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March 22, 2018
Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra (363)
Venerable Isaac, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople (4th)
Martyr Drosis the daughter of the Emperor Trajan (104-117)
Martyrs Callinica and Basilissa of Rome
Monk-martyr Euthymios of Prodromou on Mt Athos (1814)
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent; Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete
Gen 18.20-33 (Vespers)
The Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, “I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? “Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? “Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: “Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
Prov 16.17-17.17 (Vespers)
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud. He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he. The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on. An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good. He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil. The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness. He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord. Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife. A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, And will share an inheritance among the brothers. The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts. An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue. He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father. Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince. A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers. He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends. Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool. An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him. Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, Since he has no heart for it? A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.