2 Corinthians 8-9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
III. The Collection for Jerusalem[a]
Generosity in Giving. 1 [b]We want you to know, brothers,[c] of the grace of God[d] that has been given to the churches of Macedonia, 2 [e]for in a severe test of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 [f]For according to their means, I can testify, and beyond their means, spontaneously, 4 they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part in the service to the holy ones, 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us[g] through the will of God, 6 so that we urged Titus[h] that, as he had already begun, he should also complete for you this gracious act also. 7 [i]Now as you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.
8 I say this not by way of command, but to test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others. 9 [j]For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 And I am giving counsel in this matter, for it is appropriate for you who began not only to act but to act willingly last year: 11 complete it now, so that your eager[k] willingness may be matched by your completion of it out of what you have. 12 [l]For if the eagerness is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have; 13 not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality 14 your surplus at the present time should supply their needs, so that their surplus may also supply your needs, that there may be equality. 15 As it is written:
“Whoever had much did not have more,
Titus and His Collaborators.[m] 16 But thanks be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus, 17 for he not only welcomed our appeal but, since he is very concerned, he has gone to you of his own accord. 18 With him we have sent the brother[n] who is praised in all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has also been appointed our traveling companion by the churches in this gracious work administered by us for the glory of the Lord [himself] and for the expression of our eagerness. 20 This we desire to avoid, that anyone blame us[o] about this lavish gift administered by us, 21 for we are concerned for what is honorable not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of others. 22 And with them we have sent our brother whom we often tested in many ways and found earnest, but who is now much more earnest because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker for you; as for our brothers, they are apostles of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to them.[p]
God’s Indescribable Gift.[q] 1 Now about the service to the holy ones, it is superfluous for me to write to you, 2 for I know your eagerness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia[r] has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 Nonetheless, I sent the brothers[s] so that our boast about you might not prove empty in this case, so that you might be ready, as I said, 4 for fear that if any Macedonians come with me and find you not ready we might be put to shame (to say nothing of you) in this conviction. 5 So I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for your promised gift, so that in this way it might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as an exaction.
6 Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 [t]Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
10 The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
11 [u]You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God, 12 for the administration of this public service is not only supplying the needs of the holy ones but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God. 13 Through the evidence of this service, you are glorifying God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your contribution to them and to all others, 14 while in prayer on your behalf they long for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!