ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 8:7-15
Brethren, as you excel in everything in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us see that you excel in this gracious work also.
I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.
For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.
I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality.
As it is written, “He who gathered much has nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack.
The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers5 her brood under her wings, and you would not!
Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.
For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’