Fourth Sunday of Advent
Epistle • 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Lesson from the first Epistle of Blessed Paul to the Corinthians.
[St. Paul speaks of the ministers of Christ, and addressing those who judge their pastors he reminds them that He alone Who shall come one day as Judge has the right to do this.]
Brethren, Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers that a man be found faithful. But to me it is a very small thing to be judged by you or by mans day; but neither do I judge my own self. For I am not conscious to myself of anything: yet am I not hereby justified, but He that judges me is the Lord.
Therefore judge not before the time, until the Lord come: Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise from God.
Gospel • Luke 3:1-6
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
[The day of mercy is coming proclaimed by St. John the Baptist.]
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina, under the high priests Annas and Caiphas: the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert.
And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins, as it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight His paths; every valley shall be filled: and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain: and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.