Brothers and sisters: If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the Gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel.
Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the Gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God! Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young— Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my king and my God! R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God! Blessed they who dwell in your house! continually they praise you. Blessed the men whose strength you are! their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage. R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God! For a sun and a shield is the LORD God; grace and glory he bestows; The LORD withholds no good thing from those who walk in sincerity. R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Jesus told his disciples a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”