ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 1:21-24; 2:1-4
Brethren, it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
But I call God to witness against me – it was to spare you that I refrained from coming to Corinth.
Not that we lord it over your faith; we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
For I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit.
For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?
And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.
For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
The Lord said this parable: “A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more.
So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more.
But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’
And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.
Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”
As he said these things he cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!