St. Peter Damian
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Epistle • 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Lesson from the second Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy.
[St. Paul admonishes Timothy to hold firm the sound doctrine of the Gospel. The Doctors of the Church were also renowned for their orthodoxy and their theological learning.]
Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming and His kingdom: preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.
For I am even now ready to be sacrificed, and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[Like the Apostles, the Doctors of the Church are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, Who is in Heaven.
Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.
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