Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Thursday in Passion week

The Gospel today is St Luke 7:36-50:

And one of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat.  And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he sat at meat in the Pharisee' s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment;  And standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet, with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner.  And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors, the one who owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most?  Simon answering, said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said to him: Thou hast judged rightly.  And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.  My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed my feet.  Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.  And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee.  And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace.

Matins readings (from St Gregory the Great)

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to Luke - In that time one of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, And so on.

Homily by Pope St Gregory - When I think of the repentance of Mary Magdalene I feel nigher to weep than to say ought. Is there indeed any man, however stony his heart, who is not somewhat moved to follow the ensample of her repentance by the tears of that poor sinful woman? She weighed what she did, and would not that what she did should be niggardly. She came unbidden among the guests, and obtruded her tears upon the banquet. Ye may hence gather her sorrow, that she was content to weep at a feast.

R. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, and out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. * For Thou art my hope.
V. O my God, be not far from me O my God, make haste for my help.
R. For Thou art my hope.

Reading 2: We believe that this woman, of whom Luke saith that she was a woman in the city, which was a sinner, and whom John nameth Mary, was the same as she of whom it is written in Mark that the Lord had cast out of her seven devils. And what signify seven devils but all manner of sin? For even as seven days do represent all time, so doth the number seven stand for all. Therefore is it said that Mary had seven devils, because she was full of all sin.

R. They be increased that trouble me, and that say There is no help for him in his God. * Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!
V. Lest mine enemy say I have prevailed against him.
R. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!

Reading 3: But see how she realized the depth of her own filthiness, and came to be washed to the Well of Mercy, before all them which were bidden to the feast. The bitterness of her inward shame made her esteem it a light thing to be despised outwardly. At what then do we marvel, my brethren? That she came, or that the Lord welcomed her? Or would it be truer for me to say that He drew her to Him and welcomed her when she came? for His mercy inwardly drew her, and, when she came, His gentleness openly welcomed her.

R. How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? * Consider, and hear me, O Lord my God!
V. Those that trouble me will rejoice when I am moved but I have trusted in thy mercy.
R. Consider and hear me, O Lord my God!
R. How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? * Consider and hear me, O Lord my God!

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