Readings for Wednesday of the sixth week of Great Lent

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Exodus 10:1-end ; Exodus 11:1-10 ; Isaiah 44:21-28 ; Proverbs 8:22-36 ; Job 34:1-37 ; Son of Sirach 10:1-31 [Arabic]

Exodus 10:1-end ; Exodus 11:1-10
Now the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD."

So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, "Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. And they shall cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail, and they shall eat every tree which grows up for you out of the field. They shall fill your houses, the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians--which neither your fathers nor your fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day."' And he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

Then Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?"

So Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, "Go, serve the LORD your God. Who are the ones that are going?"

And Moses said, "We will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the LORD."

Then he said to them, "The LORD had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you. Not so! Go now, you who are men, and serve the LORD, for that is what you desired." And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land--all that the hail has left." So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they, nor shall there be such after them. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that He may take away from me this death only." So he went out from Pharaoh and entreated the LORD. And the LORD turned a very strong west wind, which took the locusts away and blew them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the territory of Egypt. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, "Go, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you."

But Moses said, "You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the LORD our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there."

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. Then Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!"

So Moses said, "You have spoken well. I will never see your face again." And the LORD said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold." And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

Then Moses said, "Thus says the LORD: "About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.' And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, "Get out, and all the people who follow you!' After that I will go out." Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

But the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt." So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Isaiah 44:21-28

"Remember these, O Jacob,
        And Israel, for you are My servant;
        I have formed you, you are My servant;
        O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
        I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
        And like a cloud, your sins.
        Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."
        Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!
        Shout, you lower parts of the earth;
        Break forth into singing, you mountains,
        O forest, and every tree in it!
        For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
        And glorified Himself in Israel.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
        And He who formed you from the womb:
        "I am the LORD, who makes all things,
        Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
        Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
        Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
        And drives diviners mad;
        Who turns wise men backward,
        And makes their knowledge foolishness;
        Who confirms the word of His servant,
        And performs the counsel of His messengers;
        Who says to Jerusalem, "You shall be inhabited,'
        To the cities of Judah, "You shall be built,'
        And I will raise up her waste places;
        Who says to the deep, "Be dry!
        And I will dry up your rivers';
        Who says of Cyrus, "He is My shepherd,
        And he shall perform all My pleasure,
        Saying to Jerusalem, "You shall be built,"
        And to the temple, "Your foundation shall be laid."'

Proverbs 8:22-36

"The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
        Before His works of old.
        I have been established from everlasting,
        From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
        When there were no depths I was brought forth,
        When there were no fountains abounding with water.
        Before the mountains were settled,
        Before the hills, I was brought forth;
        While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
        Or the primal dust of the world.
        When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
        When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
        When He established the clouds above,
        When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
        When He assigned to the sea its limit,
        So that the waters would not transgress His command,
        When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
        Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
        And I was daily His delight,
        Rejoicing always before Him,
        Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
        And my delight was with the sons of men.
        "Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
        For blessed are those who keep my ways.
        Hear instruction and be wise,
        And do not disdain it.
        Blessed is the man who listens to me,
        Watching daily at my gates,
        Waiting at the posts of my doors.
        For whoever finds me finds life,
        And obtains favor from the LORD;
        But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
        All those who hate me love death."

Job 34:1-37
Elihu further answered and said:
        "Hear my words, you wise men;
        Give ear to me, you who have knowledge.
        For the ear tests words
        As the palate tastes food.
        Let us choose justice for ourselves;
        Let us know among ourselves what is good.
        "For Job has said, "I am righteous,
        But God has taken away my justice;
        Should I lie concerning my right?
        My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.'
        What man is like Job,
        Who drinks scorn like water,
        Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity,
        And walks with wicked men?
        For he has said, "It profits a man nothing
        That he should delight in God.'
        "Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding:
        Far be it from God to do wickedness,
        And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.
        For He repays man according to his work,
        And makes man to find a reward according to his way.
        Surely God will never do wickedly,
        Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.
        Who gave Him charge over the earth?
        Or who appointed Him over the whole world?
        If He should set His heart on it,
        If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
        All flesh would perish together,
        And man would return to dust.
        "If you have understanding, hear this;
        Listen to the sound of my words:
        Should one who hates justice govern?
        Will you condemn Him who is most just?
        Is it fitting to say to a king, "You are worthless,'
        And to nobles, "You are wicked'?
        Yet He is not partial to princes,
        Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor;
        For they are all the work of His hands.
        In a moment they die, in the middle of the night;
        The people are shaken and pass away;
        The mighty are taken away without a hand.
        "For His eyes are on the ways of man,
        And He sees all his steps.
        There is no darkness nor shadow of death
        Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
        For He need not further consider a man,
        That he should go before God in judgment.
        He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry,
        And sets others in their place.
        Therefore He knows their works;
        He overthrows them in the night,
        And they are crushed.
        He strikes them as wicked men
        In the open sight of others,
        Because they turned back from Him,
        And would not consider any of His ways,
        So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him;
        For He hears the cry of the afflicted.
        When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?
        And when He hides His face, who then can see Him,
        Whether it is against a nation or a man alone?--
        That the hypocrite should not reign,
        Lest the people be ensnared.
        "For has anyone said to God,
        "I have borne chastening;
        I will offend no more;
        Teach me what I do not see;
        If I have done iniquity, I will do no more'?
        Should He repay it according to your terms,
        Just because you disavow it?
        You must choose, and not I;
        Therefore speak what you know.
        "Men of understanding say to me,
        Wise men who listen to me:
        "Job speaks without knowledge,
        His words are without wisdom.'
        Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost,
        Because his answers are like those of wicked men!
        For he adds rebellion to his sin;
        He claps his hands among us,
        And multiplies his words against God."

Son of Sirach 10:1-31
A wise magistrate will educate his people, and the rule of an understanding man will be well ordered.
Like the magistrate of the people, so are his officials; and like the ruler of the city, so are all its inhabitants.
An undisciplined king will ruin his people, but a city will grow through the understanding of its rulers.
The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, and over it he will raise up the right man for the time.
The success of a man is in the hands of the Lord, and he confers his honor upon the person of the scribe.
Do not be angry with your neighbor for any injury, and do not attempt anything by acts of insolence.
Arrogance is hateful before the Lord and before men, and injustice is outrageous to both.
Sovereignty passes from nation to nation on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.
How can he who is dust and ashes be proud? for even in life his bowels decay.
A long illness baffles the physician; the king of today will die tomorrow.
For when a man is dead, he will inherit creeping things, and wild beasts, and worms.
The beginning of man's pride is to depart from the Lord; his heart has forsaken his Maker.
For the beginning of pride is sin, and the man who clings to it pours out abominations. Therefore the Lord brought upon them extraordinary afflictions, and destroyed them utterly.
The Lord has cast down the thrones of rulers, and has seated the lowly in their place.
The Lord has plucked up the roots of the nations, and has planted the humble in their place.
The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations, and has destroyed them to the foundations of the earth.
He has removed some of them and destroyed them, and has extinguished the memory of them from the earth.
Pride was not created for men, nor fierce anger for those born of women.
What race is worthy of honor? The human race. What race is worthy of honor? Those who fear the Lord. What race is unworthy of honor? The human race. What race is unworthy of honor? Those who transgress the commandments.
Among brothers their leader is worthy of honor, and those who fear the Lord are worthy of honor in his eyes.
The rich, and the eminent, and the poor -- their glory is the fear of the Lord.
It is not right to despise an intelligent poor man, nor is it proper to honor a sinful man.
The nobleman, and the judge, and the ruler will be honored, but none of them is greater than the man who fears the Lord.
Free men will be at the service of a wise servant, and a man of understanding will not grumble.
Do not make a display of your wisdom when you do your work, nor glorify yourself at a time when you are in want.
Better is a man who works and has an abundance of everything, than one who goes about boasting, but lacks bread.
My son, glorify yourself with humility, and ascribe to yourself honor according to your worth.
Who will justify the man that sins against himself? And who will honor the man that dishonors his own life?
A poor man is honored for his knowledge, while a rich man is honored for his wealth.
A man honored in poverty, how much more in wealth! And a man dishonored in wealth, how much more in poverty!


Psalm 102:17 ; Psalm 102:21 [Arabic]

He shall regard the prayer of the destitute,
And shall not despise their prayer.
To declare the name of the LORD in Zion,
And His praise in Jerusalem,


Mark 7:1-20 [Arabic]

Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"

He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
        "This people honors Me with their lips,
        But their heart is far from Me.
        And in vain they worship Me,
        Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."

He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother'; and, "He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, "If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"--' that is, a gift to God, then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."

When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"

When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?" And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.


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Pauline Epistle

Romans 2:12-24 [Arabic]

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.


Catholic Epistle

2Peter 1:20-end ; 2Peter 2:1-6 [Arabic]

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private Kinterpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;



Acts 26:1-8 [Arabic]

Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You are permitted to speak for yourself."

So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.

"My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?



The Commemoration of the Honorable Angel Michael.
The Commemoration of the revealing of the virginity of St. Demetrius the Twelfth Pope of Alexandria.
The Martyrdom of St. Malachias of Palestine.
The Martyrdom of St. Glathinos in Damascus.



Psalm 9:11 ; Psalm 9:12 [Arabic]

Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion!
        Declare His deeds among the people. When He avenges blood, He remembers them;
        He does not forget the cry of the humble.



Luke 11:45-52 [Arabic]

Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, "Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also."

And He said, "Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore the wisdom of God also said, "I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,' that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

"Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered."

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