Today’s Epistle is from 1 Cor 4:9-16. I have added some cross-references, and also interspersed some lines from Psalms which seemed helpful.
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. (Heb 12:1-2)
Ps 70(71):7-14 — I am become as it were a wonder to many: but thou art my strong helper. Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may hymn thy glory, and thy majesty all the day.
Cast me not off at the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails… I will hope continually, and will praise thee more and more.
Ps 79(80):6-7— Thou has made us a strife to our neighbours; and our enemies have mocked at us. Turn us, O Lord God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Ps 70(71):20 — What afflictions many and sore hast thou shewed me! yet thou didst turn and quicken me, and broughtest me again from the depths of the earth.
Ps 37(38):12 — While they pressed hard upon me that sought my soul: and they that sought my hurt spoke vanities, and devised deceits all the day. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and was as a dumb man not opening his mouth. And I was as a man that hears not, and who has no reproofs in his mouth.
We have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things.
Ps 83(84):10-11 — I would rather be an abject in the house of God, than dwell in the tents of sinners. For the Lord loves mercy and truth: God will give grace and glory: the Lord will not withhold good things from them that walk in innocence.
I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
Ps 93(94):12-15 — Blessed is the man whomsoever thou shalt chasten, O Lord, and shalt teach him out of thy law; to give him rest from evil days, until a pit be digged for the sinful one.
For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance; until righteousness return to judgment, and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
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. (1 Cor 11:1)
ANYONE who follows the Apostle advances with him into the inexpressible and unspeakable mysteries of life and incorruption…
The theologians of the first generation of the Church are St John the Theologian and the Apostle Paul. Later theologians are the Fathers who trod the same path.
Their theology is a revelation: a witness, a cleansing, a living presence. It is a flash of lightning which lights everything under heaven. It opens up ways leading to life and hope.
Archimandrite Vasileios, “Hymn of Entry” (SVS Press, 1984) pp. 28-29.