Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent
At the Sixth Hour.
The Lesson of the Prophecy of Isaias.
The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying: Surely as I have thought, so shall it be: and as I have purposed, so shall it fall out: That I will destroy the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: and his yoke shall be taken away from them, and his burden shall be taken off their shoulder. This is the counsel, that I have purposed upon all the earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all nations. For the Lord of hosts hath decreed, and who can disannul it? and his hand is stretched out: and who shall turn it away? In the year that king Achaz died, was this burden: rejoice not thou, whole Philistia, that the rod of him that struck thee is broken in pieces: for out of the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk, and his seed shall swallow the bird. And the firstborn of the poor shall be fed, and the poor shall rest with confidence: and I will make thy root perish with famine, and I will kill thy remnant. Howl, O gate; cry, O city: all Philistia is thrown down: for a smoke shall come from the north, and there is none that shall escape his troop. And what shall be answered to the messengers of the nations? That the Lord hath founded Sion, and the poor of his people shall hope in him.
The Lesson of Genesis.
The Lord said: I will no more curse the earth for the sake of man: for the imagination and thought of man’s heart are prone to evil from his youth: therefore I will no more destroy every living soul as I have done. All the days of the earth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, night and day, shall not cease. And God blessed Noe and his sons. And he said to them: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth. And let the fear and dread of you be upon all the beasts of the earth, and upon all the fowls of the air, and all that move upon the earth: all the fishes of the sea are delivered into your hand. And every thing that moveth and liveth shall be meat for you: even as the green herbs have I delivered them all to you: saving that flesh with blood you shall not eat. For I will require the blood of your lives at the hand of every beast, and at the hand of man, at the hand of every man, and of his brother, will I require the life of man. Whosoever shall shed man’s blood, his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God. But increase you and multiply, and go upon the earth, and fill it.
The Lesson of Proverbs.
Clemency prepareth life: and the pursuing of evil things, death. A perverse heart is abominable to the Lord: and his will is in them that walk sincerely. Hand in hand the evil man shall not be innocent: but the seed of the just shall be saved. A golden ring in a swine’s snout, a woman fair and foolish. The desire of the just is all good: the expectation of the wicked is indignation. Some distribute their own goods, and grow richer: others take away what is not their own, and are always in want. The soul which blesseth, shall be made fat: and he that inebriateth, shall be inebriated also himself. He that hideth up corn, shall be cursed among the people: but a blessing upon the head of them that sell. Well doth he rise early who seeketh good things; but he that seeketh after evil things shall be oppressed by them. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the just shall spring up as a green leaf. He that troubleth his own house, shall inherit the winds: and the fool shall serve the wise. The fruit of the just man is a tree of life: and he that gaineth souls, is wise. If the just man receive in the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner. He that loveth correction, loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is foolish. He that is good, shall draw grace from the Lord: but he that trusteth in his own devices doth wickedly. Men shall not be strengthened by wickedness: and the root of the just shall not be moved. A diligent woman is a crown to her husband: and she that doth things worthy of confusion, is a rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the just are judgments: and the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood: the mouth of the just shall deliver them.