Saturday, 23 July 2016

Matins readings for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

According to the 1962 Benedictine Breviary:

Nocturn I (II Kings 9:29-33; 10:1-7)

Reading 1: In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Achab, Ochozias reigned over Juda,  And Jehu came into Jezrahel. But Jezabel hearing of his coming in, painted her face with stibic stone, and adorned her head, and looked out of a window. At Jehu coming in at the gate, and said: Can there be peace for Zambri, that hath killed his master? And Jehu lifted up his face to the window, and said: Who is this? And two or three eunuchs bowed down to him. And he said to them: Throw her down headlong: and they threw her down, and the wall was sprinkled with her blood, and the hoofs of the horses trod upon her.

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 when he was come in, to eat, and to drink, he said: Go, and see after that cursed. And when they went to bury her, they found nothing but the skull, and the feet, and the extremities of her hands. And coming back they told him. And Jehu said: It is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elias the Thesbite, saying: In the field of Jezrahel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezabel, And the flesh of Jezabel shall be as dung upon the face of the earth in the field of Jezrahel, so that they who pass by shall say: Is this that same Jezabel?

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 Achab had seventy sons in Samaria: so Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, to the chief men of the city, and to the ancients, and to them that brought up Achab's children, saying: As soon as you receive these letters, ye that have your master's sons, and chariots, and horses, and fenced cities, and armour, Choose the best, and him that shall please you most of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for the house of your master.

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: But they were exceedingly afraid, and said: Behold two kings could not stand before him, and how shall we be able to resist? Therefore the overseers of the house, and the rulers of the city, and the ancients, and the tutors sent to Jehu, saying: We are thy servants, whatsoever thou shalt command us we will do, neither will we make us a king: do thou all that pleaseth thee.  And he wrote letters the second time to them, saying: If you be mine, and will obey me, take the heads of the sons of your master, and come to me to Jezrahel by tomorrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy men, were brought up with the chief men of the city.  And when the letters came to them, they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him to Jezrahel.

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 of St John  Chrysostom - Homily 25 on Romans

Reading 5: Let us not dream that we are ourselves to be held less guilty, when we find that we have not been alone in sin. On the contrary, such fellowship addeth to our punishment. The serpent was more heavily punished than Eve, and Eve than Adam, and Jezebel suffered more than Ahab, who took the vineyard of Naboth. She it had been that planned the whole matter, and opened the way for her husband's crime. Even so thou also, who shalt have caused another's perdition, shalt suffer more grievously than shall they, whom thou hast ruined. Since, for a man to commit sin himself is less wicked than to lead others into sin.

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: If, therefore, we should see others sinning, let us not only not help them, but let us do what in us lieth to draw them out of the bottomless pit of destruction, lest we should suffer as accomplices in their trespass. Let our memory never forget that right awful judgment -seat, the river of fire, the chains that can never be unlocked, the darkness that cannot be pierced, the sound of teeth gnashing, the deadly worm. But thou sayest God is good. Are then all these things but idle words Is there no punishment for the rich man which giveth no heed to Lazarus Doth the bridegroom open to the foolish virgins the door of the marriage - chamber. They that have denied to Christ the necessaries of life, are they not to depart from Him into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels? The man that cometh in to the marriage -supper, not having a wedding garment, shall he, or shall he not, be bound hand and foot, and taken away, and cast into outer darkness. The servant that hath no compassion on his fellow -servant, which oweth him an hundred pence, shall he, or shall he not, be delivered to the tormentors. It is said, concerning such as commit adultery, that their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched? Is that not true?

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: But these are perhaps only threats on God's part No doubt, quoth thou. I ask thee How darest thou say such a thing out loud, and deliver this judgment from thine own imagining For sooth, I can prove to thee, from the things which God hath done, that thou art wrong. If thou wilt not believe for things to come, at least believe for things past. Of them at least it cannot be said that they are nought but threats and mere words, for they have happened, and actually been realised in fact.

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: Who was He which brought in a great flood, until the whole land was standing water, and our whole race perished, save eight persons Who was He which rained upon Sodom brimstone and fire out of heaven. Who was He which overthrew all the host of Egypt in the Red Sea? Who was He which sent out a fire and consumed them that were of the faction of Abiram.  Who was He which sent a pestilence upon Israel, because David had sinned, and, from the morning even to the time appointed, there died of the people seventy thousand men.  Was it not God, and none other, Which brought upon them all these things, and more also.

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 (St Augustine)

Reading 9: The Pharisee might at least have said, "I am not as many men are." But what meaneth "other men" All other men except himself. "I," said he, "am righteous; others are sinners." "I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers," and then he took occasion, from the neighbourhood of the publican, to plume himself "or even," quoth he, "as this publican." "I am alone," he thought, "that publican" is one of the others. Mine own righteousness maketh the gulf between me and the wicked, such as he is.

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: "I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess." If we look in his prayer to find what he went to the Temple to pray to God for, we shall find nothing. He went up to pray, but his prayer was not a request of anything from God, but a glorification of himself. It was little enough not to pray to God, but he also glorified himself and despised his neighbour.

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: But the publican stood afar off and yet drew nigh to God. Self-knowledge bade him keep at a distance, but his earnestness made him close. The publican stood afar off, but the Lord was at hand to hear him."Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly" but the proud, such as was this Pharisee, "He knoweth afar off.". He knoweth the proud, all the same, but they are afar off from Him.

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: Consider now the lowliness of the publican. It was not only that he stood afar off, but "he would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven". He looked carefully, lest he should look up, he dared not to lift up his eyes unto heaven. Self-knowledge kept him down, though hope raised him up. Consider again, how that he "smote upon his breast." He afflicted himself, and therefore the Lord had compassion upon his acknowledgment of guilt." He smote upon his breast, saying Lord, be merciful to me a sinner." Hearken here to a prayer and wonderest thou that when the sinner remembereth, God forgetteth.

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.

Gospel : St Luke 18:9-14

And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.  I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.  I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

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