Reconciliation Lectionary: 2 Peter 1:3-11

mary-the-penitent.jpgThe only offering from this letter in the Reconciliation Lectionary:

Beloved,
His divine power has bestowed on us
everything that makes for life and devotion,
through the knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and power.
Through these, he has bestowed on us
the precious and very great promises,
so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature,
after escaping from the corruption that is in the world
because of evil desire.
For this very reason,
make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
virtue with knowledge,
knowledge with self-control,
self-control with endurance,
endurance with devotion,
devotion with mutual affection,
mutual affection with love.
If these are yours and increase in abundance,
they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted,
forgetful of the cleansing of (their) past sins.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager
to make your call and election firm,
for, in doing so, you will never stumble.
For, in this way, entry into the eternal Kingdom
of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
will be richly provided for you.

Second Peter is unusual for a New Testament letter. Among the first handful of verses, the Christian is accustomed to the author offering some kind of a thanksgiving. That is not here.

What we are given is a very Christicentric orientation from the start. To this the author reminds his charges that despite the obstacles we face in the world, that we will enjoy the fruits of Christ’s promises to us. Most especially, a share in his divine (and presumably virtuous and holy) nature.

I love the litany of virtues. You can find other lists in the New Testament, such as Romans 5 or Galatians 5:22-23 or Philippians 4:8.

As an ordinary means of encouragement and teaching, I think lists of virtues are far more inspirational than shalt-nots. It’s not that the latter aren’t needed. But a list of virtues allows the disciple to note and affirm possible strengths. We can zero in on a virtue such as endurance. We can find where this virtue is affirmed in our culture. In the case of endurance, perhaps in athletics. We can identify with an athlete not only as a role model or personal hero, but we can urge others to act and live as this person did. And in the instance where evangelization is required, we affirm this virtue in an athlete or other person practicing endurance as part of their commonality with the Gospel.

In Reconciliation form I, I would think a confessor might counsel the penitent using this reading. One might ferret out the strong virtue, and build that up. One might also examine instances where one of these virtues is lacking, tie it closely with a serious sin confessed, and urge the believer to live up to the promises of Christ, as well as his good example.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Rite of Penance, Scripture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Reconciliation Lectionary: 2 Peter 1:3-11

  1. Reblogged this on roymarkcorrales and commented:
    True Reconciliation is always authentic repentance and reparation of every fault and never room for resentment , and vindictiveness.

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