LENT: Friday after Ash Wednesday

“Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:8)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s First Reading, writes:

“This oracle has great force. For it does not simply say, “Light will be given to you by God,” but it will be like lightning whose course and progress is sent by God, through which is clearly shown the desire of those who pray. By saying “first light,” it instructs us that it will appear before time. For God, the guardian of all things, knew, as the giver of spiritual gifts, the time suited to each person for his blessings. But if anyone is fair and good and also caring and benevolent — to that person a reward will be given as a “first thing,” so that in him there will arise just like an ear of corn his health (that is, the departing of all infirmities and the returning of good health). For the one who is free of diseases is fruitful in all ways, with an easy and cheerful production of good things. So the light of the divine understanding and our healthiness both arise within us, as God removes the burden of all sickness and also sets in us in its place the will to do good works and to abound in righteousness.” (Commentary on Isaiah, 5)

Show gracious favor, O Lord, we pray,
to the works of penance we have begun,
that we may have strength
to accomplish with sincerity
the bodily observances we undertake.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen