Saturday, 5 March 2016

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Matins readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent in the Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I (Exoddus 3:1-15)

Reading 1: Now Moses fed the sheep of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Madian: and he drove the flock to the inner parts of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. [2] And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire and was not burnt. [3] And Moses said: I will go and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. [4] And when the Lord saw that he went forward to see, he called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said: Moses, Moses. And he answered: Here I am. [5] And he said: Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.[6] And he said: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face: for he durst not look at God.

R. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Go down now into Egypt, and say unto Pharaoh
* Let My people go. And the heart of Pharaoh shall be hardened, that he will not let My people go but by a mighty hand.
V. The cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me, and I have seen their affliction come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, and thou shalt say unto him
R. Let My people go. And the heart of Pharaoh shall be hardened, that he will not let My people go but by a mighty hand.

Reading 2: And the Lord said to him: I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of the rigour of them that are over the works: [8] And knowing their sorrow, I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, into a land that floweth with milk and honey, to the places of the Chanaanite, and Hethite, and Amorrhite, and Pherezite, and Hevite, and Jebusite.

R. Moses stood before Pharaoh, and said Thus saith the Lord
* Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.
V. The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying
R. Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.

Reading 3: For the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have seen their affliction, wherewith they are oppressed by the Egyptians. [10] But come, and I will send thee to Pharao, that thou mayst bring forth my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt. [11] And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? [12] And he said to him: I will be with thee: and this thou shalt have for a sign, that I have sent thee: When thou shalt have brought my people out of Egypt, thou shalt offer sacrifice to God upon this mountain.

R. Let us sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
* The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation.
V. The Lord is a man of war; Almighty is His Name.
R. The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation.

Reading 4: Moses said to God: Lo, I shall go to the children of Israel, and say to them: The God of your fathers hath sent me to you. If they should say to me: What is his name? what shall I say to them? [14] God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you. [15] And God said again to Moses: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me to you: This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

R. Hear, O Israel, the law of the Lord, and write it in thine heart as in a book
* And I will give unto thee a land flowing with milk and honey.
V. Take heed therefore, and hearken unto My voice and I will be an enemy unto thine enemies.
R. And I will give unto thee a land flowing with milk and honey.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R And I will give unto thee a land flowing with milk and honey.

Nocturn II:Sermons of St Basil the Great, 1st on Fasting.

Reading 5: We know that it was with and by fasting that Moses went up into the Mount, for he had not dared to go up to that smoking summit, nor to have entered that darkness, except he had been made strong by a Fast. It was with fasting that he received the commandments, written by the finger of God upon tables of stone. Upon the mountain, that Fast made interest with Him Whose law was given unto it; but, below, gluttony was leading the people to the worship of idols and polluting them. It is written The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. That one fit of drunken frenzy, on the part of the people, made void and of none effect all the toil and patience of the forty days, during the which the servant of God had fasted and prayed unceasingly.

R. Thy way is in the sea, and thy paths in the great waters.
* Thou leddest thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
V. Thou broughtest them through the Red Sea, and leddest them through much water.
R. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Reading 6: To the Fast had been given those tables of stone written on with the finger of God; the Feast's work was to break them, by the hand of the most holy prophet, who deemed a nation of drunkards a nation unmeet to receive law from God. In a moment of time, that people, who had by great wonders been taught to worship God, were, by gluttony, dropped back into the cesspool of Egyptian idolatry. The which things if thou wilt consider, thou shalt see that the tendency of fasting is to God-ward, and that that of feasting is to hell-ward.

R. O Lord, Thou hast overwhelmed in the deep of the sea them which persecuted thy people
* Even thy people which Thou leddest in the pillar of the cloud.
V. Thou leddest thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
R. Even thy people, which Thou leddest in the pillar of the cloud.

Reading 7: What was it that degraded Esau, and made him a slave to his brother? Was it not that one dish of pottage for which he sold his birthright?  Was it not prayer when joined to fasting that gave Samuel to his mother? What made the mighty Samson invincible? Was it not the fast during the which he was conceived in his mother's womb? The fast it was which made him to be conceived; the fast, which fed him; the fast, which made a man of him, even as the Angel of the Lord commanded his mother, saying She may not eat of anything that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink.  Fasting is the mother of prophets, the strength and stay of mighty men.

R. Moses, the servant of God, fasted forty days and forty nights
* To make him meet to receive the Law of God.
V. Moses gat him up unto the Lord into Mount Sinai, and he was in the Mount forty days and forty nights.
R. To make him meet to receive the Law of God.

Reading 8: It is fasting which giveth wisdom to lawgivers; fasting which is the trustiest keeper of the soul, and the safest companion for the body. It is fasting which is strength and armour to mighty men; fasting which maketh supple them which run and which wrestle. It is fasting which maketh a man strong to strive against temptation, and which is to godliness as a fenced city; even fasting, whose fellow is soberness, and her work temperance. It is fasting which maketh men to wax valiant in fight; fasting which teacheth to rest in time of peace. Fasting maketh a Nazarite to be holy, and a priest perfect. Without a fast it is unlawful to touch the Sacrifice, not only in that mystic and true worship of God which now is, but also according to the law, in those sacrifices which were offered of old time as figures of the true. It was fasting which opened the eyes of Elias to look upon the visions of God, even as it is written, that when he had fasted forty days and forty nights he was in the mount of God, even Horeb, and he was made able, so far as man may be made able, to see God.  Even so also was Moses in that Mount forty days and forty nights, fasting, at what time he again received the Law. Unless the Ninevites had fasted, both man and beast, herd and flock, they had not escaped from the ruin that hung over them. In the wilderness fell some and who were they? Yea, they were such as lusted after flesh meat.

R. When ye be gone over Jordan, there shall ye build an altar unto the Lord* Of whole stones; ye shall not lift up any iron tool upon them; and ye shall offer burnt-offerings thereon, and peace-offerings, unto your God.
V. When ye shall pass over (Jordan) unto the land which the Lord giveth you, there shall ye build an altar unto the Lord.
R. Of whole stones; ye shall not lift up any iron tool upon them; and ye shall offer burnt-offerings thereon, and peace-offerings, unto your God.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
V. Of whole stones; ye shall not lift up any iron tool upon them; and ye shall offer burnt-offerings thereon, and peace-offerings, unto your God.

Nocturn III

Reading 9: The miracles which our Lord Jesus Christ did were the very works of God, and they enlighten the mind of man by mean of things which are seen, that he may know more of God. God is Himself of such a Substance as eye cannot see, and the miracles, by the which He ruleth the whole world continually, and satisfieth the need of everything that He hath made, are by use become so common, that scarce any will vouchsafe to see that there are wonderful and amazing works of God in every grain of seed of grass. According to His mercy He kept some works to be done in their due season, but out of the common course and order of nature, that men might see them and be astonished, not because they are greater, but because they are rarer than those which they lightly esteem, since they see them day by day.

R. After that the Lord had looked upon him, the face of Moses shone.
* And when the elders saw that his face shone, they marvelled and were sore afraid.
V. And when he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in his hand, he wist not that his face shone, because that God had spoken with him.

R. And when the elders saw that his face shone, they marvelled and were sore afraid.

Reading 10: Or it is a greater miracle to govern the whole universe, than to satisfy five thousand men with five loaves of bread; and yet no man marvelleth at it. At the feeding of the five thousand, men marvel, not because it is a greater miracle than the other, but because it is rarer. For Who is He Who now feedeth the whole world, but He Who, from a little grain that is sown, maketh the fulness of the harvest? 

R. Behold, I send My Angel before thee, to keep thee.
* Beware, and obey My voice; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries; for Mine Angel shall go before thee.
V. O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto Me, there shall no strange god be in thee, neither shalt thou worship any strange god for am the Lord.
R. Beware, and obey My voice; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries; for Mine Angel shall go before thee.

Reading 11: God worketh in both cases in one and the same manner. He Who of the sowing maketh to come the harvest, is He Who of the five barley loaves in His Hands made bread to feed five thousand men; for Christ's are the Hands which are able to do both the one and the other. He Who multiplieth the grains of corn multiplied the loaves, only not by committing them to the earth whereof He is the Maker.

R. Give ear, O My people, to My law
* Incline your ears to the words of My mouth.
V. I will open My mouth in parables I will utter dark sayings of old.

R. Incline your ears to the words of My mouth.

Reading 12: This miracle, then, is brought to bear upon our bodies, that our souls may thereby be quickened; shown to our eyes, to give food to our understanding; that, through His works which we see, we may marvel at that God Whom we cannot see, and, being roused up to believe, and purified by believing, we may long to see Him, yea, may know by things which are seen Him Who is Unseen. Nor yet sufficeth it for us to see only this meaning in Christ's miracles. Let us ask of the miracles themselves what they have to tell us concerning Christ for, soothly, they have a tongue of their own, if only we will understand it. For, because Christ is the Word of God, therefore the work of the Word is a Word for us.

R. I, even I, the Lord, have led you forty years in the wilderness, and your clothes are not waxen old upon you.* I rained down manna upon you from heaven, and ye have forgotten Me, saith the Lord.
V. I led you forth out of the land of Egypt, and delivered you from the house of bondage.
R. I rained down manna upon you from heaven, and ye have forgotten Me, saith the Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
V. I rained down manna upon you from heaven, and ye have forgotten Me, saith the Lord.

Gospel is St John 6:1-15:

1 Post hæc abiit Jesus trans mare Galilææ, quod est Tiberiadis: 2 et sequebatur eum multitudo magna, quia videbant signa quæ faciebat super his qui infirmabantur. 3 Subiit ergo in montem Jesus et ibi sedebat cum discipulis suis. 4 Erat autem proximum Pascha dies festus Judæorum. 5 Cum sublevasset ergo oculos Jesus, et vidisset quia multitudo maxima venit ad eum, dixit ad Philippum: Unde ememus panes, ut manducent hi? 6 Hoc autem dicebat tentans eum: ipse enim sciebat quid esset facturus. 7 Respondit ei Philippus: Ducentorum denariorum panes non sufficiunt eis, ut unusquisque modicum quid accipiat. 8 Dicit ei unus ex discipulis ejus, Andreas, frater Simonis Petri: 9 Est puer unus hic qui habet quinque panes hordeaceos et duos pisces: sed hæc quid sunt inter tantos? 10 Dixit ergo Jesus: Facite homines discumbere. Erat autem fœnum multum in loco. Discumberunt ergo viri, numero quasi quinque millia. 11 Accepit ergo Jesus panes: et cum gratias egisset, distribuit discumbentibus: similiter et ex piscibus quantum volebant. 12 Ut autem impleti sunt, dixit discipulis suis: Colligite quæ superaverunt fragmenta, ne pereant. 13 Collegerunt ergo, et impleverunt duodecim cophinos fragmentorum ex quinque panibus hordeaceis, quæ superfuerunt his qui manducaverant. 14 Illi ergo homines cum vidissent quod Jesus fecerat signum, dicebant: Quia hic est vere propheta, qui venturus est in mundum.15 Jesus ergo cum cognovisset quia venturi essent ut raperent eum, et facerent eum regem, fugit iterum in montem ipse solus. 

[1] After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. [2] And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. [3] Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. [4] Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. [5] When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?[6] And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. [7] Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. [8] One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: [9] There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many? [10] Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand.[11] And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. [12] And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. [13] They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. [14] Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. [15] Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Saturday in the third week of Lent

Today's Gospel is St John 8:1-11:

Jesus autem perrexit in montem Oliveti: 2 et diluculo iterum venit in templum, et omnis populus venit ad eum, et sedens docebat eos. 3 Adducunt autem scribæ et pharisæi mulierem in adulterio deprehensam: et statuerunt eam in medio, 4 et dixerunt ei: Magister, hæc mulier modo deprehensa est in adulterio. 5 In lege autem Moyses mandavit nobis hujusmodi lapidare. Tu ergo quid dicis? 6 Hoc autem dicebant tentantes eum, ut possent accusare eum. Jesus autem inclinans se deorsum, digito scribebat in terra. 7 Cum ergo perseverarent interrogantes eum, erexit se, et dixit eis: Qui sine peccato est vestrum, primus in illam lapidem mittat. 8 Et iterum se inclinans, scribebat in terra. 9 Audientes autem unus post unum exibant, incipientes a senioribus: et remansit solus Jesus, et mulier in medio stans. 10 Erigens autem se Jesus, dixit ei: Mulier, ubi sunt qui te accusabant? nemo te condemnavit? 11 Quæ dixit: Nemo, Domine. Dixit autem Jesus: Nec ego te condemnabo: vade, et jam amplius noli peccare.

And Jesus went unto mount Olivet. [2] And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him, and sitting down he taught them. [3] And the scribes and the Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, [4] And said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. [5] Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?[6] And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground. [7] When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. [8] And again stooping down, he wrote on the ground. [9] But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. [10] Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?[11] Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more

The Matins readings are by St Augustine:

Reading 1: Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives, even unto that fruitful Mount, that anointing Mount, that Mount of Chrism. Where else became it Christ to teach, if not on the Mount of Olives? For the word Christ is derived from Chrisma, and Chrisma is the Greek for ointment. He hath anointed us that we may be able to wrestle with the devil. And, early in the morning, He came again into the temple; and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them and no man laid hands on Him, because He was not yet pleased to suffer. And now listen how His enemies tried the Lord's meekness.

R. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.
* Therefore is this distress come upon us.
V. And Reuben answered his brethren, saying Spake I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear?
R. Therefore is this distress come upon us.

Reading 2: And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto Him: Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now, Moses in the law commanded that such should be stoned; but what sayest Thou? This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him. Whereof to accuse Him? Had they taken Him in any sin? Or was the woman said to have anything to do with Him?

R. And Reuben answered his brethren, saying Spake I not unto you, saying Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear?
* Behold, his blood is required.
V. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.

R. Behold, his blood is required.

Reading 3: We must understand, my brethren, that there was a wonderful gentleness in the Lord. They knew that He was most mild and most gentle. Of Him indeed it had been said of old time: Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most Mighty! In thy comeliness and thy beauty go forward, fare prosperously, and reign, because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness. Ps. xliv. 4, 5. And He came bringing truth as one that teacheth, meekness as one that delivereth, and righteousness as one that knoweth. Because of these it was that the Prophet declared, in the Holy Ghost, that He was to reign. Whenever He spake, truth shone forth whenever He spared His enemies, meekness was made glorious. And His enemies, racked with envy and hatred by His truth and His meekness, laid a stumbling-block for His righteousness.

R. Jacob lamented for his two sons, saying Woe is me; I am bereaved of Joseph, for he is not; and afflicted because of Benjamin, because he is taken away for bread.
* I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.
V. And Jacob cast him down upon his face upon the ground, and wept sore; and he prayed, saying
R. I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.

You can find some further notes on today's Gospel text here.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Friday in the third week of Lent

Today's Gospel is St John 4:5-42:

5 Erat autem quidam homo ibi triginta et octo annos habens in infirmitate sua. 6 Hunc autem cum vidisset Jesus jacentem, et cognovisset quia jam multum tempus haberet, dicit ei: Vis sanus fieri? 7 Respondit ei languidus: Domine, hominem non habeo, ut, cum turbata fuerit aqua, mittat me in piscinam: dum venio enim ego, alius ante me descendit. 8 Dicit ei Jesus: Surge, tolle grabatum tuum et ambula. 9 Et statim sanus factus est homo ille: et sustulit grabatum suum, et ambulabat. Erat autem sabbatum in die illo. 10 Dicebant ergo Judæi illi qui sanatus fuerat: Sabbatum est, non licet tibi tollere grabatum tuum. 11 Respondit eis: Qui me sanum fecit, ille mihi dixit: Tolle grabatum tuum et ambula. 12 Interrogaverunt ergo eum: Quis est ille homo qui dixit tibi: Tolle grabatum tuum et ambula? 13 Is autem qui sanus fuerat effectus, nesciebat quis esset. Jesus enim declinavit a turba constituta in loco. 14 Postea invenit eum Jesus in templo, et dixit illi: Ecce sanus factus es; jam noli peccare, ne deterius tibi aliquid contingat. 15 Abiit ille homo, et nuntiavit Judæis quia Jesus esset, qui fecit eum sanum.16 Propterea persequebantur Judæi Jesum, quia hæc faciebat in sabbato. 17 Jesus autem respondit eis: Pater meus usque modo operatur, et ego operor. 18 Propterea ergo magis quærebant eum Judæi interficere: quia non solum solvebat sabbatum, sed et patrem suum dicebat Deum, æqualem se faciens Deo.Respondit itaque Jesus, et dixit eis: 19 Amen, amen dico vobis: non potest Filius a se facere quidquam, nisi quod viderit Patrem facientem: quæcumque enim ille fecerit, hæc et Filius similiter facit. 20 Pater enim diligit Filium, et omnia demonstrat ei quæ ipse facit: et majora his demonstrabit ei opera, ut vos miremini. 21 Sicut enim Pater suscitat mortuos, et vivificat, sic et Filius, quos vult, vivificat. 22 Neque enim Pater judicat quemquam: sed omne judicium dedit Filio, 23 ut omnes honorificent Filium, sicut honorificant Patrem; qui non honorificat Filium, non honorificat Patrem, qui misit illum.24 Amen, amen dico vobis, quia qui verbum meum audit, et credit ei qui misit me, habet vitam æternam, et in judicium non venit, sed transiit a morte in vitam. 25 Amen, amen dico vobis, quia venit hora, et nunc est, quando mortui audient vocem Filii Dei: et qui audierint, vivent. 26 Sicut enim Pater habet vitam in semetipso, sic dedit et Filio habere vitam in semetipso: 27 et potestatem dedit ei judicium facere, quia Filius hominis est. 28 Nolite mirari hoc, quia venit hora in qua omnes qui in monumentis sunt audient vocem Filii Dei: 29 et procedent qui bona fecerunt, in resurrectionem vitæ; qui vero mala egerunt, in resurrectionem judicii. 30 Non possum ego a meipso facere quidquam. Sicut audio, judico: et judicium meum justum est, quia non quæro voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem ejus qui misit me.31 Si ego testimonium perhibeo de meipso, testimonium meum non est verum. 32 Alius est qui testimonium perhibet de me: et scio quia verum est testimonium, quod perhibet de me. 33 Vos misistis ad Joannem, et testimonium perhibuit veritati. 34 Ego autem non ab homine testimonium accipio: sed hæc dico ut vos salvi sitis. 35 Ille erat lucerna ardens et lucens: vos autem voluistis ad horam exsultare in luce ejus. 36 Ego autem habeo testimonium majus Joanne. Opera enim quæ dedit mihi Pater ut perficiam ea: ipsa opera, quæ ego facio, testimonium perhibent de me, quia Pater misit me: 37 et qui misit me Pater, ipse testimonium perhibuit de me: neque vocem ejus umquam audistis, neque speciem ejus vidistis: 38 et verbum ejus non habetis in vobis manens: quia quem misit ille, huic vos non creditis. 39 Scrutamini Scripturas, quia vos putatis in ipsis vitam æternam habere: et illæ sunt quæ testimonium perhibent de me: 40 et non vultis venire ad me ut vitam habeatis. 41 Claritatem ab hominibus non accipio. 42 Sed cognovi vos, quia dilectionem Dei non habetis in vobis.43 Ego veni in nomine Patris mei, et non accipitis me; si alius venerit in nomine suo, illum accipietis. 44 Quomodo vos potestis credere, qui gloriam ab invicem accipitis, et gloriam quæ a solo Deo est, non quæritis? 45 Nolite putare quia ego accusaturus sim vos apud Patrem: est qui accusat vos Moyses, in quo vos speratis.

[5] He cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph.[6] Now Jacob' s well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. [7] There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink. [8] For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. [9] Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. [10] Jesus answered, and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God, and who he is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.[11] The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou living water? [12] Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? [13] Jesus answered, and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst for ever: [14] But the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. [15] The woman saith to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw.[16] Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. [17] The woman answered, and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: [18] For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly. [19] The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. [20] Our fathers adored on this mountain, and you say, that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore.[21] Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me, that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. [22] You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews. [23] But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. [24] God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth. [25] The woman saith to him: I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ). Therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things.[26] Jesus saith to her: I am he, who am speaking with thee. [27] And immediately his disciples came; and they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no man said: What seekest thou? or, why talkest thou with her? [28] The woman therefore left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men there: [29] Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ? [30] They went therefore out of the city, and came unto him.[31] In the mean time the disciples prayed him, saying: Rabbi, eat. [32] But he said to them: I have meat to eat, which you know not. [33] The disciples therefore said one to another: Hath any man brought him to eat? [34] Jesus saith to them: My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work. [35] Do you not say, There are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries; for they are white already to harvest.[36] And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together. [37] For in this is the saying true: That it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth. [38] I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labour: others have laboured, and you have entered into their labours. [39] Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done. [40] So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days.[41] And many more believed in him because of his own word. [42] And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.

The Matins readings are from St Augustine:

Reading 1: Now begin the mysteries. For it is not without a purpose that Jesus is weary; not indeed without a purpose that the strength of God is weary; not without a purpose that He is weary, by whom the wearied are refreshed; not without a purpose is He weary, by whose absence we are wearied, by whose presence we are strengthened. Nevertheless Jesus is weary, and weary with His journey; and He sits down, and that, too, near a well; and it is at the sixth hour that, being wearied, He sits down. All these things hint something, are intended to intimate something, they make us eager, and encourage us to knock. May Himself open to us and to you; He who has deigned to exhort us, so as to say, Knock, and it shall be opened to you. 

R. And when his brethren saw Joseph afar off, they said one to another Behold, this dreamer cometh.
* Come, let us slay him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
V. And when his brethren saw that their father loved Joseph more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him; therefore they said

R. Come, let us slay him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

Reading 2: It was for you that Jesus was wearied with His journey. We find Jesus to be strength, and we find Jesus to be weak: we find a strong and a weak Jesus: strong, because in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: the same was in the beginning with God. Would you see how this Son of God is strong? All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made: and without labor, too, were they made. Then what can be stronger than He, by whom all things were made without labor? Would you know Him weak? The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. The strength of Christ created you, the weakness of Christ created you anew. The strength of Christ caused that to be which was not: the weakness of Christ caused that what was should not perish. He fashioned us by His strength, He sought us by His weakness.

R. When Joseph came into the land of Egypt, he heard a language that he understood not; his hands were burdened with labour;
* And his tongue spake wisdom among princes.
V. Whose feet they hurt with fetters; the iron entered into his soul, until the time that his word came

R. And his tongue spake wisdom among princes.

Reading 3: As weak, then, He nourishes the weak, as a hen her chickens; for He likened Him self to a hen: How often, He says to Jerusalem, would I have gathered your children under my wings, as a hen her chickens; but you would not! Matthew 23:37 And you see, brethren, how a hen becomes weak with her chickens. No other bird, when it is a mother, is recognized at once to be so. We see all kinds of sparrows building their nests before our eyes; we see swallows, storks, doves, every day building their nests; but we do not know them to be parents, except when we see them on their nests. But the hen is so enfeebled over her brood, that even if the chickens are not following her, if you see not the young ones, yet you know her at once to be a mother. With her wings drooping, her feathers ruffled, her note hoarse, in all her limbs she becomes so sunken and abject, that, as I have said, even though you see not her young, yet you perceive her to be a mother.

R. Think on me when it shall be well with thee
* And make mention of me unto Pharaoh, that he may bring me out of this prison. For I was stolen away; and here have I done nothing, that they should put me into the dungeon.
V. For yet three days, and then Pharaoh shall remember thy service, and restore thee unto thy place; then think of me
R. And make mention of me unto Pharaoh, that he may bring me out of this prison.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. For I was stolen away; and here have I done nothing, that they should put me into the dungeon.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Thursday in the third week of Lent

Today's Gospel is St Luke 4:38-44:

38 Surgens autem Jesus de synagoga, introivit in domum Simonis. Socrus autem Simonis tenebatur magnis febribus: et rogaverunt illum pro ea. 39 Et stans super illam imperavit febri: et dimisit illam. Et continuo surgens, ministrabat illis. 40 Cum autem sol occidisset, omnes qui habebant infirmos variis languoribus, ducebant illos ad eum. At ille singulis manus imponens, curabat eos. 41 Exibant autem dæmonia a multis clamantia, et dicentia: Quia tu es Filius Dei: et increpans non sinebat ea loqui: quia sciebant ipsum esse Christum. 42 Facta autem die egressus ibat in desertum locum, et turbæ requirebant eum, et venerunt usque ad ipsum: et detinebant illum ne discederet ab eis. 43 Quibus ille ait: Quia et aliis civitatibus oportet me evangelizare regnum Dei: quia ideo missus sum. 44 Et erat prædicans in synagogis Galilææ.

[38] And Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon' s house. And Simon' s wife' s mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought him for her. [39] And standing over her, he commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. [40] And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them to him. But he laying his hands on every one of them, healed them. [41] And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them he suffered them not to speak, for they knew that he was Christ. [42] And when it was day, going out he went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought him, and came unto him: and they stayed him that he should not depart from them. [43] To whom he said: To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God: for therefore am I sent. [44] And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

The Matins readings are by St Ambrose:

Reading 1: Behold here how long-suffering is the Lord our Redeemer! Neither moved to anger against them, nor sickened at their guilt, nor outraged by their attacks, did He leave the Jews' country. Nay, forgetting their iniquity, and mindful only of His mercy, He strove to soften their hard and unbelieving hearts, sometimes by His teaching, and sometimes by freeing some of them, and sometimes by healing them. St Luke doth well to tell us first of the man who was delivered from an unclean spirit, and then of the healing of a woman. The Lord indeed came to heal both sexes, but that must be healed first which was created first, and then must not she be passed by whose first sin arose rather from fickleness of heart than from depraved will.

R. And when his brethren saw Joseph afar off, they said one to another Behold, this dreamer cometh.
* Come, let us slay him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
V. And when his brethren saw that their father loved Joseph more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him; therefore they said

R. Come, let us slay him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

Reading 2: That the Lord began to heal on the Sabbath-day showeth in a figure how that the new creation beginneth where the old creation ended. It showeth, moreover, that the Son of God, Who is come not to destroy the law but to fulfil the law, is not under the law, but above the law. Neither was it by the law, but by the Word, that the world was created, as it is written "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made." The law, then, is not destroyed, but fulfilled, in the Redemption of fallen man. Whence also the Apostle saith: "Put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

R. Judah said unto his brethren Behold, the Ishmaelites pass by; come, let us sell him, and let not our hands be defiled.
* For he is our flesh, and our brother.
V. What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? It is better to sell him.

R. For he is our flesh, and our brother.

Reading 3: It was well that He began to heal on the Sabbath, that He might show Himself to be the Creator, weaving in one with another of His works, and continuing that which He had already begun, even as a workman, being to repair an house, beginneth not to take down that which is old from the foundations, but from the roof. Thus doth the Lord begin to lay to His hand again, in that place whence last He hath lifted it; then He beginneth which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph. iv. 22. with things lesser, that He may go on to things greater. Even men are able to deliver other men from evil spirits, albeit with the word of God to command the dead to rise again is for God's power alone. Perchance, also, this woman, the mother-in-law of Simon and Andrew, was a type of our nature, stricken down with the great fever of sin, and burning with unlawful lusts after divers objects. Nor would I say that the passion which rageth in the mind is a lesser fire than that fever which burneth the body. Covetousness, and lust, and uncleanness, and vain desires, and strivings, and anger these be our fevers.

R. They drew up Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ismaelites for twenty pieces of silver.
* And Reuben returned unto the pit, and when he found not Joseph, he rent his clothes, and wept, and said The child is not, and I, whither shall I go?
V. And they took Joseph's coat, and dipped it in the blood of a kid of the goats, and they sent one that brought the coat unto their father, and said See now whether this be thy son's coat or no.
R. And Reuben returned unto the pit, and when he found not Joseph, he rent his clothes, and wept.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. And Reuben said The child is not, and I, whither shall I go?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Wednesday in the third week of Lent

The Gospel today is St Matthew 15:1-20:

1 Tunc accesserunt ad eum ab Jerosolymis scribæ et pharisæi, dicentes: 2 Quare discipuli tui transgrediuntur traditionem seniorum? non enim lavant manus suas cum panem manducant. 3 Ipse autem respondens ait illis: Quare et vos transgredimini mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram? Nam Deus dixit: 4 Honora patrem, et matrem: et, Qui maledixerit patri, vel matri, morte moriatur. 5 Vos autem dicitis: Quicumque dixerit patri, vel matri: Munus, quodcumque est ex me, tibi proderit: 6 et non honorificabit patrem suum, aut matrem suam: et irritum fecistis mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram. 7 Hypocritæ, bene prophetavit de vobis Isaias, dicens: 8 Populus hic labiis me honorat: cor autem eorum longe est a me. 9 Sine causa autem colunt me, docentes doctrinas et mandata hominum.10 Et convocatis ad se turbis, dixit eis: Audite, et intelligite. 11 Non quod intrat in os, coinquinat hominem: sed quod procedit ex ore, hoc coinquinat hominem. 12 Tunc accedentes discipuli ejus, dixerunt ei: Scis quia pharisæi audito verbo hoc, scandalizati sunt? 13 At ille respondens ait: Omnis plantatio, quam non plantavit Pater meus cælestis, eradicabitur. 14 Sinite illos: cæci sunt, et duces cæcorum; cæcus autem si cæco ducatum præstet, ambo in foveam cadunt. 15 Respondens autem Petrus dixit ei: Edissere nobis parabolam istam. 16 At ille dixit: Adhuc et vos sine intellectu estis? 17 Non intelligitis quia omne quod in os intrat, in ventrem vadit, et in secessum emittitur? 18 Quæ autem procedunt de ore, de corde exeunt, et ea coinquinant hominem: 19 de corde enim exeunt cogitationes malæ, homicidia, adulteria, fornicationes, furta, falsa testimonia, blasphemiæ: 20 hæc sunt, quæ coinquinant hominem. Non lotis autem manibus manducare, non coinquinat hominem.

1] Then came to him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying: [2] Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. [3] But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said: [4] Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death. [5] But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.[6] And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition. [7] Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: [8] This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. [9] And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men. [10] And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.[11] Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. [12] Then came his disciples, and said to him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? [13] But he answering them, said: Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. [14] Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit. [15] And Peter answering, said to him: Expound to us this parable. [16] But he said: Are you also yet without understanding? [17] Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy? [18] But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. [19] For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. [20] These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.

The Matins readings are by St Jerome:

Reading 1: The stupidity of the Pharisees and Scribes is something extraordinary. They rebuke the Son of God because He doth not observe the traditions and commandments of men for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. It behoveth us to cleanse, not the hands of the body, but the hands of the soul, namely, our works, that we may do the commandments of God. But He answered and said unto them Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? He meeteth here their false accusation by a true. ' How,' saith He, 'do ye, who pass over the commandments of God, in order to keep to the traditions of men, hold that My disciples are to be rebuked, because they deem the tradition of the elders of little moment in comparison with the doing of what they know to be the Laws of God? '

R. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.
* Therefore is this distress come upon us.
V. And Reuben answered his brethren, saying Spake I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear?
R. Therefore is this distress come upon us.

Reading 2: Now God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother; and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. The word honour is used in Scripture, not so much in the sense of paying salutations and services, as in that of giving alms and gifts. Honour widows, saith the Apostle, which are widows indeed. 1 Tim. v. 3. And here honour signifieth support. So again, 17, 18: Let the Priests that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith ' Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn ' and ' The labourer is worthy of his reward.'

R. And Reuben answered his brethren, saying Spake I not unto you, saying Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear?
* Behold, his blood is required.
V. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.

R. Behold, his blood is required.

Reading 3: The Lord being mindful of the helplessness, or age, or poverty of parents, had commanded their children to honour them even by giving them the necessaries of life. The Scribes and Pharisees, scrupling not to make of none effect this most benign law, and bringing in ungodliness under the very form of godliness, taught, for the benefit of unnatural children, that if any one vowed to God, Who is our very Father in heaven, whatsoever he was bound to give to his parents, the duty of discharging his debt to his heavenly Father ought to come before that which he owed to his earthly father; or, at least, that parents in such case incurred the guilt of sacrilege by taking for themselves what they knew had been made a gift to God. And so parents were left unsuccoured, and the offerings of such children, under pretence of being given to God and His temple, became the gain of the Priests.

R. Jacob lamented for his two sons, saying Woe is me; I am bereaved of Joseph, for he is not; and afflicted because of Benjamin, because he is taken away for bread.
* I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.
V. And Jacob cast him down upon his face upon the ground, and wept sore; and he prayed, saying
R. I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. I pray the King of heaven in my distress, that He may make me to see them yet again.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Tuesday in the third week of Lent

The Gospel at Mass today is St Matthew 18:15-22:

But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.[16] And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. [17] And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. [18] Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. [19] Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. [20] For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.[20] There am I in the midst of them: This is understood of such assemblies only as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the church of Christ. St. Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae.[21] Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? [22] Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.

The Matins readings are from St Augustine:

Reading 1: Why tell him his fault? Because he hath made thee smart by trespassing against thee? God forbid. If thou tell him his fault because thou lovest thyself, thou dost nothing. But if thou tell it him because thou lovest him, then dost thou do exceeding well. Hear now, in the words of the Gospel itself, for love of whom, thou oughtest to do it, of thyself, or of him. The Lord saith If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Therefore it behoveth thee to do it for his sake, that thou mayest gain him; since, if thou so do, haply thou mayest gain him; whereas, if thou do it not, he may haply perish. Why then are there so many who reckon lightly of a trespass against their brother, and say I have done no great offence, for I have trespassed only against my fellow man? Deem it not light; thou hast trespassed, though it be against thy fellow man.

R. They told Jacob, saying thy son Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt; and, when he heard it, his spirit revived, and he said* It is enough; I will go, and see him before I die.
V. And when Jacob heard that his son yet lived, he was as one that awakeneth from a deep sleep, and said
R. It is enough; I will go, and see him before I die.

Reading 2: Wouldest thou know that thy trespass against thy brother hath destroyed thee? If he against whom thou hast trespassed tell thee thy fault between himself and thee alone, and thou hear him, he hath gained thee. Gained thee! And what signify those words, if it be not that thou, if thou be not gained, shalt perish? For if thou shouldest not otherwise perish, in what sense can he be said to gain thee? Therefore let no man deem it a light thing when he trespasseth against his brother. For the Apostle Paul saith in a certain place When ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. We are all members of Christ. How dost thou not trespass against Christ, which trespassest against one of His members?

R. When Joseph came into the land of Egypt, he heard a language that he understood not; his hands were burdened with labour;* And his tongue spake wisdom among princes.
V. Whose feet they hurt with fetters; the iron entered into his soul, until the time that his word came
R. And his tongue spake wisdom among princes.

Reading 3: Let no man therefore say I have not trespassed against God, but only against my brother; that is, I have trespassed against my fellowman; and so the sin is light, if any at all. And perchance thou wilt argue that it is light, because it is quickly mended; thou hast trespassed against thy brother, but thou canst make satisfaction, and be right again; thou hast done the deadly thing quickly, and quickly canst thou find a remedy. O my brethren, which of us can hope for the kingdom of heaven, when we remember that the Gospel saith Whosoever shall say to his brother Thou fool shall be in danger of hell fire? It is a thought full of dread; but, lo! the remedy If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. God is not wroth that thou tarry or ever thou offer thy gift; for God seeketh thyself more than thy gift.

R. Think on me when it shall be well with thee* And make mention of me unto Pharaoh, that he may bring me out of this prison. For I was stolen away; and here have I done nothing, that they should put me into the dungeon.
V. For yet three days, and then Pharaoh shall remember thy service, and restore thee unto thy place; then think of me
R. And make mention of me unto Pharaoh, that he may bring me out of this prison.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. For I was stolen away; and here have I done nothing, that they should put me into the dungeon.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Monday in the third week of Lent

Today's Gospel is St Luke 4:23-30:

23 Et ait illis: Utique dicetis mihi hanc similitudinem: Medice cura teipsum: quanta audivimus facta in Capharnaum, fac et hic in patria tua. 24 Ait autem: Amen dico vobis, quia nemo propheta acceptus est in patria sua. 25 In veritate dico vobis, multæ viduæ erant in diebus Eliæ in Israël, quando clausum est cælum annis tribus et mensibus sex, cum facta esset fames magna in omni terra: 26 et ad nullam illarum missus est Elias, nisi in Sarepta Sidoniæ, ad mulierem viduam. 27 Et multi leprosi erant in Israël sub Eliseo propheta: et nemo eorum mundatus est nisi Naaman Syrus. 28 Et repleti sunt omnes in synagoga ira, hæc audientes. 29 Et surrexerunt, et ejecerunt illum extra civitatem: et duxerunt illum usque ad supercilium montis, super quem civitas illorum erat ædificata, ut præcipitarent eum. 30 Ipse autem transiens per medium illorum, ibat.

[23] And he said to them: Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country. [24] And he said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. [25] In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth. [26] And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. [27] And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. [28] And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. [29] And they rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. [30] But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.

The Matins readings are from St Ambrose:

Reading 1: Here we have a display of a spite not very common. Their hatred of Christ, and their desire to find grounds for that hatred in what in Him appealed for their love, had made them forget their local friendliness to a fellow-citizen. By this example as well as by God's declaration, thou mayest learn that thou wilt wait in vain to be holpen of His mercy, whilst thou art envious of the spiritual good of thy neighbour. Yea, the Lord turneth Him away from the envious, and will not show the mighty works of His power to such as are bitter against His gifts to others. The example of Himself which God hath been pleased to set before us is that of His doings in the Flesh, and it is by these His doings which He suffered to be seen, that we are taught touching those which are unseen.

R. Take hence presents with you, and go unto the lord of the land, and when ye be come into his presence, bow yourselves to him to the earth.
* And my God give you mercy before the man, that he may send away again this your brother, and him which he keepeth in ward.
V. Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present.
R. And my God give you mercy before the man, that he may send away again this your brother, and him which he keepeth in ward.

Reading 2: The Saviour then doth not lightly excuse Himself that He had wrought none of His mighty works in His own country, lest perchance any should thence learn to think lightly of our duty to love our Fatherland. Neither was it possible that He Who loved all, should not love His own countrymen; they it was who failed in that love because of their very envy. I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias. The days of Elias not that the said days belonged to Elias, but either because those were the days when Elias lived and worked; or, else, this is a mystic phrase, meaning that Elias by his works made many souls to awake spiritually from the night of sin to the day of grace, and turn to the Lord. In this latter sense that holy Prophet was a mean whereby heaven was opened to such as looked to the eternal and mysterious things of God, and again was shut, (and there was a famine,) when there were no means of knowing God through outward ordinances. This subject, however, I have treated before at full length, when I was writing on the subject of widows.

R. Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? God be gracious unto thee, my son.
* And he made haste, and entered into the house, and wept there, for his tears brake forth, and he could not refrain himself.
V. And Joseph lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, and his bowels yearned upon his brother.
R. And he made haste, and entered into the house, and wept there, for his tears brake forth, and he could not refrain himself.

Reading 3: And many lepers were in Israel in the days of Eliseus the Prophet, and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. By these words of the Lord our great Physician, we are plainly taught and urged to put our trust in the Adorable God, since we see that none was healed, or cleansed from bodily plague- spots, save him who took a religious means to regain health. For the blessings of God are not given to them who close their eyes in sleep, but to them that look to Him. We have remarked in our other book, alluded to above, that the widow to whom Elias was sent was a type of the Church. And next after (the mention of the type of) the Church cometh meetly the (mention of him who was a type of the Gentile) people, (her converts.) Yea, the Gentiles were a people foreigners by birth, leprous, and covered with plague-spots, till they were baptized in the stream (of the) mystic (Jordan;) but from the sacramental waters they rise, lepers no more, but cleansed in body and soul, a glorious virgin Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

R. Joseph said unto his eleven brethren I am Joseph whom ye sold into Egypt; is our father yet alive, the old man of whom ye spake unto me?
* Go, bring him down unto me, that he may live.
V. For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
R. Go, bring him down unto me, that he may live.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. Go, bring him down unto me, that he may live.