On Holy Tuesday the Church calls to remembrance two parables, which are related to the Second Coming. The one is the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-3); the other the parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). These parables point to the inevitability of the Parousia and deal with such subjects as spiritual vigilance, stewardship, accountability and judgment.
From these parables we learn at least two basic things. First, Judgment Day will be like the situation in which the bridesmaids (or virgins) of the parable found themselves: some ready for it, some not ready. The time one decides for God is now and not at some undefined point in the future. If "time and tide waits for no man," certainly the Parousia is no exception. The tragedy of the closed door is that individuals close it, not God. The exclusion from the marriage feast, the kingdom, is of our own making. Second, we are reminded that watchfulness and readiness do not mean a wearisome, spiritless performance of formal and empty obligations. Most certainly it does not mean inactivity and slothfulness. Watchfulness signifies inner stability, soberness, tranquility and joy. It means spiritual alertness, attentiveness and vigilance. Watchfulness is the deep personal resolve to find and do the will of God, embrace every commandment and every virtue, and guard the intellect and heart from evil thoughts and actions. Watchfulness is the intense love of God.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saint Kassia Born 805-810 AD Died 867 AD Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church Feast September 7
Kassia (also Kassiane, Kassiani, Casia, Ikasia, Cassia, Kassiana, or Eikasia; between 805 and 810 - bef. 867) was a Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, andhymnographer. She is one of the first medieval composers whose scores are both extant and able to be interpreted by modern scholars and musicians. Approximately fifty of her hymns are extant and twenty-three are included in Orthodox Church liturgical books. The exact number is difficult to assess, as many hymns are ascribed to different authors in different manuscripts and are often identified as anonymous.
- Sensing Thy divinity, O Lord, a woman of many sins
- takes it upon herself to become a myrrh-bearer,
- And in deep mourning brings before Thee fragrant oil
- in anticipation of Thy burial; crying:
- "Woe to me!" For night is to me, oestrus of lechery,
- a dark and moonless eros of sin.
- Receive the wellsprings of my tears,
- O Thou who gatherest the waters of the oceans into clouds.
- Bend to me, to the sorrows of my heart,
- O Thou who bendedst down the heavens in Thy ineffable self-emptying.
- I will kiss Thine immaculate feet
- and dry them with the locks of my hair;
- Those very feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise
- and hid herself in fear.
- Who shall reckon the multitude of my sins,
- or the abysses of Thy judgment, O Saviour of my soul?
- Do not ignore Thy handmaiden,
- O Thou whose mercy is endless.