Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:2-12
Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
Ἀδελφοί, ἡ σφραγὶς τῆς ἐμῆς ἀποστολῆς ὑμεῖς ἐστε ἐν κυρίῳ. Ἡ ἐμὴ ἀπολογία τοῖς ἐμὲ ἀνακρίνουσιν αὕτη ἐστίν. Μὴ οὐκ ἔχομεν ἐξουσίαν φαγεῖν καὶ πιεῖν; Μὴ οὐκ ἔχομεν ἐξουσίαν ἀδελφὴν γυναῖκα περιάγειν, ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ ἀπόστολοι, καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ τοῦ κυρίου, καὶ Κηφᾶς; Ἢ μόνος ἐγὼ καὶ Βαρνάβας οὐκ ἔχομεν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ μὴ ἐργάζεσθαι; Τίς στρατεύεται ἰδίοις ὀψωνίοις ποτέ; Τίς φυτεύει ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ καρποῦ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐσθίει; Ἢ τίς ποιμαίνει ποίμνην, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ γάλακτος τῆς ποίμνης οὐκ ἐσθίει; Μὴ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον ταῦτα λαλῶ; Ἢ οὐχὶ καὶ ὁ νόμος ταῦτα λέγει; Ἐν γὰρ τῷ Μωϋσέως νόμῳ γέγραπται, Οὐ φιμώσεις βοῦν ἀλοῶντα. Μὴ τῶν βοῶν μέλει τῷ θεῷ; Ἢ διʼ ἡμᾶς πάντως λέγει; Διʼ ἡμᾶς γὰρ ἐγράφη, ὅτι ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι ὀφείλει ὁ ἀροτριῶν ἀροτριᾷν, καὶ ὁ ἀλοῶν τῆς ἐλπίδος αὐτοῦ μετέχειν ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι. Εἰ ἡμεῖς ὑμῖν τὰ πνευματικὰ ἐσπείραμεν, μέγα εἰ ἡμεῖς ὑμῶν τὰ σαρκικὰ θερίσομεν; Εἰ ἄλλοι τῆς ἐξουσίας ὑμῶν μετέχουσιν, οὐ μᾶλλον ἡμεῖς; Ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐχρησάμεθα τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ ταύτῃ, ἀλλὰ πάντα στέγομεν, ἵνα μὴ ἐγκοπήν τινα δῶμεν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ.