Thursday, 11 February 2016

Friday after Ash Wednesday

The Gospel for the Friday after Ash Wednesday is St Matthew 5:43-48; 6:1-4, on doing your good works in secret:

43 Audistis quia dictum est: Diliges proximum tuum, et odio habebis inimicum tuum. 44 Ego autem dico vobis: diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos, et orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos: 45 ut sitis filii Patris vestri, qui in cælis est: qui solem suum oriri facit super bonos et malos: et pluit super justos et injustos. 46 Si enim diligitis eos qui vos diligunt, quam mercedem habebitis? nonne et publicani hoc faciunt? 47 Et si salutaveritis fratres vestros tantum, quid amplius facitis? nonne et ethnici hoc faciunt? 48 Estote ergo vos perfecti, sicut et Pater vester cælestis perfectus est.1 Attendite ne justitiam vestram faciatis coram hominibus, ut videamini ab eis: alioquin mercedem non habebitis apud Patrem vestrum qui in cælis est. 2 Cum ergo facis eleemosynam, noli tuba canere ante te, sicut hypocritæ faciunt in synagogis, et in vicis, ut honorificentur ab hominibus. Amen dico vobis, receperunt mercedem suam. 3 Te autem faciente eleemosynam, nesciat sinistra tua quid faciat dextera tua: 4 ut sit eleemosyna tua in abscondito, et Pater tuus, qui videt in abscondito, reddet tibi.

[43] You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. [44] But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: [45] That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. [46] For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? [47] And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? [48] Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.[1] Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven. [2] Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. [3] But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. [4] That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.

The Matins readings on it are as follows:

Reading 1: Homily by St Jerome, But I say unto you Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. There are many who judge of the commandments of the Lord by their own weakness, and not by the strength of His Saints; and so deem Him to have commanded things impossible. These are they who think that not to hate their enemies is all that they are able to do; and that to command us to love them, is to command more than man's nature can bear. It behoveth them to know, that this which Christ commandeth is not impossible, albeit perfect. This is what David did in respect of Saul and Absalom; the martyr Stephen also prayed for his enemies, even while they were stoning him; and Paul could wish that himself were accursed from Christ for his persecutors. Rom. ix. 3. And this, Jesus Himself did, as well as taught, when He said Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

R. The Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham and said
* Lay not thine hand upon the lad; for now I know that thou fearest God.
V. And Abraham stretched forth his hand to slay his son; and, behold, the Angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said
R. Lay not thy hand upon the lad; for now I know that thou fearest God.


Reading 2: That ye may be the children of your Father Which is in heaven. If he that doeth the commandments of God becometh a son of God, then is he not a son by nature, but by his own choice. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. He that soundeth a trumpet before him, when he doeth alms, is an hypocrite. He that disfigureth his face, when he fasteth, to the end that he may show the emptiness of his belly in his looks, he also is an hypocrite.

R. The Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time
* And said I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven.
V. thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

R. And I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven.

Reading 3: He that prayeth in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that he may be seen of men, is an hypocrite. From all which, we gather that an hypocrite is one which doeth anything that he may have glory of men. To me also it seemeth that he which saith unto his brother Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, vii. 4, that he also is an hypocrite; for he proposeth to take upon him that office for vainglory's sake, that he himself may appear righteous. Therefore the Lord saith unto him Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye. Thus we see that it is, not the doing good, but the motive which moveth us to do good, which will meet with reward from God; and, if thou stray but a little from the right way, it is of small moment whether thou wander to the right hand or to the left, when once thou hast lost the straight path.

R. O God of my master Abraham, prosper my way which I go
* That I may return again in safety unto the house of my master.
V. O Lord, I pray thee, be merciful unto thy servant
R. That I may return again in safety unto the house of my master.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. That I may return again in safety unto the house of my master.

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