Today’s Readings are about the Theological virtue of Hope.
The first reading is yet another Biblical Passage, where we would like to ask God for a little more information.
Paul is in Corinth. The city may not mean much to us, but in a degenerate age, Corinth stood tallest or perhaps sank lowest, infamous for its metropolitan immorality.
In the midst of this place, the Holy Spirit tells Paul there are so many people “on my side that no one will even attempt to hurt you.” This is confirmed when the Roman Proconsul immediately dismisses the legal attack on Paul.
This passage may be a familiar one to us and so we can miss some intriguing considerations.
Who are these covert operators, these mysterious people already on God’s side? Where did they come from? Have they been won over by Paul? If so, why doesn’t he know of them? If not, then how did they happen to be on God’s side? Does their existence somehow alter the spiritual climate and will this be relevant in the trial?
Whatever the case was, Paul refused to give up and faced his accusers in court having a rare easy victory continuing a productive if stormy ministry as the Letters to the Corinthians attest.
Coming towards the end of his great Last Supper Discourse, Jesus encourages us to endure to the end. Like Paul, we are unaware of the deeper spiritual realities, but we know the final result; we will have trials, but if we endure our hearts will be filled with joy. So let’s keep going!