Mar 18 2007

Lent: Day 28 – Prayer & Scripture (Sunday of the Steward)

Week 5 (Day 28): Service

Sunday of the Judge5th Sunday Card

“0 Christ, You have given to Your Church a true commandment: to pray to God continually and at all times with spirit and understanding. You established the truth of Your commandment when You gave us an example bypassing the night in prayer to God, having willingly become man. O Christ, let us stand always before You with pure prayers, as the angels in heaven do.” (Sharagan for the Fifth Sunday.)

The Sunday of the Judge gives us another parable about a “child of this world,” a judge so jaded that he will not even help a poor widow (Luke 17:20-18: 14.) That widow is much like us, feeling helpless and worn down in this world in which the evil people seem to have all the success. Finally the judge is so tired of her pestering that he takes action on her behalf. Now, the parable asks us, if even such a godless man as the judge can finally be moved by the pleas of the weak, can we doubt that God in His infinite love for us will help us?

He will — but He will also decide when. Our Creator knows our needs, and we must have faith that He will answer them at the proper time. This is the question for us: Do we trust God, even in our suffering, and believe His promise of justice for the oppressed? Do we pray and continue to pray, even when His answer does not come at the moment we would like? “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

The other readings (Isaiah 65:8-25, Philippians 3:1-4:9) exhort us to pray and remind us that present sorrows will fade to nothing in the light of the glory to come.

Today’s Prayer

Even as you are life, you are salvation,
you are the cure, you are immortality,
you are bliss, you are enlightenment.
Grant me peace from the torment of my sins,
so that you might also have rest
from my incessant, whining self-reproaches,
you who thrive on nothing but the salvation
of us humans.
Blessed forever.

Today’s Scripture (Reading)

Luke 17:20 – 18:14

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;
nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!’ or `There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.
And they will say to you, `Lo, there!’ or `Lo, here!’ Do not go, do not follow them.
For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day.
But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man.
They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Likewise as it was in the days of Lot — they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built,
but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all —
so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.
On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back.
Remember Lot’s wife.
Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.
I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left.”
And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man;
and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.’
For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man,
yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’”
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.
And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Daily Prayer and Scripture taken from the Armenian Church

armenian church, lent, prayer, readings, scripture

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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