Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent
At the Sixth Hour.
The Lesson of the Prophecy of Isaias.
Thus saith the Lord: Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, who rule over my people that is in Jerusalem. For you have said: We have entered into a league with death, and we have made a covenant with hell. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come upon us: for we have placed our hope in lies, and by falsehood we are protected. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will lay a stone in the foundations of Sion, a tried stone, a corner stone, a precious stone, founded in the foundation. He that believeth, let him not hasten. And I will set judgment in weight, and justice in measure: and hail shall overturn the hope of falsehood: and waters shall overflow its protection. And your league with death shall be abolished, and your covenant with hell shall not stand: when the overflowing scourge shall pass, you shall be trodden down by it. Whensoever it shall pass through, it shall take you away: because in the morning early it shall pass through, in the day and in the night, and vexation alone shall make you understand what you hear. For the bed is straitened, so that one must fall out, and a short covering cannot cover both. For the Lord shall stand up as in the mountain of divisions: he shall be angry as in the valley which is in Gabaon: that he may do his work, his strange work: that he may perform his work, his work is strange to him. And now do not mock, lest your bonds be tied strait. For I have heard of the Lord the God of hosts a consumption and a cutting short upon all the earth.
The Lesson of Genesis.
These are the families of Noe, according to their peoples and nations. By these were the nations divided on the earth after the flood. And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech. And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it. And each one said to his neighbour: Come, let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar. And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building. And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed. Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another’s speech. And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city. And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.
The Lesson of Proverbs.
The desire that is accomplished, delighteth the soul: fools hate them that flee from evil things. He that walketh with the wise, shall be wise: a friend of fools shall become like to them. Evil pursueth sinners: and to the just good shall be repaid. The good man leaveth heirs, sons, and grandsons: and the substance of the sinner is kept for the just. Much food is in the tillage of fathers: but for others it is gathered with out judgment. He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes. The just eateth and filleth his soul: but the belly of the wicked is never to be filled. A wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish will pull down with her hands that also which is built. He that walketh in the right way, and feareth God, is despised by him that goeth by an infamous way. In the mouth of a fool is the rod of pride: but the lips of the wise preserve them. Where there are no oxen, the crib is empty: but where there is much corn, there the strength of the ox is manifest. A faithful witness will not lie: but a deceitful witness uttereth a lie. A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: the learning of the wise is easy.