ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 4:9-16
Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ.
We are weak, but you are strong.
You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate;
we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things.
I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
They said to him then, “Who are you? let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord, ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.