2 Cor 12,1-10…..my grace is sufficient for you…
12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions andrevelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Fr. Joseph Knerr
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today’s Second Reading is from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12, verses 7 to 10. St. Paul states in the verses prior to this passage that he has every right to boast of what the Lord has done through him, but he has chosen not to boast.
In fact the only boasting he does is about his weakness, he calls it “a thorn in the flesh” and “an angel of Satan” that he asked the Lord three times to remove from him. He doesn’t tell us what the weakness is. Was it a physical disability, some malady that was causing him excruciating pain? Was it a temptation that he was fighting? One commentary says it could have been an opponent who was accusing him of not being a true apostle, of criticizing St. Paul’s preaching and questioning his motives.
Whatever the weakness may have been, St. Paul concentrates not on the weakness but on “the power of Christ.” St. Paul tells the Corinthians what the Lord told him when he asked for deliverance from the “thorn in the flesh-angel of Satan” weakness. The Lord responded: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
St. Paul accepts the Lord’s answer “in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.” St. Paul goes on to say, “Therefore, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
St. Paul recognized that what matters is that the Corinthians and all Christians look to Jesus whose humiliating death upon the Cross appeared to be weakness but in reality was the strength that led to the Resurrection.
Whatever our “thorn in the flesh” may be, Christ must be our strength. Let the power of Christ dwell with you. “My grace is suffi cient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”