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St. Polycarp

Bishop, Martyr

January 26

Epistle  •  1 John 3:10-16

Lesson from the first Epistle of Blessed John the Apostle.

[Of the love of God for us: how we may distinguish the children of God from those of the devil.]

Most dearly beloved, whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother. For this is the declaration, which you have heard from the beginning, that you should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one, and killed his brother. And wherefore did he kill him? Because his own works were wicked, and his brother’s just. Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you.

We know that we have passed from death to life: because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for our brethren.

Gospel  •  Matthew 10:26-32

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.  

[The followers of Christ must not fear persecution, for God guards us in all our tribulations.]

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess Me before man, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven.

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