Readings for Thursday of the seventh week of Great Lent

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Prophecy

Proverbs 11:13-26 ; Isaiah 65:8-16 ; Job 42:1-6 ; 2 Kings 6:8-end ; 2 Kings 7:1-20 [Arabic]

Proverbs 11:13-26

A talebearer reveals secrets,
        But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
        Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
        But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
        He who is surety for a stranger will suffer,
        But one who hates being surety is secure.
        A gracious woman retains honor,
        But ruthless men retain riches.
        The merciful man does good for his own soul,
        But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
        The wicked man does deceptive work,
        But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
        As righteousness leads to life,
        So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
        Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD,
        But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
        Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
        But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.
        As a ring of gold in a swine's snout,
        So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
        The desire of the righteous is only good,
        But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
        There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
        And there is one who withholds more than is right,
        But it leads to poverty.
        The generous soul will be made rich,
        And he who waters will also be watered himself.
        The people will curse him who withholds grain,
        But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.



Isaiah 65:8-16

Thus says the LORD:
        "As the new wine is found in the cluster,
        And one says, "Do not destroy it,
        For a blessing is in it,'
        So will I do for My servants' sake,
        That I may not destroy them all.
        I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
        And from Judah an heir of My mountains;
        My elect shall inherit it,
        And My servants shall dwell there.
        Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
        And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
        For My people who have sought Me.
        "But you are those who forsake the LORD,
        Who forget My holy mountain,
        Who prepare a table for Gad,
        And who furnish a drink offering for Meni.
        Therefore I will number you for the sword,
        And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
        Because, when I called, you did not answer;
        When I spoke, you did not hear,
        But did evil before My eyes,
        And chose that in which I do not delight."

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
        "Behold, My servants shall eat,
        But you shall be hungry;
        Behold, My servants shall drink,
        But you shall be thirsty;
        Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
        But you shall be ashamed;
        Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
        But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
        And wail for grief of spirit.
        You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;
        For the Lord GOD will slay you,
        And call His servants by another name;
        So that he who blesses himself in the earth
        Shall bless himself in the God of truth;
        And he who swears in the earth
        Shall swear by the God of truth;
        Because the former troubles are forgotten,
        And because they are hidden from My eyes.



Job 42:1-6
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
        "I know that You can do everything,
        And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
        You asked, "Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?'
        Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
        Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
        Listen, please, and let me speak;
        You said, "I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'
        "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
        But now my eye sees You.
        Therefore I abhor myself,
        And repent in dust and ashes."


2 Kings 6:8-end ; 2 Kings 7:1-20
Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, "My camp will be in such and such a place." And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there." Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.
Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?"
And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."
So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him."
And it was told him, saying, "Surely he is in Dothan."
Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"
So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, "Strike this people, I pray, with blindness." And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
Now Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." But he led them to Samaria.
So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, "LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see." And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria!
Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, "My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?"
But he answered, "You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master." Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.

And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.
Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, "Help, my lord, O king!"
And he said, "If the LORD does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?" Then the king said to her, "What is troubling you?"
And she answered, "This woman said to me, "Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.' So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, "Give your son, that we may eat him'; but she has hidden her son."
Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body. Then he said, "God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!"
But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, "Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?" And while he was still talking with them, there was the messenger, coming down to him; and then the king said, "Surely this calamity is from the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?"

Then Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: "Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria."'
So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, "Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?"
And he said, "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it."

Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, "We will enter the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die." And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses--the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!" Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact--their tents, their horses, and their donkeys--and they fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.
Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king's household." So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, "We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound--only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact." And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king's household inside.
So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, "Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, "When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city."'
And one of his servants answered and said, "Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see." Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, "Go and see." And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD.
Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, "Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria."
Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, "Now look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?"
And he had said, "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it." And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.

Psalm

Psalm 63:1 [Arabic]

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
 

Gospel

Matthew 20:20-28 [Arabic]

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.

And He said to her, "What do you wish?"

She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom."

But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"

They said to Him, "We are able."

So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father."

And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

 

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Pauline Epistle

2Corinthians 4:5-18 [Arabic]

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Catholic Epistle

1John 3:13-24 [Arabic]

Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

 

Acts

Acts 25:23-27 ; Acts 26:1-6 [Arabic]

So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus' command Paul was brought in. And Festus said: "King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was not fit to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death, and that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him. I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him."

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.

 

Synaxarium

The Departure Of the St. Anba Khail (Mikhail) the Fifty Six Pope of the See of St. Mark.
Raising of Lazarus from the dead.

 

Psalm

Psalm 122:1-2 [Arabic]

I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go into the house of the LORD."
Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

 

Gospel

Mark 12:18-27 [Arabic]

Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife."

Jesus answered and said to them, "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken."

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