Esther - Chapter 1
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2 In those days, when King Ahasuerus was sitting on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,
3 in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet at his court for all his officers-of-state and ministers, Persian and Median army-commanders, nobles and provincial governors.
4 Thus he displayed the riches and splendour of his empire and the pomp and glory of his majesty; the festivities went on for a long time, a hundred and eighty days.
6 There were white and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple thread to silver rings on marble columns, couches of gold and silver on a pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones.
10 On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven officers in attendance on the person of King Ahasuerus,
13 Addressing himself to the wise men who were versed in the law -- it being the practice to refer matters affecting the king to expert lawyers and jurists-
14 he summoned Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, seven Persian and Median officers-of-state who had privileged access to the royal presence and occupied the leading positions in the kingdom.
16 In the presence of the king and the officers-of-state, Memucan replied, 'Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also all the officers-of-state and all the peoples inhabiting the provinces of King Ahasuerus.
17 The queen's conduct will soon become known to all the women, who will adopt a contemptuous attitude towards their own husbands. They will say, "King Ahasuerus himself commanded Queen Vashti to appear before him and she did not come."
18 Before the day is out, the wives of the Persian and Median officers-of-state will be telling every one of the king's officers-of-state what they have heard about the queen's behaviour; and that will mean contempt and anger all round.
19 If it is the king's pleasure, let him issue a royal edict, to be irrevocably incorporated into the laws of the Persians and Medes, to the effect that Vashti is never to appear again before King Ahasuerus, and let the king confer her royal dignity on a worthier woman.
20 Let this edict issued by the king be proclaimed throughout his empire -- which is great -- and all the women will henceforth bow to the authority of their husbands, both high and low alike.'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
Gospel, Mark 10:35-45
Reading 2, Hebrews 4:14-16
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