“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low…” (Is 2: 11-12)

How unusual and refreshing, to have these readings from the ancient Prophet Isaiah on the weekdays of Lent! (Just FYI, the Prophet Isaiah is read at “The Sixth Hour” or “Sext” on the weekdays of Byzantine Lent). In the reading for this Thursday, quoted above, we learn that all our “lofty looks,” “haughtiness,” and other masks with which we might present one another, and torment one another, will be “bowed down” in the “day” of the Lord. So if we’re tormented today, either by living a comparative life and yearning after the seemingly better life of celebrities or our more-“successful” peers; or if we ourselves have burdened others with presenting such a mask of “success” or “lofty looks” to our peers, – all such delusions will be unmasked in “the day of the Lord of hosts.”

But when, exactly, will that “day” be, I might ask? Whenever I want it to be, in practical terms. Whenever I decide I want God to be the God of my life, and not other “gods” of my own creation, I can be “brought low,” into the gentle realism and peace that is humility. I can live and thrive in the presence of God, rather than wallow amidst “the haughtiness of men,” if only I let Him into my life. So let me let Him in, really, in a bit of heartfelt prayer, on this blessed Thursday of the first week of Lent. I let this Thursday be “the day of the Lord of hosts,” as far as my little life is concerned. “Lord and Master of my life, grant me not the spirit of idleness, despondency, love of power, and idle talk.”


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