Reconciliation Lectionary: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

mary-the-penitent.jpgOne might expect that an Ash Wednesday reading (2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2) would appear in the Lectionary for Penance. And so we have a bit of overlap (5:20-21) with the final five verses of 2 Corinthians 5. Curious that this relatively large New Testament book contributes only this reading to the Rite of Penance. But there you have it:

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
*So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Reconciliation is from God. Clear enough. But when Saint Paul writes, “God (has) given us the ministry of reconciliation,” is he speaking of himself? Of the apostolic band? Or may we interpret reconciliation as the act of every believer?

The apostolate of the laity lies in the world, and it is there that Christ needs ambassadors. If we hold to that, then the Catholic laity certainly have a share in the ministry of reconciliation. How else are non-believers to know this aspect of Jesus Christ, but for our own example.

Every ambassador has credentials. Perhaps this reading challenges the believer to develop those credentials sacramentally. God affirms the believer as made new in the Son. Our own transgressions are discounted. What more affirming message can we then pass on to those who do not believe, those who are skeptics, or those who have allowed their faith to go inactive?

God forgave me: can we make a convincing case for this in the world? I think we might need to do so.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Penance, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reconciliation Lectionary: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

  1. Dick Martin says:

    This is One of the most powerful scriptures in the new Testament and Eph.4:11-12. which states that (The five positions for training), given to the church is for the equipping of the Saints for the work of the Ministry. Note: 2 Corth.5:20 states “whoever is( in Christ)”. If You are in Christ (Born Again) you are a New Creation. You have been Reconciled to God thru Jesus. God uses us to bring Non-believers into relationship with Jesus. God intrusts us with the message of reconciliation. What is the message? That God (Jesus) came from glory and Died on the Cross just for you (put your name in there). As your Subsitute, Jesus paid for all you sins and all the punishment that goes with them. this is what the above scripture states . ” For our sake God made Jesus to be Sin who knew no Sin so that we might become the Righteousness of God (in Him) in Christ as state in above Twice. Praise Jesus. Dick martin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s