Wednesday of the
Fourth Week in Lent
Lesson • Ezechiel 36:23-28
Lesson from the Prophet Ezechiel.
[God will purify our souls and cleanse them from all defilement.]
Thus saith the Lord God: I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the Gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them: that the Gentiles may know that I am the Lord, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.
And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in My commandments, and to keep My judgments and do them. And you shall dwell in the land which I gave you to your fathers: and you shall be My people, and I will be your God: saith the Lord almighty.
Epistle • Isaias 1:16-19
Lesson from the Prophet Isaias.
[Our souls shall be made white as snow.]
Thus saith the Lord God: Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from My eyes: cease to do perversely, learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. And then come and accuse Me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow; and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.
If you be willing, and will hearken to Me, you shall eat the good things of the land; saith the Lord almighty.
Gospel • John 9:1-38
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
[Healing of the man blind from birth, who was sent to wash himself in the pool of Siloe.]
At that time Jesus, passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth: and His disciples asked Him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay upon his eyes, and said to him: Go, wash in the pool of Siloe (which is interpreted, Sent). He went therefore and washed, and he came seeing.
The neighbors therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar, said: Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said: This is he. But others said: No, but he is like him. But he said: I am he. They said therefore to him: How were thine eyes opened? He answered: That man that is called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and said to me: Go to the pool of Siloe, and wash. And I went, I washed, and I see.
And they said to him: Where is He? He saith: I know not. They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Again therefore the Pharisees asked him how he had received his sight. But he said to them: He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see. Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, who keepeth not the Sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say therefore to the blind man again: What sayest thou of Him that hath opened thine eyes? And he said: He is a prophet.
The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight and asked them, saying: Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said: We know that this is our son and that he was born blind; but how he now seeth we know not, or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: ask himself, he is of age, let him speak for himself.
These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves, that if any man should confess Him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore did his parents say: He is of age, ask himself.
They therefore called the man again that had been blind, and said to him: Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. He said therefore to them: If He be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see. They said then to him: What did He to thee? How did He open thine eyes? He answered them: I have told you already, and you have heard: why would you hear it again? Will you also become His disciples?
They reviled him therefore, and said: Be thou His disciple: but we are the disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses: but as to this man, we know not from whence He is.
The man answered and said to them: Why, herein, is a wonderful thing, that you know not from whence He is, and He hath opened my eyes: now we know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God and doth His will, him He heareth. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, He could not do any thing.
They answered and said to him: Thou wast wholly born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and when He had found him, He said to him: Dost thou believe in the Son of God? He answered and said: Who is He Lord, that I may believe in Him? And Jesus said to him: Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said: I believe, Lord (here kneel). And falling down, he adored Him.