Saturday, 6 February 2016

Matins readings for Quinquagesima Sunday

The Matins Readings in the Benedictine Office for Quinquagesima Sunday are set out below.

Nocturn I (Genesis 12)

Reading 1: And the Lord said to Abram: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father' s house, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. [2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed. [3] I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and IN THEE shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed: [4] So Abram went out as the Lord had commanded him, and Lot went with him: Abram was seventy-five years old when he went forth from Haran. [5] And he took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother' s son, and all the substance which they had gathered, and the souls which they had gotten in Haran: and they went out to go into the land of Chanaan. 

R. The Lord spake unto Abram, saying: Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and go unto the land that I will show thee,
* And I will make of thee a great nation.
V. I will surely bless thee and make thy name great, and thou shalt be blessed.
R. And I will make of thee a great nation.

Reading 2: And when they were come into it, Abram passed through the country into the place of Sichem, as far as the noble vale: now the Chanaanite was at that time in the land. [7] And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him: To thy seed will I give this land. And he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. [8] And passing on from thence to a mountain, that was on the east side of Bethel, he there pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east; he built there also an altar to the Lord, and called upon his name.

R. Abraham stood by the oak of Mamre, and he saw three men coming up by the path.
* He saw three, and worshipped One.
V. Behold, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name Isaac.
R. He saw three, and worshipped One.

Reading 3: And Abram went forward, going, and proceeding on to the south. [10] And there came a famine in the country; and Abram went down into Egypt, to sojourn there: for the famine was very grievous in the land. [11] And when he was near to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife: I know that thou art a beautiful woman: [12] And that when the Egyptians shall see thee, they will say: She is his wife: and they will kill me, and keep thee.

R. The Lord did tempt Abraham, and said unto him:
* Take thy son Isaac whom thou lovest, and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
V. And when the Lord called him, he answered Behold, here I am. And the Lord said unto him:
R. Take thy son Isaac whom thou lovest, and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Reading 4: Say, therefore, I pray thee, that thou art my sister: that I may be well used for thee, and that my soul may live for thy sake. [14] And when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians saw the woman that she was very beautiful. [15] And the princes told Pharao, and praised her before him: and the woman was taken into the house of Pharao.[16] And they used Abram well for her sake. And he had sheep and oxen, and he asses, and men servants and maid servants, and she asses, and camels. [17] But the Lord scourged Pharao and his house with most grievous stripes for Sarai, Abram' s wife. [18] And Pharao called Abram, and said to him: What is this that thou hast done to me? Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? [19] For what cause didst thou say, she was thy sister, that I might take her to my wife? Now, therefore, there is thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

Nocturn II (St Ambrose)

Reading 5: Abraham was truly a great man, illustrious as an example of many virtues; one the like of whom the day-dreams of Philosophy have not been able to produce. That which she imagineth is less than that which he did; his simple truth and faith were something grander than her lying rounded periods. Let us then consider what this man's loyalty was. 

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 6: For that virtue is first to be taken which was the source of all the others, and thus this was the first which God called for from him, when He said: Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house. It would have been enough to have said, Get thee out of thy country, for there were his kindred, and there his father's house.But He gave the details of his sacrifice one by one, that He might see whether he loved Him, lest also he should begin rashly, or should seek to evade the heavenly commandment.

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 7: But as the whole of the precept was plainly set forth, lest anything should be unconsidered, so also were the rewards set forth, lest the burden should seem hopeless. He was tried as one that is strong, he was roused as one that is true, he was called as one that is righteous; and he departed loyally as the Lord had spoken unto him. And Lot went forth with him. That saying of the Seven Wise Men of Greece is much spoken of Follow God. But this did Abraham before the Seven Wise Men were thought of; he followed God, and went out of his own land.

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.

Reading 8: But, forasmuch as Abraham had before had another country, namely, the land of the Chaldees, whence went forth Terah the father of Abraham, and came unto Haran, and forasmuch as he to whom it had been said, Get thee out from thy kindred, took Lot, his brother's son, with him, let us consider whether this Get thee out of thy country signifieth not get thee out of this earthly dwelling, namely, our body, from which Paul came forth, who said, Our conversation is in heaven.

Nocturn III (St Gregory the Great)

Reading 9: Our Redeemer, foreseeing that the minds of His disciples would be troubled by His suffering, told them long before both of the pains of that suffering, and of the glory of His rising again, to the end that, when they should see Him die as He had prophesied, they might not doubt that He was likewise to rise again. But, since His disciples were yet carnal, and could not receive the words telling of this mystery, He wrought a miracle before them. A blind man received his sight before their eyes, that if they could not receive heavenly things by words, they might be persuaded of heavenly things by deeds.

R. I came this day unto the well, and I besought the Lord, and said:
* O Lord God of Abraham, Thou hast prospered my way.
V. Therefore the virgin to whom I shall say: Give me water of thy pitcher to drink; and she shall say to me: Drink, my lord, and I will give thy camels drink also; let the same be the woman whom the Lord hath appointed out for my master's son.

R. O Lord God of Abraham, Thou hast prospered my way.

Reading 10: But, dearly beloved brethren, we must so take the miracles of our Lord and Saviour, as believing both that they were actually wrought, and that they have some mystic interpretation for our instruction. For in His works, power speaketh one thing and mystery again another. Behold here, for instance. We know not historically who this blind man was, but we do know of what he was mystically the figure.

R. The word of the Lord came unto Abram, saying:
* Fear not, Abram I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
V. For I am the Lord thy God That brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees.

R. Fear not, Abram I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Reading 11: Mankind is blind, driven out from Eden in the persons of his first parents, knowing not the light of heaven, and suffering the darkness of condemnation. But, nevertheless, through the coming of his Redeemer, he is enlightened, so that now he seeth by hope already the gladness of inward light, and walketh by good works in the path of life.One must note that as Jesus drew to Jericho a blind man received his sight. Now, this name Jericho, being interpreted, signifieth the city of the moon and in Holy Scripture the moon is used as a figure of our imperfect flesh, of whose gradual corruption her monthly waning is a type.

Reading 12: As, therefore, our Maker draweth nigh to Jericho, a blind man receiveth his sight. While the Godhead taketh. into itself our weak manhood, man receiveth again the light which he had lost. By God's suffering in the Manhood, man is raised up toward God. This blind man is also well described as sitting by the wayside begging, for the Truth saith: “I am the Way.”

R. As the Lord passed by, a certain blind man sat by the way-side, and cried unto Him. And the Lord asked him, saying:
* What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? * Lord, that I may receive my sight.
V. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto Him; and when he was come near, He asked him, saying:
R. What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. Lord, that I may receive my sight.

Gospel: St Luke 18:31-43

31 Assumpsit autem Jesus duodecim, et ait illis: Ecce ascendimus Jerosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia quæ scripta sunt per prophetas de Filio hominis: 32 tradetur enim gentibus, et illudetur, et flagellabitur, et conspuetur: 33 et postquam flagellaverint, occident eum, et tertia die resurget. 34 Et ipsi nihil horum intellexerunt, et erat verbum istud absconditum ab eis, et non intelligebant quæ dicebantur.35 Factum est autem, cum appropinquaret Jericho, cæcus quidam sedebat secus viam, mendicans. 36 Et cum audiret turbam prætereuntem, interrogabat quid hoc esset. 37 Dixerunt autem ei quod Jesus Nazarenus transiret. 38 Et clamavit, dicens: Jesu, fili David, miserere mei. 39 Et qui præibant, increpabant eum ut taceret. Ipse vero multo magis clamabat: Fili David, miserere mei. 40 Stans autem Jesus jussit illum adduci ad se. Et cum appropinquasset, interrogavit illum, 41 dicens: Quid tibi vis faciam? At ille dixit: Domine, ut videam. 42 Et Jesus dixit illi: Respice, fides tua te salvum fecit. 43 Et confestim vidit, et sequebatur illum magnificans Deum. Et omnis plebs ut vidit, dedit laudem Deo.

1] Then Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said to them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man. [32] For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon: [33] And after they have scourged him, they will put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. [34] And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said. [35] Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging.[36] And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. [37] And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. [38] And he cried out, saying: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. [39] And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. [40] And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him,[41] Saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see. [42] And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole. [43] And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

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