Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent
Epistle • 3 Kings 17:8-16
Lesson from the Third Book of Kings.
[The lesson tells of Elias going to a heathen woman, a poor widow of Sarepta, to ask for nourishment, when a drought had fallen on impenitent Israel. The widow took two pieces of wood and prepared a hearth cake for the prophet and one for herself. Her charity and her compassion were rewarded, for never after did she want for bread. Whereas the Israelites suffered from the scarcity, the Gentiles as a reward for their faith and fidelity, receive daily the Eucharistic Bread, which applies to them the merits gained for them by our Redeemer on the Cross.]
In those days the word of the Lord came to Elias the Thesbite, saying: Arise, and go to Sarepta of the Sidonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee. He arose, and went to Sarepta.
And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse: behold I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
And Elias said to her: Fear not, but go and do as thou hast said: but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth cake, and bring it to me: and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth.
She went, and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she, and her house: and from that day the pot of meal wasted not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke in the hand of Elias.
Gospel • Matthew 23:1-12
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ declares that the Jews who taught the law of Moses, did not observe it. The Kingdom of God is open to the heathen, who by Baptism become disciples of Christ and accomplish His works.]
At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The Scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do; but according to their works do ye not; for they say and do not.
For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on mens shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men; for they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and salutations in the marketplace, and to be called by men Rabbi.
But be not you called Rabbi: for one is your master, and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth; for one is your Father, Who is in Heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.