I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough... For you put up with it when someone makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or gives you a slap in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!“ (2 Cor 11: 2-4, 20-21)

How humbly vulnerable, how honest, is St. Paul, proclaiming his love, and even “divine jealousy,” to the Corinthians. They have been listening to false apostles, who impressed them in ways Paul would not: They put on airs, and ultimately “made slaves” of people, while Paul appealed to them “by the gentleness and meekness of Christ.” (2 Cor 10: 1)

False apostles are as attractive today as they were back then. They appeal to our sense of pride “according to the flesh,” preaching an exclusive, excluding, and elitist “Orthodoxy,” but “a different gospel from the one we accepted,” and “another Jesus than the one proclaimed” by St. Paul. This "other" gospel readily offers "a slap in the face" to us and to others. Today let me embrace, once again, “a sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” that I may not be distracted, nor led astray, by “a different spirit from the one we received.”

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