Septuagesima – The Third Sunday before Lent

Color: Red; Intent: The Gift of Wisdom


O Mind that conquers matter, spread thy mercy over our spirit. Mind of light, who art the Awakener of those who sleep, the Gatherer of those scattered abroad, Father of all the messengers of Light, Thou who choosest the communities who are to serve the Light, Physician of the souls; sprinkle the precious tree of our being with the water of thy wisdom and the dew of immortality, so that our lives on this earth may produce fruits which produce goodness, truth, and beauty. O Thou great consoler of men, to whom there be adoration now and forever. Amen.


The Lesson is taken from the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon:
Wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me; for in her is an understanding spirit, holy, one only, manifold, subtle, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to good, kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all spirits, understanding, pure and most subtle. For wisdom is more moving than any motion; she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness. For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure effluence from the glory of the Almighty; therefore can nothing defiled enter into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness. And, being but one, she can do all things; remaining in herself, she maketh all things new; and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets. For God loveth him that dwelleth with Wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars. Being compared with the light, she is found before it. He that loveth her loveth life, and they that seek her early shall be filled with joy. He that holdeth her fast shall inherit glory; and wheresoever she entereth, the Lord will bless. They that serve her shall minister to the Holy One; and them that love her the Lord doth love.


The Gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. Philip:
There are animals which are subject to man, like the bull and the ass and others of this kind. There are others which are not subject and live apart in the deserts. Man ploughs the field by means of the beasts which are subject and from this he feeds himself and the beasts, whether those that are subject or those which are not subject. So is it with the perfect man. Through powers which are subject he ploughs, preparing for everything to come into being. For because of this the whole place stands, whether the good or the evil, and the right and the left. The Holy Spirit tends everything and rules all the powers which are subject and those which are not subject, with those which are separate.

Homilies for Septuagesima by Bishop Stephan Hoeller