Readings for Thursday of the sixth week of Great Lent

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Prophecy

Kings 4:8-41 ; Isaiah 45:1-10 ; Proverbs 9:1-11 ; Job 35:1-16 ; Son of Sirach 11:1-10 [Arabic]

Kings 4:8-41
Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, "Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there."
And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. Then he said to Gehazi his servant, "Call this Shunammite woman." When he had called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, "Say now to her, "Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?"'
She answered, "I dwell among my own people."
So he said, "What then is to be done for her?"
And Gehazi answered, "Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old."
So he said, "Call her." When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Then he said, "About this time next year you shall embrace a son."
And she said, "No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!"
But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.
And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. And he said to his father, "My head, my head!"
So he said to a servant, "Carry him to his mother." When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. Then she called to her husband, and said, "Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back."
So he said, "Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath."
And she said, "It is well." Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, "Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you." And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, "Look, the Shunammite woman! Please run now to meet her, and say to her, "Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?"'
And she answered, "It is well." Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, "Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me, and has not told me."
So she said, "Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, "Do not deceive me'?"
Then he said to Gehazi, "Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child."
And the mother of the child said, "As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." So he arose and followed her. Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, "The child has not awakened."
When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, "Call this Shunammite woman." So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, "Pick up your son." So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, "Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets." So one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were. Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, "Man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it.
So he said, "Then bring some flour." And he put it into the pot, and said, "Serve it to the people, that they may eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot.



Isaiah 45:1-10
"Thus says the LORD to His anointed,
        To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held--
        To subdue nations before him
        And loose the armor of kings,
        To open before him the double doors,
        So that the gates will not be shut:
        "I will go before you
        And make the crooked places straight;
        I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
        And cut the bars of iron.
        I will give you the treasures of darkness
        And hidden riches of secret places,
        That you may know that I, the LORD,
        Who call you by your name,
        Am the God of Israel.
        For Jacob My servant's sake,
        And Israel My elect,
        I have even called you by your name;
        I have named you, though you have not known Me.
        I am the LORD, and there is no other;
        There is no God besides Me.
        I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
        That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
        That there is none besides Me.
        I am the LORD, and there is no other;
        I form the light and create darkness,
        I make peace and create calamity;
        I, the LORD, do all these things.'
        "Rain down, you heavens, from above,
        And let the skies pour down righteousness;
        Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
        And let righteousness spring up together.
        I, the LORD, have created it.
        "Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
        Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
        Shall the clay say to him who forms it, "What are you making?'
        Or shall your handiwork say, "He has no hands'?
        Woe to him who says to his father, "What are you begetting?'
        Or to the woman, "What have you brought forth?"'



Proverbs 9:1-11
Wisdom has built her house,
        She has hewn out her seven pillars;
        She has slaughtered her meat,
        She has mixed her wine,
        She has also furnished her table.
        She has sent out her maidens,
        She cries out from the highest places of the city,
        "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
        As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
        "Come, eat of my bread
        And drink of the wine I have mixed.
        Forsake foolishness and live,
        And go in the way of understanding.
        "He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
        And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
        Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
        Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
        Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
        Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
        "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
        And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
        For by me your days will be multiplied,
        And years of life will be added to you.



Job 35:1-16
Moreover Elihu answered and said:
        "Do you think this is right?
        Do you say,
        "My righteousness is more than God's'?
        For you say,
        "What advantage will it be to You?
        What profit shall I have, more than if I had sinned?'
        "I will answer you,
        And your companions with you.
        Look to the heavens and see;
        And behold the clouds--
        They are higher than you.
        If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him?
        Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him?
        If you are righteous, what do you give Him?
        Or what does He receive from your hand?
        Your wickedness affects a man such as you,
        And your righteousness a son of man.
        "Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out;
        They cry out for help because of the arm of the mighty.
        But no one says, "Where is God my Maker,
        Who gives songs in the night,
        Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth,
        And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?'
        There they cry out, but He does not answer,
        Because of the pride of evil men.
        Surely God will not listen to empty talk,
        Nor will the Almighty regard it.
        Although you say you do not see Him,
        Yet justice is before Him, and you must wait for Him.
        And now, because He has not punished in His anger,
        Nor taken much notice of folly,
        Therefore Job opens his mouth in vain;
        He multiplies words without knowledge."



Son of Sirach 11:1-10
The wisdom of a humble man will lift up his head, and will seat him among the great.
Do not praise a man for his good looks, nor loathe a man because of his appearance.
The bee is small among flying creatures, but her product is the best of sweet things.
Do not boast about wearing fine clothes, nor exalt yourself in the day that you are honored; for the works of the Lord are wonderful, and his works are concealed from men.
Many kings have had to sit on the ground, but one who was never thought of has worn a crown.
Many rulers have been greatly disgraced, and illustrious men have been handed over to others.
Do not find fault before you investigate; first consider, and then reprove.
Do not answer before you have heard, nor interrupt a speaker in the midst of his words.
Do not argue about a matter which does not concern you, nor sit with sinners when they judge a case.
My son, do not busy yourself with many matters; if you multiply activities you will not go unpunished, and if you pursue you will not overtake, and by fleeing you will not escape.

Psalm

Psalm 9:13 [Arabic]

Have mercy on me, O LORD!
        Consider my trouble from those who hate me,
        You who lift me up from the gates of death.
 

Gospel

Luke 20:9-19 [Arabic]

Then He began to tell the people this parable: "A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.

"Then the owner of the vineyard said, "What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.' But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, "This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.' So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others."

And when they heard it they said, "Certainly not!"

Then He looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written:
        "The stone which the builders rejected
        Has become the chief cornerstone'?

Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."

And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people--for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.

 

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Pauline Epistle

1Timothy 2:1-end ; 1Timothy 3:1-4 [Arabic]

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle--I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying--a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence

 

Catholic Epistle

Jude 1:19-25 [Arabic]

These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
        And to present you faultless
        Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
        To God our Savior,
        Who alone is wise,
        Be glory and majesty,
        Dominion and power,
        Both now and forever.
        Amen.

 

Acts

Acts 27:16-20 [Arabic]

And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. On the third day we threw the ship's tackle overboard with our own hands. Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.

 

Synaxarium

Commemoration of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin St. Mary
Commemoration of the visit of Our Lord Christ to Bethany
Consultation of the Chief Priests to put the righteous Lazarus to death

 

Psalm

Psalm 9:13 ; Psalm 9:14 [Arabic]

        You who lift me up from the gates of death:
That I may tell of all Your praise
        In the gates of the daughter of Zion.
        I will rejoice in Your salvation.

 

Gospel

John 6:47-71 [Arabic]

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"

Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."

These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

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