A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Sunday 27 November

First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 63: 16-17, 64: 1, 3-8, Psalm 80, Corinthians 1: 3-9, Mark 13: 33-37

Giving thanks

Paul’s letters follow contemporary letter writing conventions by beginning with an address from writer to recipient and a greeting. Less conventionally, in Paul’s letters to churches a thanksgiving almost invariably followed the greeting. Later in this letter, Paul expresses serious concerns about Corinthian Christians who are sometimes excitable, but not invariably loving. Yet he still gives thanks for them here. He focuses on two spiritual gifts of which the Corinthians are particularly proud: ‘speech’ and ‘knowledge’ – in the Jerusalem Bible translated as ‘teachers and preachers’. What spiritual gifts do I have for which I should give God particular thanks?

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