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Ember Wednesday in September

Epistle  •  Amos 9:13-14

Lesson from the Prophet Amos.

[The prophet foretells the destruction of the kingdom of Israel and its future restoration.]

Thus saith the Lord God: Behold the days come, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed, and the mountains shall drop sweetness, and every hill shall be tilled.

And I will bring back the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the abandoned cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine of them; and shall make gardens, and eat the fruits of them: and I will plant them upon their own land: and I will no more pluck them out of their land which I have given them; saith the Lord thy God.

Epistle  •  2 Esdras 8:1-10

Lesson from the second Book of Esdras.

[Amos the prophet had foretold the destruction of the kingdom of Israel and its future restoration. Nehemias indeed, and Esdras, brought back the captives from Babylon and rebuilt Jerusalem. On the first day of the seventh month (September) the Jews all assembled, and Esdras, the priest, read the law of Moses and said to the Jews: “This is a holy day to the Lord our God…”]

In those days all the people were gathered together as one man, to the street which is before the water-gate, and they spoke to Esdras the scribe, to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. Then Esdras the priest brought the law before the multitude of men and women, and all those that could understand, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read it plainly in the street that was before the water-gate, from the morning until mid-day, before the men and women, and all those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book.

And Esdras the scribe stood upon a step of wood, which he made to speak upon. And he opened the book before all the people, for he was above all the people; and when he had opened it, all the people stood. And Esdras blessed the Lord the great God, and all the people answered: Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands: and they bowed down, and adored God, with their faces to the ground.

Now the Levites made silence among the people to hear the law; and the people stood in their place: and they read in the book of the law of God distinctly and plainly to be understood; and they understood when it was read. And Nehemias, and Esdras the priest and scribe, and the Levites who interpreted to all the people, said: This is a holy day to the Lord our God; do not mourn nor weep. And he said to them: Go, eat fat meats and drink sweet wine, and send portions to them that have not prepared for themselves; because it is the holy day of the Lord, and be not sad, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Gospel  •  Mark 9:16-28

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Mark.  

[The devil is cast out. The impure spirit can only be dispelled by prayer and fasting: “This kind can go out by nothing,” said Jesus, “but by prayer and fasting.”]

At that time, one of the multitude, answering, said to Jesus: Master, I have brought to Thee my son, having a dumb spirit: who, wheresoever he taketh him, dasheth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with the teeth, and pineth away; and I spoke to Thy disciples to cast him out, and they could not. Who, answering them, said: O incredulous generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him unto Me.

And they brought him: and when He had seen him, immediately the spirit troubled him; and being thrown down upon the ground he rolled about foaming. And He asked his father: How long time is it since this happened unto him? But he said: From his infancy: and oftentimes hath he cast him into the fire and into the waters to destroy him. But if Thou canst do anything, help us, having compassion on us.

And Jesus saith to him: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And immediately the father of the boy crying out, with tears, said: I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief. And when Jesus saw the multitude running together, He threatened the unclean spirit, saying to him: Deaf and dumb spirit, I command thee, go out of him, and enter not any more into him. And crying out and greatly tearing him, he went out of him; and he became as dead, so that many said: He is dead.

But Jesus, taking him by the hand, lifted him up, and he arose. And when He was come into the house, His disciples secretly asked Him: Why could not we cast him out? And He said to them: This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.