Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent
At the Sixth Hour.
The Lesson of the Prophecy of Isaias.
Thus saith the Lord: For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel: and the man of Juda, his pleasant plant: and I looked that he should do judgment, and behold iniquity: and do justice, and behold a cry. Woe to you that join house to house and lay field to field, even to the end of the place: shall you alone dwell in the midst of the earth? These things are in my ears, saith the Lord of hosts: unless many great and fair houses shall become desolate, without an inhabitant. For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one little measure, and thirty bushels of seed shall yield three bushels. Woe to you that rise up early in the morning to follow drunkenness, and to drink till the evening, to be inflamed with wine. The harp, and the lyre, and the timbrel, and the pipe, and wine are in your feasts: and the work of the Lord you regard not, nor do you consider the works of his hands. Therefore is my people led away captive, because they had not knowledge, and their nobles have perished with famine, and their multitude were dried up with thirst. Therefore hath hell enlarged her soul, and opened her mouth without any bounds, and their strong ones, and their people, and their high and glorious ones shall go down into it. And man shall be brought down, and man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be brought low. And the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and the holy God shall be sanctified in justice.
The Lesson of Genesis.
And Cain said to Abel his brother: Let us go forth abroad. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and slew him. And the Lord said to Cain: Where is thy brother Abel? And he answered, I know not: am I my brother’s keeper? And he said to him: What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth. Now, therefore, cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which hath opened her mouth and received the blood of thy brother at thy hand. When thou shalt till it, it shall not yield to thee its fruit: a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be upon the earth. And Cain said to the Lord: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon. Behold thou dost cast me out this day from the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from thy face, and I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth: every one, therefore, that findeth me, shall kill me. And the Lord said to him: No, it shall not be so: but whosoever shall kill Cain, shall be punished sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, that whosoever found him should not kill him.
The Lesson of Proverbs.
My son, attend to my wisdom, and incline thy ear to my prudence. That thou mayst keep thoughts, and thy lips may preserve instruction. Mind not the deceit of a woman. For the lips of a harlot are like a honeycomb dropping, and her throat is smoother than oil. But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down into death, and her steps go in as far as hell. They walk not by the path of life, her steps are wandering, and unaccountable. Now therefore, my son, hear me, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the doors of her house. Give not thy honour to strangers, and thy years to the cruel. Lest strangers be filled with thy strength, and thy labours be in another man’s house, and thou mourn it the last, when thou shalt have spent thy flesh and thy body, and say: Why have I hated instruction, and my heart consented not to reproof, and have not heard the voice of them that taught me, and have not inclined my ear to masters? I have almost been in all evil, in the midst of the church and of the congregation. Drink water out of thy own cistern, and the streams of thy own well.