Friday of Ember Week in Lent
Epistle • Ezechiel 18:20-28
Lesson from the Prophet Ezechiel.
[The Church reminds sinners by the mouth of Ezechiel that God is ready to forgive them if they repent.]
Thus saith the Lord God: the soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed and keep all My commandments, and do judgment and justice: living he shall live, and shall not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice, which he hath wrought, he shall live. Is it My will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways and live?
But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? All his justices which he hath done shall not be remembered: in the prevarication by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin which he hath committed, in them he shall die.
And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it My way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse? For when the just turneth himself away from his justice and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die. And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment and justice, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live and not die, saith the Lord Almighty.
Gospel • John 5:1-15
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
[Jesus heals the paralytic: Jesus washes our souls in the waters of Baptism, and when fallen back into sin, in the Sacrament of Penance.]
At that time there was a festival day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered, waiting for the moving of the water. And an Angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond, and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.
And there was a certain man there that had been eight and thirty years under his infirmity. Him when Jesus had seen lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, He saith to him: Will thou be made whole? The infirm man answered Him: Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond: for whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me. Jesus saith to him: Arise, take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed and walked. And it was the Sabbath that day.
The Jews therefore said to him that was healed: It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed. He answered them: He that made me whole, He said to me: Take up thy bed and walk. They asked him therefore: Who is that man who said to thee, Take up thy bed and walk? But he who was healed knew not who it was. For Jesus went aside from the multitude standing in the place.
Afterwards Jesus findeth him in the temple, and saith to him: Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee. The man went his way, and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him whole.