First Reading: Ex. 4:1-18
Signs for Moses 1
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?" 2
Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied. 3
The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4
Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5
"This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you." 6
Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, [a]
like snow. 7
"Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh. 8
Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. 9
But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground." 10
Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." 11
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." 13
But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." 14
Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. 15
You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16
He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17
But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."
Moses Returns to Egypt 18
Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive."
Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."Footnotes:
Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word was used for various diseases affecting the skin-not necessarily leprosy.
Second Reading: Mk. 15:1-15
Jesus Before Pilate 1
Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. 2
"Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. 3
The chief priests accused him of many things. 4
So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of." 5
But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. 6
Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7
A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8
The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9
"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10
knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12
"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them. 13
"Crucify him!" they shouted. 14
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" 15
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.