EMBER FRIDAY IN ADVENT
EPISTLE (Is. 11:1-5). And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness, and he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins.
EXPLANATION In this epistle the Lord announced to the Jews, through the prophet, the consoling promise that when they were sufficiently punished, and had come to the consciousness of their own misery, the Savior would come and bring all things to order. The rod spoken of by the prophet, is the Blessed Virgin who would proceed from the root of Jesse, that is, from the stem of David, and give birth to the flower, viz., to the Savior upon whom the Holy Ghost, with His sevenfold gifts, would descend, that is, dwell in Him. As a reader of the heart He would judge man, not according to his outward appearance, but according to his intentions. He would not flatter the sinner, but with severe words punish his sinful life, and because just and faithful, He would reward every man without respect to person. Let us be always mindful in all our omissions and commissions, that our Lord sees into our hearts, and judges not only according to our works, but principally according to our intentions, and let us strive ever to have pure motives in all our actions.
ASPIRATION O Fragrant Flower of the Virgin, Jesus our Savior, come and draw us to Thee, that we may walk in the perfume of Thy ointments, and obtain a merciful judgment from Thee.
COLLECT Show forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power, and come, that we who confidently trust in Thy love, may be the sooner delivered from all adversities. Through our Lord.