Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ember Friday of September

The readings for the Ember Friday are the same as in the Roman Office, viz, taken from St Gregory's Homily 33 on the Gospels:

Reading 1: Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Luke: At that time, one of the Pharisees desired that Jesus would eat with him. And He went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And so on.

Of what is the Pharisee that was exalted by self-righteousness a type, but of the Jewish people? And of what the woman which was a sinner and came and wept at the Lord's feet, but of the conversion of the Gentiles? She brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His Feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His Feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Of us, therefore, even of us, was that woman a type, if after our sins we turn unto the Lord with all our heart, and imitate the example of her repentant grief. And of what is the ointment a type, but of the sweet savour of a good reputation? Whence also Paul saith: In every place we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.

R. Our poverty was enough for us, that it might have been accounted riches. O that the money had never been, for which thou hast sent away our son,* The staff of our old age.
V. Alas my son, wherefore have we sent thee wandering, even thee, the light of our eyes
R. The staff of our old age.

Reading 2: If therefore we do good works, whereby we gain for the Church the savour of good reputation, what do we but pour ointment upon the body of the Lord? But the woman stood at the Feet of Jesus, behind Him we stood opposite to the Feet of the Lord, what time we were in sin, and went contrary unto His ways. But when we turn again, and truly repent us of our sins, we stand behind His Feet, for we follow His footsteps against Whom we once contended. The woman washed His Feet with her tears and we do in very deed the same when we show the tenderness of sympathy to any of His humbler members, when we feel with His Saints in their tribulations, when we make their woes our own.

R. Bless the God of heaven, and confess Him before all living:* For He hath had mercy upon you.
V. Bless Him, and sing praises unto Him, and tell of all His marvellous works.
R. For He hath had mercy upon you.

Reading 3: She wipes the Lord's Feet with our hair when we give charity, even out of such things as we have ourselves no need of, to His holy ones, with whom we feel in their trials, in as far as our heart so sympathizeth, that the bounty of our hand showeth the truth of our compassion. He washeth the Feet of the Redeemer, but wipeth them not with his hair, who feeleth for the sufferings of his neighbours, but nevertheless, relieveth them not, even out of such things as he himself hath no need for. He weepeth, but wipeth not, who offereth words of tenderness, but sootheth not sorrow by giving such things as be lacking. The woman kissed the Feet and we do fully the same, if we warmly love those whom out of bounty we support, so that the neediness of our neighbour is not grievous unto us, nor the penury which we relieve a weariness to us, nor, when the hand is giving what is needful, the heart is untouched by compassion.

R. It is time for me to return unto Him That sent me;* But bless ye God, and tell of all His marvelous works.
V. Confess Him before all living, for He hath had mercy upon you.
R. But bless ye God, and tell of all His marvelous works.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. But bless ye God, and tell of all His marvelous works.

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