FIRST READING: Ezra 1: 1 - 6
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of the Persians, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of the Persians: and he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and in writing also, saying:
2 Thus saith Cyrus king of the Persians: The Lord the God of heaven hath given to me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judea.
3 Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him. Let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judea, and build the house of the Lord the God of Israel: he is the God that is in Jerusalem.
4 And let all the rest in all places wheresoever they dwell, help him every man from his place. with silver and gold, and goods, and cattle, besides that which they offer freely to the temple of God, which is in Jerusalem.
5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Juda and Benjamin, and the priests, and Levites, and every one whose spirit God had raised up, to go up to build the temple of the Lord, which was in Jerusalem.
6 And all they that were round about, helped their hands with vessels of silver, and gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with furniture, besides what they had offered on their own accord.
1 When the lord brought back the captivity of Sion, we became like men comforted.
2 Then was our mouth filled with gladness; and our tongue with joy. Then shall they say among the Gentiles: The Lord hath done great things for them.
3 The Lord hath done great things for us: we are become joyful.
4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as a stream in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 Going they went and wept, casting their seeds.
16 Now no man lighting a candle covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it upon a candlestick, that they who come in may see the light.
17 For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad.
18 Take heed therefore how you hear. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given: and whosoever hath not, that also which he thinketh he hath, shall be taken away from him.