Tuesday of the
Third Week in Lent
Epistle • 4 Kings 4:1-7
Lesson from the Fourth Book of Kings.
[This Epistle shows us in the wondrous increase of a small quantity of oil at the word of Eliseus, by the sale of which a poor widow was enabled to pay an inhuman creditor, a figure of the mercy of Our Lord, Whose infinite merits supply the ransom for our sins.]
In those days a certain woman cried to the prophet Eliseus, saying: Thy servant my husband is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared God: and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him. And Eliseus said to her: What wilt thou have me to do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in thy house? And she answered: I thy handmaid have nothing in my house but a little oil to anoint me.
And he said to her: Go, borrow of all thy neighbors empty vessels not a few. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within, and thy sons; and pour out thereof into all those vessels: and when they are full take them away. So the woman went, and shut the door upon her, and upon her sons: they brought her the vessels, and she poured in. And when the vessels were full, she said to her son: Bring me yet a vessel. And he answered: I have no more. And the oil stood. And she came, and told the man of God. And he said: Go, sell the oil, and pay thy creditor: and thou and thy sons live on the rest.
Gospel • Matthew 18:15-22
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[The clemency or mercy of the Jews was content to forgive three times; Jesus says here in the Gospel that we are to forgive seventy times seven times, that is: always.]
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the Church. And if he will not hear the Church: let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in Heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in Heaven.
Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father Who is in Heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My Name, there I am in the midst of them.
Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee till seven times, but till seventy times seven times.