(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Third Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 14 : 15 – Exodus 15 : 1

YHVH said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. You will raise your staff and stretch your hand over the sea and divide it to let the Israelites go dryfoot through the sea. I will so harden the minds of the Egyptians that they will follow you. And I will have glory at the expense of Pharaoh, his army, his chariots and horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am YHVH when I gain glory for Myself at the cost of Pharaoh and his army!”

The Angel of God who had gone ahead of the Israelites now placed Himself behind them. The pillar of cloud changed its position from the front to the rear, between the camps of the Israelites and the Egyptians. For one army the cloud provided light, for the other darkness so that throughout the night the armies drew no closer to each other. Moses stretched his hand over the sea and YHVH made a strong east wind blow all night and dry up the sea.

The waters divided and the sons of Israel went on dry ground through the middle of the sea, with the waters forming a wall to their right and to their left. The Egyptians followed them and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and horsemen moved forward in the middle of the sea.

It happened that in the morning watch, YHVH in the pillar of cloud and fire, looked towards the Egyptian camp and threw it into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly move. Then the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites for YHVH is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then YHVH said to Moses, “Stretch your hand over the sea and let the waters come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.

At daybreak the sea returned to its place. As the Egyptians tried to flee, YHVH swept them into the sea. The waters flowed back and engulfed the chariots and horsemen of the whole army of Pharaoh that had followed Israel into the sea. Not one of them escaped. As for the Israelites they went forward on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the waters forming a wall on their right and their left.

On that day YHVH delivered Israel from the power of the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore. They understood what wonders YHVH had done for them against Egypt, and the people feared YHVH. They believed in YHVH and in Moses, His servant.

Then Moses and the people sang this song to YHVH : I will sing to YHVH, the glorious One, horse and rider He has thrown into the sea.

Sunday, 28 February 2016 : Third Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Exodus 3 : 1-8a, 13-15

Moses pastured the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. One day he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the Mountain of God. The Angel of YHVH appeared to him by means of a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that although the bush was on fire it did not burn up. Moses thought, “I will go and see this amazing sight, why is the bush not burning up?”

YHVH saw that Moses was drawing near to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He replied, “Here I am.” YHVH said to him, “Do not come near; take off your sandals because the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

And God continued, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face lest his eyes look on God. YHVH said, “I have seen the humiliation of Mu people in Egypt and I hear their cry when they are cruelly treated by their taskmasters. I know their suffering. I have come down to free them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a beautiful spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Moses answered God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them : ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ they will ask me : ‘What is His Name?’ What shall I answer them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO AM. This is what you will say to the sons of Israel : ‘I AM sent me to you.” God then said to Moses, “You will say to the Israelites : ‘YHVH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me.’ That will be My Name forever, and by this Name they shall call upon Me for all generations to come.”

Alternative reading (from Readings of Year A)

Exodus 17 : 3-7

But the people thirsted for water there and grumbled against Moses, “Why did you make us leave Egypt to have us die of thirst with our children and our cattle?” So Moses cried to YHVH, “What shall I do with the people? They are almost ready to stone me!”

YHVH said to Moses, “Go ahead of the people and take with you the elders of Israel. Take with you the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you on the rock at Horeb. You will strike the rock and water will flow from it and the people will drink.”

Moses did this in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah because of the complaints of the Israelites, who tested YHVH saying, “Is YHVH with us or not?”

Sunday, 14 February 2016 : First Sunday of Advent, Memorial of St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodius, Bishop, Patron Saints of Europe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 26 : 4-10

Moses said, “Then the priest shall take the large basket from your hands and place it before the Altar of YHVH, your God, and you shall say these words before YHVH, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean. He went down to Egypt to find refuge there, while still few in number; but in that country, he became a great and powerful nation.'”

“‘The Egyptians maltreated us, oppressed us and subjected us to harsh slavery. So we called to YHVH, the God of our ancestors, and YHVH listened to us. He saw our humiliation, our hard labour and the oppression to which we were subjected. He brought us out of Egypt with a firm hand, manifesting His power with signs and awesome wonders.'”

“‘And He brought us here to give us this land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring and offer the first fruits of the land which You, YHVH, have given me.'”

Friday, 2 October 2015 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 23 : 20-23

YHVH said to Moses, “See, I am sending an Angel before you to keep you safe on the way and bring you to the place I have made ready. Be on your guard in His presence and listen to Him; do not resist Him for He will not pardon your wrongdoing, for My Name is in Him.”

“If you listen to Him and do what I say, I will be enemy to your enemies and the opponent of your opponents. My Angel will go before you and bring you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; all these I will destroy.”

Thursday, 6 August 2015 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 9 : 2-10

At that time, six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain. There His appearance was changed before their eyes. Even His clothes shone, becoming as white as no bleach of this world could make them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them; the two were talking with Jesus.

Then Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say : they were overcome with awe. But a cloud formed, covering them in a shadow, and from the cloud came a voice, “This is My Son, the Beloved; listen to Him.”

And suddenly, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus with them. As they came down the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept this to themselves, although they discussed with one another what ‘to rise from the dead’ could mean.

Friday, 24 July 2015 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Sharbel Makhluf, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Exodus 20 : 1-17

God spoke all these words. He said, “I am YHVH your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

“Do not have other gods before Me.”

“Do not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, YHVH your God, am a jealous God; for the sin of the fathers, when they rebel against Me, I punish the sons, the grandsons and the great-grandsons; but I show steadfast love until the thousandth generation for those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

“Do not take the Name of YHVH your God in vain for YHVH will not leave unpunished anyone who takes His Name in vain.”

“Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you will labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath for YHVH your God. Do not work that day, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals, nor the stranger who is staying with you. For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested; that is why YHVH has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”

“Honour your father and your mother that you may have a long life in the land that YHVH has given you.”

“Do not kill.”

“Do not commit adultery.”

“Do not steal.”

“Do not give false witness against your neighbour.”

“Do not covet your neighbour’s house. Do not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.”

Monday, 23 February 2015 : 1st Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Leviticus 19 : 1-2, 11-18

YHVH spoke to Moses and said, “Speak to the entire assembly of the people of Israel and say to them : Be holy for I, YHVH, your God, am holy. Do not steal or lie or deceive one another. Do not swear falsely by My Name so as to profane the Name of your God; I am YHVH.”

“Do not oppress your neighbour or rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse a deaf man nor put a stumbling block in the way of the blind; but you shall fear your God; I am YHVH.”

“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor nor bow to the great; you are to judge your neighbour fairly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not go about as a slanderer of your people and do not seek the death of your neighbour; I am YHVH.”

“Do not hate your brother in your heart; rebuke your neighbour frankly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or nurture a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself; I am YHVH.”