Readings for Wednesday of the fourth week of Great Lent

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Exodus 7:14-end ; Exodus 8:1-18 ; Joel 2:28-32 ; Job 1:1-22 ; Isaiah 26:21-end ; Isaiah 27:1-9 [Arabic]

Exodus 7:14-end ; Exodus 8:1-18

So the LORD said to Moses: "Pharaoh's heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river's bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. And you shall say to him, "The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness"; but indeed, until now you would not hear! Thus says the LORD: "By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river.""'

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, "Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone."' And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this. So all the Egyptians dug all around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river. And seven days passed after the LORD had struck the river. And the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, "Thus says the LORD: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.""'

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, "Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt."' So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Entreat the LORD that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD."

And Moses said to Pharaoh, "Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only."

So he said, "Tomorrow." And he said, "Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only."

Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. So the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.

So the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, "Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt."' And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast.

Joel 2:28-32

"And it shall come to pass afterward
        That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
        Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
        Your old men shall dream dreams,
        Your young men shall see visions.
        And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
        I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
        "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
        Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
        The sun shall be turned into darkness,
        And the moon into blood,
        Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
        And it shall come to pass
        That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
        Shall be saved.
        For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
        As the LORD has said,
        Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.

Job 1:1-22
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?"

So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"

So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"

And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person."

So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house; and a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away--indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
        "Naked I came from my mother's womb,
        And naked shall I return there.
        The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
        Blessed be the name of the LORD."

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Isaiah 26:21-end ; Isaiah 27:1-9

For behold, the LORD comes out of His place
        To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
        The earth will also disclose her blood,
        And will no more cover her slain.

In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong,
        Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
        Leviathan that twisted serpent;
        And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.

In that day sing to her,
        "A vineyard of red wine!
        I, the LORD, keep it,
        I water it every moment;
        Lest any hurt it,
        I keep it night and day.
        Fury is not in Me.
        Who would set briers and thorns
        Against Me in battle?
        I would go through them,
        I would burn them together.
        Or let him take hold of My strength,
        That he may make peace with Me;
        And he shall make peace with Me."
        Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob;
        Israel shall blossom and bud,
        And fill the face of the world with fruit.
        Has He struck Israel as He struck those who struck him?
        Or has He been slain according to the slaughter of those who were slain by Him?
        In measure, by sending it away,
        You contended with it.
        He removes it by His rough wind
        In the day of the east wind.
        Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be covered;
        And this is all the fruit of taking away his sin:
        When he makes all the stones of the altar
        Like chalkstones that are beaten to dust,
        Wooden images and incense altars shall not stand.


Psalm 18:37 ; Psalm 18:40 [Arabic]

I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
You have also given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.


Luke 14:16-24 [Arabic]

Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, "Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, "Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper."'


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Pauline Epistle

Ephesians 4:17-33 [Arabic]

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Do Not Grieve the Spirit
Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


Catholic Epistle

James 3:13-end ; James 4:1-4 [Arabic]

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.



Acts 11:26-end ; Acts 12:1-2 [Arabic]

So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.



The Martyrdom of St. Theodore, the Roman.



Psalm 18:17-18 [Arabic]

He delivered me from my strong enemy,
        From those who hated me,
        For they were too strong for me.
        They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
        But the LORD was my support.



Mark 4:35-41 [Arabic]

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"

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