Tuesday of the Sixth Week

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April 7, 2020

from the Lenten Triodion, at Orthros


Wasted by the disease of sin, I lie on the bed of despair. O Physician of the sick, visit me in Thy love for mankind; and, most merciful, let me not sleep shamefully in death, but enable me to cry with all my heart to Thee: Bestower of mercy, O Lord, glory to Thee.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Rich by nature, O Christ, Thou hast by Thine own choice become poor; and Thou Who fillest every living thing with plenteousness hast willingly gone hungry. I hunger for Thy grace, O Word of God; satisfy me and make me a partaker at Thy table in the Age to come.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Most holy Mother of God, rampart of Christians, deliver us thy people who now and all times call reverently upon thee. Make war upon our arrogant and shameful thoughts, that we may cry to thee: Hail, Ever-Virgin!


Isaiah 49:6-10

THUS SAYS THE LORD: “I will give you as a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and His Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, Who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, Who has chosen you.” Thus says the LORD: “In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, ‘Come forth,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’ They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for He Who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.

from the Lenten Triodion, at Vespers

Ruled by many passions, weakened by all the assaults of the evil one, my heart lies shamefully in the tomb of
slothfulness, and it is crushed by lack of feeling as by a stone. O Saviour, Who by the Wood of Thy lifegiving
Cross hast brought to life all in hell, awaken me and give me life, that in fear I may glorify Thy divinity.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

At the prompting of the evil one I have always loved the riches of corrupting pleasure, and without conscience I
have delighted in vanity. I have neglected my mind when it groaned like another Lazarus and hungered for God’s
food. O Word, deliver me in Thy tender mercy from the flames to come, that I may glorify Thy love for mankind.

from the Menaion, at Vespers
Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

As the blameless and incorrupt and all-pure Mother of our God, who in thy great holiness art beyond compare,
do thou not drive me away that am accursed and all-unclean, who am the inventor of frightful deeds of iniquity
filled with all disgrace; do not leave me to perish in destruction, but deliver me from passions, and do thou save me who now turn back.


Genesis 31:3-16

THE LORD SAID TO JACOB, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength; yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus, God has taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. In the mating season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the he goats which leaped upon the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the Angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And He said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that leap upon the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to Me. Now arise, go forth from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’” Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for us. All the property which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

Proverbs 21:3-21

TO DO RIGHTEOUSNESS and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want. The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death. The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just. The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is right. It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman. The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes. When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. The righteous observes the house of the wicked; the wicked are cast down to ruin. He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be heard. A gift in secret averts anger; and a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath. When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers. A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead. He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the faithless for the upright. It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and fretful woman. Precious treasure remains in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. He who pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.



Pope of Rome
~ from a homily of his ~

THE LORD SAYS: Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20).

How indeed can justice exceed, unless compassion rises above judgment? What is as right or as worthy as a creature, fashioned in the image and likeness of God, imitating his Creator Who, by the remission of sins, brought about the reparation and sanctification of believers? With strict vengeance removed and the cessation of all punishment, the guilty man was restored to innocence, and the end of wickedness became the beginning of virtue. Can anything be more just than this?

This is how Christian justice can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, not by cancelling out the Law but by rejecting earthly wisdom. This is why, in giving His disciples a rule for fasting, the Lord said: When you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (Matthew 6:16)

What reward but that of human praise? Such a desire often puts on a mask of justice, for where there is no concern for conscience, untruthful reputation gives pleasure. The result is that concealed injustice enjoys a false reputation.

For the man who loves God, it is sufficient to please the one he loves; and there is no greater recompense to be sought than the loving itself; for love is from God by the very fact that God Himself is love. The good and chaste soul is so happy to be filled with Him that it desires to take delight in nothing else. For what the Lord says is very true: Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be (Luke 12:34).

What is a man’s treasure but the heaping up of profits and the fruit of his toil? For as a man sows, so will he reap, (Galatians 6:7) and each man’s gain matches his toil; and where delight and enjoyment are found, there the heart’s desire is attached. Now there are many kinds of wealth and a variety of grounds for rejoicing; every man’s treasure is that which he desires. If it is based on earthly ambitions, its acquisition makes men not blessed but wretched.

But those who enjoy the things that are above and eternal rather than earthly and perishable, possess an incorruptible, hidden store of which the Prophet speaks: Our salvation is our treasure: there are wisdom and knowledge and piety toward the Lord; these are the treasures of righteousness. (Isaiah 33:6 LXX)

Through these, with the help of God’s grace, even earthly possessions are transformed into heavenly blessings; it is a fact that many people use the wealth which is either rightfully left to them or otherwise acquired, as a tool of devotion. By distributing what might be superfluous to support the poor, they are amassing imperishable riches, so that what they have discreetly given cannot be subject to loss. They have properly placed those riches where their heart is; it is a most blessed thing to work to increase such riches rather than to fear that they may pass away. Amen

~ from an epistle of his ~



GOD’S WILL IS TO SAVE US, and nothing pleases Him more than our coming back to Him with true repentance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and pre-eminent sign of His infinite goodness. Precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God’s heart than this, the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with Him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled. He healed our physical infirmities by miracles; He freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suffering and dying, taking them upon Himself as if He were answerable for them, sinless though He was. He also taught us in many different ways that we should wish to imitate Him by our own kindness and genuine love for one another.

So it was that Christ proclaimed that He had come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous, and that it was not the healthy who required a doctor, but the sick. He declared that He had come to look for the sheep that was lost, and that it was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that He had been sent. Speaking more obscurely in the parable of the silver coin, He tells us that the purpose of His coming was to reclaim the royal image, which had been coated with the filth of sin. You can be sure there is joy in heaven, He said, over one sinner who repents. (Cf. Luke 15:7)

To give the same lesson, He revived the man who, having fallen into the hands of the brigands, had been left stripped and half-dead from his wounds; He poured wine and oil on the wounds, bandaged them, placed the man on His own mule and brought him to an inn, where He left sufficient money to have him cared for, and promised to repay any further expense on His return.

Again, He told of how that Father, Who is goodness itself, was moved with pity for His profligate son who returned and made amends by repentance; how He embraced him, dressed him once more in the fine garments that befitted his own dignity, and did not reproach him for any of his sins.

So too, when He found wandering in the mountains and hills the one sheep that had strayed from God’s flock of a hundred, He brought it back to the fold, but He did not exhaust it by driving it ahead of Him. Instead, He placed it on His own shoulders and so, compassionately, He restored it safely to the flock.

So also, He cried out: Come to Me, all you that toil and are heavy of heart. Accept My yoke, He said, by which He meant His commands, or rather, the whole way of life that He taught us in the Gospel. He then speaks of a burden, but that is only because repentance seems difficult. In fact, however, My yoke is easy, He assures us, and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Then again He instructs us in divine justice and goodness, telling us to be like our heavenly Father: holy, perfect and merciful. Forgive, He says, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37) Behave toward other people as you would wish them to behave toward you. (Cf. Luke 6:31) Amen