Thursday, 19 May 2016

Whit Thursday: St Luke 9:1-6

St Luke 9:1-6:

Convocatis autem duodecim Apostolis, dedit illis virtutem et potestatem super omnia dæmonia, et ut languores curarent. 2 Et misit illos prædicare regnum Dei, et sanare infirmos. 3 Et ait ad illos: Nihil tuleritis in via, neque virgam, neque peram, neque panem, neque pecuniam, neque duas tunicas habeatis. 4 Et in quamcumque domum intraveritis, ibi manete, et inde ne exeatis. 5 Et quicumque non receperint vos: exeuntes de civitate illa, etiam pulverem pedum vestrorum excutite in testimonium supra illos. 6 Egressi autem circuibant per castella evangelizantes, et curantes ubique.

Then calling together the twelve apostles, he gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. [2] And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. [3] And he said to them: Take nothing for your journey; neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats. [4] And whatsoever house you shall enter into, abide there, and depart not from thence. [5] And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off even the dust of your feet, for a testimony against them. [6] And going out, they went about through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.

Matins readings (from St Ambrose)

Reading 1: We learn from the commandments of the Gospel what manner of men they ought to be who preach the glad tidings of the kingdom of God "Take nothing for your journey neither staves nor scrip, neither bread neither money." Thus let the Apostle destitute of earthly help, and panoplies in faith, deem himself able to do all the more, as he needeth all the less Such as please may also put upon these words a spiritual interpretation in that a man may be said to lay as the encumbrances of the body, not only by abdicating power, and casting away riches, but also by denying the very body itself its pleasures. The first general commandment given to the Apostles touching their manners was to be bringers of peace, and to be no gadders about, but keepers of the laws of guests. To wander from house to house, and to abuse the rights of hospitality, are things alien to a preacher of the kingdom of heaven.

R. The fire of God fell, not to burn them, but to enlighten them not to devour them, but to illuminate them and found the hearts of the disciples clean vessels.
* And He gave them gifts of His grace. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. He found them one in love, and the out-poured grace of the Godhead shone through them.
R. And He gave them gifts of His grace. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 2: But as the kindness of hospitality is to be met with courtesy, so also is it said " Whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet, for a testimony against them." Hereby is it taught that hospitality doth meet with a good reward, since not only do we bring peace to such as receive us, but also, if they be shadowed by some earthly vanities, these defects are taken away, where enter the feet of them that bear the glad tidings of Apostolic preachment. It is well written "Into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy and there abide till ye go thence" thus avoiding any possible need of going from house to house. But no such selection is commanded to him that giveth hospitality, lest his hospitality itself should be lessened, while he picketh his guests.

R. The Holy Ghost filled all the house where the Apostles were and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
* And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in divers tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. When the disciples were all with one accord in one place, for fear of the Jews, suddenly there came a sound from heaven upon them.
R. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in divers tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 3: This passage, taken according to the plain meaning, is a sacred commandment touching the religious duty of hospitality, but its heavenly words likewise hint at a mystery. When the house is chosen, it is asked if the master thereof be worthy. Let us see if this be not perchance a figure of the Church, and her Master, Christ. What worthier house can the Apostolic preacher enter, than the Holy Church? Or what host is more to be preferred before all others, than Christ, Whose use it is to wash the feet of His guests yea, Who suffereth not that any whom He receiveth into His house should dwell there with foul feet, but, defiled as they are by their former wanderings, doth vouchsafe to change them into new and clean livers. He Alone is He, from Whose house no man ought ever to go forth, nor change His roof for any other shelter, for unto Him it is well said " Lord, to whom shall we go Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe."

R. There appeared  unto the Apostles cloven tongues like as of fire, alleluia:
* And the Holy Ghost rested upon each one of them, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

R. And the Holy Ghost rested upon each one of them, alleluia, alleluia.

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