinthians that they are holy. They have been given the grace to be followers of the One True God. They and we should understand this and act accordingly.
Even the ending of the salutation is a lesson. Paul wishes them "peace." Yes, take the hint.
Lord Jesus Christ, we believers love and desire to do Your Holy Will. It's the how, when, and why. In other words, it's the details in the interpretations of Your Word that causes all the problems. Help us to not despair, argue, hate, and sin against our brothers and sisters. Please give us the grace to keep trying and to love our neighbors and You love us.
Come Lord and show us the way.