Saturday, 15 October 2016

Matins readings for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost (Nocturn III)


Nocturn III: (St Hilary on Matt 23)

Reading 9: At that time The Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entangle Jesus in His talk. And so on.

The Pharisees had oftentimes been put to confusion, and were not able to find any ground to accuse Him out of anything that He had hitherto said or done. His words and works are, of necessity, faultless, but still,from spite, they set themselves to seek in every direction for. some cause to accuse Him. He was calling all to turn away from the corruptions of the world, and the superstitious practices of devotion invented by men, and to fix their hopes upon the kingdom of heaven.

R. The sun shone upon the shields of gold, and the mountains glistered therewith
* And the army of the heathens was spread abroad.
V. For the army was very great and mighty then Judas and his host drew near and entered into battle.
R. And the army of the heathens was spread abroad.

Reading 10: They therefore arranged a question calculated to entrap Him into an offence against civil government, namely " Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar or not ". But Jesus perceived their wickedness, for in sooth there is nothing hidden in the heart of man, but what God seeth it, " and said Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites Show Me the tribute-money. And they brought unto Him a penny. And He saith unto them Whose is this image and superscription.

R. They praised the Lord with psalms and thanksgiving
* Who had done so great things in Israel, and given them the victory the Lord Almighty.
V. They decked the fore-front of the Temple with crowns of gold, and dedicated the Altar unto the Lord.
R. Who had done so great things for Israel, and given them the victory the Lord Almighty.

Reading 11: They say unto Him Caesar's. Then saith He unto them Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." How wonderful is this answer How perfect the fulfilment of the Divine Law herein prescribed So beautifully doth He here strike the balance between caring not for the things of the world, on the one hand, and the offence of injuring Caesar, on the other, that He proveth the perfect freedom of minds, however devoted to God, to discharge all human cares and duties, by commanding them to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's.If we have nothing which is Caesar's, then we have nothing which we are bound to render unto him.

R. This is a lover of the brethren, and of the people of Israel * This is one who prayeth much for the people, and for all the Holy City, Jerusalem.
V. There appeared a man most gentle toward all his people.
R. This is one who prayeth much for the people, and for all the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Reading 12: But if we are concerned with the things which are his, if we are entrusted by him with the use of delegated power, if we are subject to him as paid servants to take care of property which is not our own, there can be no dispute but that it is our duty to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. But unto God all of us are bound always to render the things that are God's, that is to say, our body, soul, and will. These are things which we hold from Him, and whereof He is the Author and Maker. It is therefore simply just that they, who acknowledge that they owe to Him their being and creation, should render to Him all that they are.

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: Matt 22:15-21

Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to insnare him in his speech.  And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men. Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.

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