Thursday, 17 August 2017 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Joshua 3 : 7-10a, 11, 13-17

Then YHVH said to Joshua : "Today I will begin to make you great in the eyes of Israel and they shall known that I am with you as I was with Moses. Give this order to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant : As soon as you come to the banks of the Jordan, stand still in the river."

And Joshua said to the Israelites : "Come nearer and listen to the words of YHVH, our God. Do you want a sign that YHVH, the living God, is in your midst? See, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to cross the Jordan before you. When the priests who carry the Ark of the Lord of all the earth put their feet into the water of the Jordan, the water coming from the upstream shall stop flowing and stand in one single mass."

When the people set out from their camp to cross the Jordan, the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant went before them. There was much water in the Jordan, for it was overflowing its banks at this time of the barley harvest. Nevertheless, when those who carried the Ark went down to the river and their feet touched the edge of the water, the water from upstream stopped flowing.

The water stood still, forming something like a dam very far from that place, near Adam, the neighbouring city of Zarethan. The water flowing down to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and so the people could cross opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant remained in the middle of the river which dried up, until all the Israelites had crossed the Jordan.

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