Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Epistle • Isaias 38:1-6
Lesson from the Prophet Isaias.
[The Epistle of today inculcates the spirit of prayer which forms part of the forty days penance. It was by prayer that Ezechias obtained a prolongation of his life;and it is by prayer that we shall obtain from God the strength to mortify ourselves in order that we may gain the pardon of our sins, and win the healing remedy for our souls unto life everlasting..]
In those days Ezechias was sick even to death, and Isaias the son of Amos the prophet came unto him, and said to him: Thus saith the Lord: Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live. And Ezechias turned his face towards the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said: I beseech Thee, O Lord, remember how I have walked before Thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight. And Ezechias wept with great weeping.
And the word of the Lord came to Isaias, saying: Go and say to Ezechias: Thus saith the Lord the God of David thy father: I have heard thy prayer, and I have seen thy tears: behold I will add to thy days fifteen years: and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of the Assyrians, and I will protect it, saith the Lord Almighty.
Gospel • Matthew 8:5-13
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[It was by the prayer of faith that the centurion obtained the healing of his servant.]
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this: Go, and he goeth; and to another: Come, and he cometh; and to my servant: Do this, and he doeth it.
And Jesus hearing this, marveled, and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.