Thursday in Passion Week
Epistle • Daniel 3:25, 34-45
Lesson from the Prophet Daniel.
[Daniel recalls the humiliation of the Israelites who were delivered to their enemies on account of their sins. Prayer of Azarias.]
In those days Azarias prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord our God; deliver us not up for ever, we beseech Thee, for Thy Names sake, and abolish not Thy covenant: and take not away Thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham Thy beloved, and Isaac Thy servant, and Israel Thy holy one: to whom Thou hast spoken, promising that Thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of Heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore: for we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins.
Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of firstfruits before Thee, that we may find Thy mercy: nevertheless in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in Thy sight this day, that it may please Thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in Thee. And now we follow Thee with all our heart, and we fear Thee, and seek Thy face.
Put us not to confusion: but deal with us according to Thy meekness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies. And deliver us according to Thy wonderful works, and give glory to Thy Name, O Lord: and let all them be confounded that show evils to Thy servants, let them be confounded in all Thy might, and let their strength be broken: and let them know that Thou art the Lord the only God, and glorious over all the world, O Lord our God.
Gospel • Luke 7:36-50
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
[Conversion of Magdalen who throws herself at the feet of Jesus and sheds tears of repentance. Let us, like Magdalen, weep for our sins, and generously expiate them.]
At that time one of the Pharisees desired Jesus to eat with him. and He went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster box of ointment: and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that touched Him: that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it.
A certain creditor had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most? Simon answering said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.
And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.