Wednesday of Ember Week in Lent
Lesson • Exodus 24:12-18
Lesson from the Book of Exodus.
[Moses, before seeing the glory of the Lord, fasted forty days and forty nights.]
In those days the Lord said to Moses: Come up to Me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and the law, and the commandments which I have written: that thou mayest teach the children of Israel. Moses rose up, and his minister Josue; and Moses going up into the mount of God, said to the ancients: Wait ye here till we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you; if any question shall arise, you shall refer it to them.
And when Moses was gone up, a cloud covered the mount, and the glory of the Lord dwelt upon Sinai, covering it with a cloud six days; and the seventh day He called him out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like a burning fire upon the top of the mount, in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses, entering into the midst of the cloud, went up into the mountain; and he was there forty days and forty nights.
Epistle • III Kings 19:3-8
Lesson from the Book of Kings.
[Elias, before walking unto Horeb and seeing the glory of the Lord, fasted forty days and forty nights in the desert.]
In those days Elias came to Bersabee of Juda, and left his servant there, and he went forward, one days journey into the desert. And when he was there, and sat under a juniper tree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: It is enough for me, Lord, take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers. And he cast himself down, and slept in the shadow of the juniper tree:
and behold an Angel of the Lord touched him, and said to him: Arise and eat. He looked, and behold there was at his head a hearth cake, and a vessel of water: and he ate and drank, and fell asleep again. And the Angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said to him: Arise, eat: for thou hast yet a great way to go. And he arose, and ate, and drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, unto the mount of God, Horeb.
Gospel • Matthew 12:38-50
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[We are all called to take the place of the rebellious Jews: let us make ourselves worthy of the fruits of penance as did the men of Ninive, who listened to the voice of Jonas, and the queen of Saba, who came from her country to learn the wisdom of Solomon. We shall share then in the Resurrection of Our Savior Jesus Christ, symbolized by the prophet Jonas, who, after remaining three days in the whales belly, was vomited out alive.]
At that time some of the Scribes and Pharisees answered Jesus, saying: Master, we would see a sign from Thee. Who answering said to them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the Prophet. For as Jonas was in the whales belly three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon is here.
And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation.
As He was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold His Mother and His brethren stood without, seeking to speak to Him. And one said unto Him: Behold Thy Mother and Thy brethren stand without, seeking Thee. But He answering him that told Him, said: Who is My mother and who are My brethren? And stretching forth His hands towards His disciples, He said: Behold My mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father that is in Heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.