Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering.
Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
John Hoerster was the much-loved athletic director and head football coach at Loyola Academy for many years. Every morning he would stand at the main entrance as students came into school and say with great enthusiasm, time after time, “it’s a great day to be a Rambler!” I can’t tell you how many smiles came to the faces of otherwise very tired young men and women as they trudged into school. What a difference a cheerful and welcoming greeting can make for the one who receives it. This is a difference each of us can make with every person God puts into our lives each and every day.
I am reminded of this because of the way Paul greets the Corinthians with affection and encouragement in the first reading today. Paul does this consistently in all his letters, even when he proceeds to discuss difficult issues these Christian communities had to face. I am sure his initial greeting made it easier for the people of Corinth to hear some of the difficult things he addressed later in the letter.
—David McNulty works in the Operations office for the Midwest Jesuits.
Let us always greet one another with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
—St. Teresa of Calcutta