Thursday, 23 March 2017

Friday in the third week of Lent

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

He cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob' s well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour.  There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink.  For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats.  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.  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. The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou living water?  Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?  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:  But the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting.  The woman saith to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw.[Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered, and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly.  The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain, and you say, that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me, that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father.  You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews. 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.  God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth.  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. Jesus saith to her: I am he, who am speaking with thee.  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?  The woman therefore left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men there:  Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ?  They went therefore out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean time the disciples prayed him, saying: Rabbi, eat.  But he said to them: I have meat to eat, which you know not. The disciples therefore said one to another: Hath any man brought him to eat?  Jesus saith to them: My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work.  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. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together.  For in this is the saying true: That it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth.  I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labour: others have laboured, and you have entered into their labours.  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.  So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. And many more believed in him because of his own word. 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.

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