Friday in the Second Week of Lent
At the Sixth Hour.
The Lesson of the Prophecy of Isaias.
And it came to pass in the days of Achaz the son of Joathan, the son of Ozias, king of Juda, that Basin king of Syria, and Phacee the son of Romelia king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem, to fight against it: but they could not prevail over it. And they told the house of David, saying: Syria hath rested upon Ephraim, and his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind. And the Lord said to Isaias: Go forth to meet Achaz, thou and Jasub thy son that is left, to the conduit of the upper pool, in the way of the fuller’s field. And thou shalt say to him: See thou be quiet: fear not, and let not thy heart be afraid of the two tails of these fire brands, smoking with the wrath of the fury of Rasin king of Syria, and of the son of Romelia. Because Syria hath taken counsel against thee, unto the evil of Ephraim and the son of Romelia, saying: Let us go up to Juda, and rouse it up, and draw it away to us, and make the son of Tabeel king in the midst thereof. Thus saith the Lord God: It shall not stand, and this shall not be. But the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Basin: and within threescore and five years, Ephraim shall cease to be a people: and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria the son of Romelia. If you will not believe, you shall not continue. And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign.
The Lesson of Genesis.
And Noe, when he was five hundred years old, begot Sem, Cham, and Japheth. And after that men began to be multiplied upon the earth, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took to themselves wives of all which they chose. And God said: My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown. And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, it repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, He said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noe found grace before the Lord.
The Lesson of Proverbs.
My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. Bind them in thy heart continually, and put them about thy neck. When thou walkest, let them go with thee: when thou sleepest, let them keep thee; and when thou awakest, talk with them. Because the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: that they may keep thee from the evil woman, and from the flattering tongue of the stranger. Let not thy heart covet her beauty, be not caught with her winks: for the price of a harlot is scarce one loaf: but the woman catcheth the precious soul of a man. Can a man hide fire in his bosom, and his garments not burn? Or can he walk upon hot coals, and his feet not be burnt? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife, shall not be clean when he shall touch her. The fault is not so great when a man hath stolen: for he stealeth to fill his hungry soul: and if he be taken he shall restore sevenfold, and shall give up all the substance of his house. But he that is an adulterer, for the folly of his heart shall destroy his own soul: he gathereth to himself shame and dishonour, and his reproach shall not be blotted out: because the jealousy and rage of the husband will not spare in the day of revenge, nor will he yield to any man’s prayers, nor will he accept for satisfaction ever so many gifts. My son, keep my words, and lay up my precepts with thee. Son, keep my commandments, and thou shalt live: and my law as the apple of thy eye.