Monday 6th April 2020
Lenten Fast: strict fast
Today we commemorate:
St. Eutychius, patriarch of Constantinople (582). St. Methodius, Equal-to-the-Apostles, archbishop of Moravia and Enlightener of the Slavs (885). Venerable Platonida of Nisibis (308). St. Gregory of St. Athanasius' Monastery on Mt. Athos, Instructor of St. Gregory Palamas (1308). 120 Martyrs of Persia (345). St. Gregory the Sinaite (1346). New monk-martyr Gennadius of Dionysiou, Mt. Athos, who suffered at Constantinople (1818). New martyrs Manuel, Theodore, George, Michael, and another George, of Samothrace (1835).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Elfstan of Abingdon (981). St. Berthanc of Iona (c.840). St. Ulched of Llechulched.
Isaiah 48:17-49:4; Genesis 27:1-41; Proverbs 19:16-25
The Lord who rescued you, the Holy One of Israel, says this, “I am the Lord your God. I have shown you how to find the way in which you should walk, and if you had listened to my commandments then your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like a wave on the sea. Also your descendants would have been like the sand and your own offspring like the dust of the ground. Even now you shall by no means be utterly destroyed, neither shall your name perish before me.” Get out of Babylon, you who flee from the Chaldeans; shout aloud with a voice of joy and let this be made known; proclaim it to the ends of the earth; say that the Lord has rescued his servant Jacob. And if they thirst he shall lead them through the desert, for he shall bring them water out of the rock. The rock shall be split and the water shall flow out and my people shall drink. “There is no rejoicing for the ungodly”, says the Lord. “Listen to me you islands, and pay attention you nations. After a long while it shall come about”, says the Lord. “From my mother’s womb he has called me by name; and he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; and in the shadow of his hand he has hidden me. He has made me like a chosen arrow and has hidden me in his quiver, and said to me, ‘You are my servant Israel and in you I will be glorified.’” Then I said, “I have laboured in vain; I have given my strength uselessly and for nothing. Therefore my judgement is a matter for the Lord and my labour rests before my God.”
It came about when Isaac was old that his eyes became weak so that he could not see. He called Esau his elder son and said to him, “My son”, and he said “Behold, I am here.” And he said, “Look, I have grown old and I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out into the plain and get some game for me. Then make me the food that I love and bring it to me so that I may eat, and so that my soul may bless you before I die.” And Rebekah heard Isaac speaking to Esau his son. Esau went to the plain to hunt venison for his father, but Rebekah said to Jacob her younger son, “Behold, I heard your father speaking to Esau your brother saying, ‘Bring me venison and prepare it for me so that I may eat it and bless you in the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, listen to me and do as I tell you. Go to the flocks and take from there two kids, tender and good, and I will make from them food for your father of the kind he loves. And you shall take it to your father and he shall eat, so your father may bless you before he dies.” And Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man. My father will perhaps touch me and I shall stand before him scorned; I shall bring a curse upon myself instead of a blessing.” And his mother said to him, “Your curse will be on me, my son. Just listen to me and go and fetch them for me.” And he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made food such as his father loved. Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes which she had in the house and put them on Jacob her younger son; and she put the skins of the young goats on his arms and on the bare parts of his neck, and she put into her son Jacob’s hands the meat and the loaves which she had prepared. He took them to his father and said, “Father”, and he replied, “Behold, I am here. Who are you, child?” And Jacob said to his father, “Esau your first-born. I have done just as you asked. Sit up and eat my game so that your soul may bless me.” And Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you found it so quickly, child?” And he said, “The Lord your God put it in front of me.” And Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near to me and I will touch you, child, to find out whether or not you are my son Esau.” And Jacob came near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He did not recognise him because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. He blessed him and said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.” He said, “Bring your game to me, and I will eat it, child, so that my soul may bless you.” And he brought it to him and he ate; and he brought him wine and he drank. And his father Isaac said to him, “Come near to me and kiss me, child.” And he came near and kissed him. And he smelled the odour of his clothes, and blessed him and said, “See, the odour of my son is like the smell of an open field which the Lord has blessed. May God give you the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth and abundance of corn and wine. And let nations be subject to you and princes bow down before you; and be lord over your brother, and your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Cursed be he who curses you, and blessed be he who blesses you.” After Isaac had finished blessing Jacob his son it came about, just as Jacob had left Isaac his father’s presence, that Esau his brother came in from the hunt. And he also made food for his father and brought it to him and said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat his son’s game so that your soul may bless me.” And Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your first-born son Esau.” And Isaac was astounded and greatly perturbed and said, “Who was it then who provided game for me and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you arrived and have blessed him. Yes, and he shall be blessed.” And it came about that when Esau heard the words of Isaac his father he cried out with a great and extremely bitter cry and said, “Bless me also, my father.” And he said to him, “Your brother came with guile and has stolen your blessing.” And he said, “He is rightly called Jacob, for this is now the second time he has supplanted me. He took away my birthright and now has taken away my blessing.” And Esau said to his father, “Have you not a blessing left for me, father?” And Isaac answered and said to Esau, “If I have made him your lord and have made all his brothers his servants and endowed him with corn and wine, what is left for me to do for you, son?” And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me also, my father.” Isaac was grieved, and Esau cried aloud and wept. Isaac his father spoke and said to him, “Behold, the lushness of the earth and the dew of heaven above shall be your abode. By your sword you shall live and be subject to your brother. And it shall come about that whenever you get the better of him, then you will loosen his yoke from your neck.” And Esau was angry with Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “Let the time of mourning for my father be soon so that I can kill my brother Jacob.”
He who keeps the commandment guards his own soul, but he who despises these ways shall perish. He who has pity on the poor gives to the Lord, and he will reward him for his gift. Discipline your son and he will be given hope. And do not inflate your soul with arrogance. A malicious man will be punished severely, and if he inflicts injury he shall also lose his soul. Listen, son, to the instruction of your father so that at the last you may become wise. There are many ideas in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord abides for ever. Mercy is fruitful for a man, and a poor man is better than a rich liar. The fear of the Lord is life to a man, but he who is without fear will remain where knowledge is unknown. He who folds his arms without cause will never be able to feed himself. When a pestiferous man is flogged a simple man is made wiser; and if you correct a wise man he will gain understanding.