Synopsis: The "parables" of Vespers are OT or sometimes, NT readings, which elucidate the meaning of the feast. Since this is the Sunday of All Saints, these 3 OT readings describe sanctity – holiness (the word "Saint" means "holy one"). Saints, which we are also called to be, are witnesses who are misunderstood by the world of sinners, and their virtues are described, much like the apostle Paul described virtues in the passage in Ephesians which described the armor of faith (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Isaiah 43:9-14 9 All the nations are assembled together, and the tribes are gathered: who among you can declare this, and shall make us hear the former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, let them be justified, and hear, and say: It is truth. 10 You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know, and believe me, and understand that I myself am. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there shall be none. 11 I am, I am the Lord: and there is no saviour besides me. 12 I have declared, and have saved. I have made it heard, and there was no strange one among you. You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and I am God. 13 And from the beginning I am the same, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall turn it away? 14 Thus saith the Lord your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their bars, and the Chaldeans glorying in their ships.
Wisdom 3:1-9 1 But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. 2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: 3 And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. 4 And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. 5 Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself. 6 As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them. 7 The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. 8 They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. 9 They that trust in him, shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love shall rest in him: for grace and peace is to his elect.
Wisdom 5:15-6:3 15 For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by. 16 But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord, and the care of them with the most High. 17 Therefore shall they receive a kingdom of glory, and a crown of beauty at the hand of the Lord: for with his right hand he will cover them, and with his holy arm he will defend them. 18 And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies. 19 He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet. 20 He will take equity for an invincible shield: 21 And he will sharpen his severe wrath for a spear, and the whole world shall fight with him against the unwise. 22 Then shafts of lightning shall go directly from the clouds, as from a bow well bent, they shall be shot out, and shall fly to the mark. 23 And thick hail shall be cast upon them from the stone casting wrath: the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the rivers shall run together in a terrible manner. 24 A mighty wind shall stand up against them, and as a whirlwind shall divide them: and their iniquity shall bring all the earth to a desert, and wickedness shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty. 1 Wisdom is better than strength, and a wise man is better than a strong man. 2 Hear therefore, ye kings, and understand: learn, ye that are judges of the ends of the earth. 3 Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourselves in multitudes of nations:
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