Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Wednesday in the third week of Lent

The Gospel today is St Matthew 15:1-20:

1 Tunc accesserunt ad eum ab Jerosolymis scribæ et pharisæi, dicentes: 2 Quare discipuli tui transgrediuntur traditionem seniorum? non enim lavant manus suas cum panem manducant. 3 Ipse autem respondens ait illis: Quare et vos transgredimini mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram? Nam Deus dixit: 4 Honora patrem, et matrem: et, Qui maledixerit patri, vel matri, morte moriatur. 5 Vos autem dicitis: Quicumque dixerit patri, vel matri: Munus, quodcumque est ex me, tibi proderit: 6 et non honorificabit patrem suum, aut matrem suam: et irritum fecistis mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram. 7 Hypocritæ, bene prophetavit de vobis Isaias, dicens: 8 Populus hic labiis me honorat: cor autem eorum longe est a me. 9 Sine causa autem colunt me, docentes doctrinas et mandata hominum.10 Et convocatis ad se turbis, dixit eis: Audite, et intelligite. 11 Non quod intrat in os, coinquinat hominem: sed quod procedit ex ore, hoc coinquinat hominem. 12 Tunc accedentes discipuli ejus, dixerunt ei: Scis quia pharisæi audito verbo hoc, scandalizati sunt? 13 At ille respondens ait: Omnis plantatio, quam non plantavit Pater meus cælestis, eradicabitur. 14 Sinite illos: cæci sunt, et duces cæcorum; cæcus autem si cæco ducatum præstet, ambo in foveam cadunt. 15 Respondens autem Petrus dixit ei: Edissere nobis parabolam istam. 16 At ille dixit: Adhuc et vos sine intellectu estis? 17 Non intelligitis quia omne quod in os intrat, in ventrem vadit, et in secessum emittitur? 18 Quæ autem procedunt de ore, de corde exeunt, et ea coinquinant hominem: 19 de corde enim exeunt cogitationes malæ, homicidia, adulteria, fornicationes, furta, falsa testimonia, blasphemiæ: 20 hæc sunt, quæ coinquinant hominem. Non lotis autem manibus manducare, non coinquinat hominem.

1] Then came to him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying: [2] Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. [3] But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said: [4] Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death. [5] But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.[6] And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition. [7] Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: [8] This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. [9] And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men. [10] And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.[11] Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. [12] Then came his disciples, and said to him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? [13] But he answering them, said: Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. [14] Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit. [15] And Peter answering, said to him: Expound to us this parable. [16] But he said: Are you also yet without understanding? [17] Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy? [18] But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. [19] For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. [20] These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.

The Matins readings are by St Jerome:

Reading 1: The stupidity of the Pharisees and Scribes is something extraordinary. They rebuke the Son of God because He doth not observe the traditions and commandments of men for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. It behoveth us to cleanse, not the hands of the body, but the hands of the soul, namely, our works, that we may do the commandments of God. But He answered and said unto them Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? He meeteth here their false accusation by a true. ' How,' saith He, 'do ye, who pass over the commandments of God, in order to keep to the traditions of men, hold that My disciples are to be rebuked, because they deem the tradition of the elders of little moment in comparison with the doing of what they know to be the Laws of God? '

R. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.
* Therefore is this distress come upon us.
V. And Reuben answered his brethren, saying Spake I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear?
R. Therefore is this distress come upon us.

Reading 2: Now God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother; and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. The word honour is used in Scripture, not so much in the sense of paying salutations and services, as in that of giving alms and gifts. Honour widows, saith the Apostle, which are widows indeed. 1 Tim. v. 3. And here honour signifieth support. So again, 17, 18: Let the Priests that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith ' Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn ' and ' The labourer is worthy of his reward.'

R. And Reuben answered his brethren, saying Spake I not unto you, saying Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear?
* Behold, his blood is required.
V. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.

R. Behold, his blood is required.

Reading 3: The Lord being mindful of the helplessness, or age, or poverty of parents, had commanded their children to honour them even by giving them the necessaries of life. The Scribes and Pharisees, scrupling not to make of none effect this most benign law, and bringing in ungodliness under the very form of godliness, taught, for the benefit of unnatural children, that if any one vowed to God, Who is our very Father in heaven, whatsoever he was bound to give to his parents, the duty of discharging his debt to his heavenly Father ought to come before that which he owed to his earthly father; or, at least, that parents in such case incurred the guilt of sacrilege by taking for themselves what they knew had been made a gift to God. And so parents were left unsuccoured, and the offerings of such children, under pretence of being given to God and His temple, became the gain of the Priests.

R. Jacob lamented for his two sons, saying Woe is me; I am bereaved of Joseph, for he is not; and afflicted because of Benjamin, because he is taken away for bread.
* I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.
V. And Jacob cast him down upon his face upon the ground, and wept sore; and he prayed, saying
R. I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.

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