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St. Praxedes

Virgin

July 21

Epistle  •  1 Corinthians 7:25-34

Lesson from the first Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.

[Virginity consecrated to God is preferable to the married state.]

Brethren, Concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithful. I think therefore that this is good for the present necessity, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But if thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned. And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned: nevertheless such shall have tribulation of the flesh. But I spare you.

This therefore I say, brethren: The time is short: it remaineth, that they also who have wives be as if they had none: and they that weep as though they wept not; and they that rejoice as if they rejoiced not: and they that buy as though they possessed not: and they that use this world as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: in Christ Jesus Our Lord.



Gospel  •  Matthew 13:44-52

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.  

[The parable of the hidden treasure, of the pearl of great price and of the net cast into the sea.]

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples, this parable: The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world: the Angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Have ye understood all these things? They say to Him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.