Thursday, 9 March 2017

Matins readings for Thursday in the first week of Lent

The Gospel today, to which the Matins readings refer, is St Matthew 15:21-28:

And Jesus went from thence, and retired into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold a woman of Canaan who came out of those coasts, crying out, said to him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David: my daughter is grieviously troubled by the devil.  Who answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us:  And he answering, said: I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel.  But she came and adored him, saying: Lord, help me. Who answering, said: It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs. But she said: Yea, Lord; for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.  Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour.

Matins readings (from St Jerome):

Reading 1: Christ leaveth the Scribes and Pharisees who had spoken falsely against Him, and goeth into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, that He may heal the Tyrians and Sidonians. But a woman of Canaan cometh to Him out of the land He had left, and crieth to Him to give health to her daughter. Remark that the case of the daughter of this woman of Canaan is the fifteenth case of healing. Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David! She knew that He was to be called Son of David because she was come out of His own country, and had left the errors of the Tyrians and Sidonians when she changed her home and her faith.

R. I had been troubled, but that I knew thy mercy, O Lord Thou hast said I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he turn from his way and live. * O Thou, Who didst call the Canaanitish woman and the Publican unto repentance!
V. In the multitude of the sorrows within my heart, thy comforts delight my soul.
R. O Thou Who didst call the Canaanitish woman and the Publican unto repentance!

Reading 2: My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. I think that the daughter of this woman of Canaan, (whom the Lord at length delivered,) was a figure of the souls of such as now believe, but were once grievously vexed by the devil, knowing not Him Who made them, and bowing down to stocks and stones. But He answered not a word not because He was puffed up with the pride of the Pharisees, or shared the high looks of the Scribes, but that He might fulfil His own word that He had spoken, saying Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. He would not give an occasion to such as spoke falsely against Him, and He kept back perfect salvation from the Gentiles until such time as He should have suffered and risen again.

R. In all things let us approve ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience;
* That our ministry be not blamed.
V. Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is' the day of salvation let us approve ourselves in much patience.
R. That our ministry be not blamed.

Reading 3: And His disciples came and besought Him, saying Send her away; for she crieth after us. The disciples, knowing not as yet the mysterious things of the Lord, said this, either because they were moved with compassion and so interceded for this Canaanitish woman, whom another Evangelist calleth a Syrophoenician, or because she was crying out that the Lord was an hard, instead of a merciful physician, and they desired to be rid of her clamour. But He answered and said I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not that He was not sent unto the Gentiles, but because it was to Israel in the first instance that He was sent, whom refusing the Gospel, He might justly pass away from, and go to the Gentiles.

R. The Priests shall pray, with fasting and with weeping, and shall say Spare, O Lord,* Spare thy people; and give not thine heritage to destruction.
V. The Priests shall weep between the porch and the altar, and shall say
R. Spare, O Lord, spare thy people; and give not thine heritage to destruction.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Spare, O Lord, spare thy people and give not thine heritage to destruction.

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