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.
At that time, there were some present who told Jesus of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?
I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?
I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’
And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’