Thursday of the Second Week in Lent
Epistle • Jeremias 17:5-10
Lesson from Jeremias the Prophet.
[The prophet speaks to us of two men, one of whom put his trust in himself and the other in God; the first dries up like the heather in the desert, and the second bears the abundant fruits of his good works.]
Thus saith the Lord God: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shalt be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert, in a salt land, and not inhabited.
Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit.
The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable: who can know it? I am the Lord Who search the heart, and prove the reins: Who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices: saith the Lord almighty.
Gospel • Luke 16:19-31
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
[There were two men, says Jesus in the parable, one of whom enjoyed life instead of doing penance, and the other suffered: the first went to hell, whilst the second was carried by the Angels into Abrahams bosom.]
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich mans table, and no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the Angels into Abrahams bosom. And the rich man also died, and he was buried in hell.
And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, and he cried and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither.
And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my fathers house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear them. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if one rise again from the dead.