Saturday, 16 July 2016

Matins readings for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

The Matins readings for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost in the traditional Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I (4 Kings 1=2 Kings 1:1-10)

Reading 1: And Moab rebelled against Israel, after the death of Achab.  And Ochozias fell through the lattices of his upper chamber which he had in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, saying to them: Go, consult Beelzebub, the god of Accaron, whether I shall recover of this my illness.

R. Prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him Only * And He will deliver you out of the hand of your enemies.
V. Return unto Him with all your hearts, and put away the strange gods from among you.
R. And He will deliver you out of the hand of your enemies.

Reading 2: And an angel of the Lord spoke to Elias the Thesbite, saying: Arise, and go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them: Is there not a God in Israel, that ye go to consult Beelzebub the god of Accaron? Wherefore thus saith the Lord: From the bed, on which thou art gone up, thou shalt not come down, but thou shalt surely die.

R. God, Which heareth all, even He sent His Angel, and took me from keeping my father's sheep, and * Anointed me with the oil of His mercy.
V. The Lord That delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear
R. And anointed me with the oil of His mercy.

Reading 3: And Elias went away. And the messengers turned back to Ochozias. And he said to them: Why are you come back? But they answered him: A man met us, and said to us: Go, and return to the king, that sent you, and you shall say to him: Thus saith the Lord: Is it because there was no God in Israel that thou sendest to Beelzebub the god of Accaron? Therefore thou shalt not come down from the bed, on which thou art gone up, but then shalt surely die

R. The Lord That delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear * He will deliver me out of the hand of mine enemies.
V. God hath sent forth His mercy and His truth, and delivered my soul from among the lion's whelps.
R. He will deliver me out of the hand of mine enemies.

Reading 4:  And he said to them: What manner of man was he who met you, and spoke these words?
But they said: A hairy man with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said: It is Elias the Thesbite. And he sent to him a captain of fifty, and the fifty men that were under him. And he went up to him, and as he was sitting on the top of a hill, said to him: Man of God, the king hath commanded that thou come down.  And Elias answering, said to the captain of fifty: If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee, and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him, and the fifty that were with him.

R. Remember, O Lord, thy covenant, and say unto the destroying Angel: Stay now thine hand * That the land be not utterly laid waste, and that thou destroy not every living soul.
V. Even I it is that have sinned, and done evil indeed but these sheep what have they done? Let thine anger, I pray thee, O Lord, be turned away from thy people.
R. That the land be not utterly laid waste, and that Thou destroy not every living soul.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. That the land be not utterly laid waste, and that Thou destroy not every living soul.

Nocturn II: Sermon 124 of St Caesarius

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, in the Lessons which are now being read to us day by day, I have often warned you that we must not follow the deathful letter, to the abandonment of the quickening spirit. For it is thus that the Apostle saith: "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.". If we will understand only the plain meaning of the letter, we shall get little or no edification from our readings in the Divine Scriptures.

R. Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.* Because the hand of the Lord was with him, he smote the Philistine, and took away the reproach from Israel.
V. Is not this David? Did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
R. Because the hand of the Lord was with him, he smote the Philistine, and took away the reproach from Israel.

Reading 6: All those things whereof we hear were types and images of things.The Blessed Elias was a type of the Lord our Saviour. Just as Elias was rejected by the Jews, so was the true Elias, even our Lord, rejected and despised by the same Jews.

R. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain upon you * For there are the mighty of Israel fallen
V. All ye mountains that stand round about, the Lord look upon you but let Him pass by Gilboa
R. For there are the mighty of Israel fallen

Reading 7: Elias went away out of his own country, and Christ hath left the synagogue Elias went into the desert, and Christ hath come into the world. Elias, when he was in the desert, was fed by ravens, and Christ in the desert of this world is comforted by the faith of the Gentiles.

R. Thus saith the Lord I took thee out of thy father's house, and appointed thee to be ruler over My people, over Israel * And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, to establish thy kingdom for ever.
V. And I have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies.
R. And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, to establish thy kingdom for ever.

Reading 8: For the ravens which, at the command of the Lord, ministered unto Elias, were a type of the flock of Gentiles. Wherefore also it is said for the Gentile Church: "I am black, but comely O daughters of Jerusalem!" Why is the Church black but comely She is black by nature, but comely by grace. Why is she black by nature? Because she must needs own: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."  Why is she comely by? Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow,

R. O Lord, Thou hast hearkened unto the prayer of thy servant, that I might build a temple unto thy Name,* O God of Israel, bless Thou, and hallow this house for ever.
V. O Lord, Who keepest covenant with thy servants that walk before thee in all their heart.
R. O God of Israel, bless Thou, and hallow this house for ever.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. O God of Israel, bless Thou, and hallow this house for ever.

Nocturn III (from St Gregory):

Reading 9: No man that hath read the history of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Princes Vespasian and Titus, can be ignorant that it was of that destruction that the Lord spoke when He wept over the ruin of the city. It is these Princes that are pointed at where it is said "For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee."

R. My sins are many, yea, they are more in number than the sands of the sea; I am not worthy to look up toward heaven because of the multitude of my iniquities; for I have provoked thee to anger * And done evil in thy sight.
V. For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me, for against thee only have I sinned
R. And done evil in thy sight.

Reading 10: The truth of what followeth: "They shall not leave in thee one stone upon another" is even now fulfilled in the change of site of the city, which hath been re-built round about that place without the gates, where the Lord was crucified, while the ancient city hath been, as I am told, rooted up from the very foundations.

R. Hearken, O Lord, unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee today, that thine eyes may be open and thine ears attend;* Toward this house day and night.
V. Look down from thine high and holy place, O Lord, even from heaven thy dwelling.
R. Toward this house, day and night.

Reading 11: What the sin of Jerusalem was which brought upon her the punishment of this destruction, we find written after: "Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." The Maker of men, through the mystery of His Incarnation, was pleased to visit her, but she remembered not to fear and to love Him. Hence also the Prophet Jeremiah, rebuking the hardness of man's heart, calleth the birds of the air to testify against it, saying "The stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed time and the turtle, and the swallow, and the crane, observe the time of their coming but my people know not the judgment of the Lord."

R. Lord, when thy people shall turn again to thee, and shall pray unto thee in this house * then hear Thou in heaven, O Lord, and deliver them out of the hand of their enemies.
V. If thy people sin against thee, and turn again, and repent, and come and pray unto thee in this house.
R. Then hear Thou in heaven, O Lord, and deliver them out of the hand of their enemies.

Reading 12: The Saviour wept over the ruin of the unfaithful city, while she herself as yet knew not that it was coming. If thou hadst known, said He, even thou and we may understand Him to have meant thou wouldest thyself have wept, in place of making merry as thou now dost, knowing not what hangeth over thee. And hence He saith farther: "at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace." While she was giving herself up to fleshly pleasures, and casting no look ahead upon coming sorrows, she had still for a day in her power the things which might have brought unto her peace.

R. One Seraph cried unto another * Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts the whole earth is full of His glory.
V. There are Three That bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these Three are One.
R. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. The whole earth is full of His glory.

This Sunday's Gospel is St Luke 19:41-47:

And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.  And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought.Saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves. And he was teaching daily in the temple. And the chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him:

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