Saturday, 20 August 2016

Matins readings for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Nocturn III)

Matins readings (St Augustine) 

Reading 9: "No man can serve two masters," and this is further explained "for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." These words we ought carefully to weigh, for the Lord showeth straightway who be the two masters whom we have choice of: "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." 

R. O Lord, Father and God of my life, leave me not to evil counsels; give me not a proud look, but turn away from me an haughty mind, O Lord turn away from me concupiscence,* And give me not over unto an impudent and froward mind, O Lord!
V. Leave me not, O Lord, lest mine ignorance increase, and my sins abound.
R. And give me not over unto an impudent and froward mind, O Lord.

Reading 10: Mammon is a term which the Hebrews are said to use for riches. It is also a Carthaginian word for the Punic for "gain" is "mammon." He which serveth mammon, serveth that evil one who hath perversely chosen to be lord of these earthly things, and is called by the Lord "the prince of this world." 

R. Lord, thine eyes behold all that is in the heart of man, and in thy book are they all written.* Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart.
V. For He searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.
R. Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart.

Reading 11: Of these two masters, either a man will hate the one and love the other, that is God or he will hold to the one and despise the other. He which serveth mammon holdeth to an hard and destroying master, for he is led captive by his lust, and sold a slave to the devil, and him loveth no man is there any man that loveth the devil And yet there be that hold to him.

R. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.* For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thine head.
V. My son, attend unto my wisdom, and incline thine ear unto my sayings.
R. For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thine head.

Reading 12: "Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on lest, albeit such things are not idle, but needful to be sought after, yet the seeking for things even needful should divide the heart and our intention should be corrupted when we do something as it were mercifully that is, lest, when we would seem to be seeking another's good, it should be profit to ourselves, rather than benefit to him, that we seek and therefore we seem not to ourselves to sin, because we would seek things not idle, but needful.

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 Matthew 6:24-33:

No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?  Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit?  And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin.  But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.  And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?  Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed?  For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.  Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

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