O God, by your Word you marvellously carry out the work of reconciliation: Grant that in our Lenten fast we may be devoted to you with all our hearts, and united with one another in prayer and holy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Readings

Genesis 41:1–13

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream

After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and there came up out of the Nile seven sleek and fat cows, and they grazed in the reed grass. Then seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. The ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke. Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. Then seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them. The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and it was a dream. In the morning his spirit was troubled; so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, ‘I remember my faults today. Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard. We dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning. A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each according to his dream. As he interpreted to us, so it turned out; I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.’

Psalm 55

Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
 do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
 I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
 because of the clamour of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
 and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
 the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
 and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, ‘O that I had wings like a dove!
 I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
 I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
 from the raging wind and tempest.’

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
 for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
 on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
 do not depart from its market–place.

It is not enemies who taunt me—
 I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
 I could hide from them.
But it is you, my equal,
 my companion, my familiar friend,
with whom I kept pleasant company;
 we walked in the house of God with the throng.
Let death come upon them;
 let them go down alive to Sheol;
 for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

But I call upon God,
 and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
 I utter my complaint and moan,
 and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed
 from the battle that I wage,
 for many are arrayed against me.
God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah
 will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
 and do not fear God.

My companion laid hands on a friend
 and violated a covenant with me
with speech smoother than butter,
 but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
 but in fact were drawn swords.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
 and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
 the righteous to be moved.

But you, O God, will cast them down
 into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
 shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

I Corinthians 4:1–7

The Ministry of the Apostles

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgement before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.

I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, ‘Nothing beyond what is written’, so that none of you will be puffed up in favour of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?

St. Mark 2:23–3:6

Pronouncement about the Sabbath

One sabbath he was going through the cornfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?’ And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.’ Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.’

The Man with a Withered Hand

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.


“If we can only start to make sacrifices in the small things…then it will be much easier to say no to the world and the flesh when we have to make big decisions.”
— excerpt from Road to Reality
by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, Metropolitan

Fasting

Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups sliced peeled apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter

Method

  1. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a greased dish in alternate layers with the apples.
  2. Boil the sugar, water, seasonings and butter for two minutes, then pour over the contents of the baking dish.
  3. Bake in moderate 350℉ oven for about 40 minutes, until apples and potatoes are tender and syrup has cooked down thick.
  4. Place under broiler for a few minutes if necessary to brown the top.

Giving

Most of us take for granted the water which flows freely from our taps. But for many villages in South Asia, this basic life necessity is often in short supply. Village wells may dry up—especially during drought season—and it is not unusual for families to walk several miles just to find water for their household needs.

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Source for Collects: The Collects are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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