9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me. 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
The Apostles band, that chosen choir and sacred ministers, encompassed the whole world with their teachings. Great were their privations for the sake of Christ and the love of the Church. Their mission was great, nay it was impossible for man, but these divine instruments of the Hole Spirit were filled and guided by Grace to accomplish their great task.
What was their reward? They were not welcomed with parades and throngs but rather they were stoned and ridiculed. The leaders of the world and the famous are crowned with laurels and received with songs and revelry – the band or the Apostles were crowned in Martyrdom and join in choir with the angels as they stand before the Throne of the most high God.
Great are their words and prophecy! By their deeds they show us the way in the se dark times. We too must be fools for Christ’s sake for we are reviled and persecuted. Indeed the world is filled with many claiming to be wise, but few are the true and wise elders and fathers.
Let us strive to imitate them, in so doing we shall fulfill the teachings of the Lord, Who instructed us to be holy, like He is holy.