Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Wednesday in Passion Week

Today's Gospel is St John 10:22-38:

And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon' s porch.  The Jews therefore came round about him, and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of my Father, they give testimony of me.  But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me.  And I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand.  That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father.  I and the Father are one. The Jews then took up stones to stone him.  Jesus answered them: Many good works I have shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do you stone me?  The Jews answered him: For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, maketh thyself God.  Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said you are gods?  If he called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the scripture cannot be broken;  Do you say of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.  But if I do, though you will not believe me, believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

Matins readings (St Augustine)

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to John - In that time it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. And so on.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop  - The Greek word Enkainia, used by the Evangelist, signifieth the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple. The derivation thereof is kainon, which is, being interpreted, new; and the Dedication of anything new is thence called Enkainia. The use of this word is still preserved among ourselves; if any man put on his new coat for the first time we say that he enkainiateth. It was the use of the Jews to keep solemn holiday upon the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Temple, and this was the Feast-day which was being observed when the Lord spake the words which have been read.

R. O Lord, I go mourning all the day long, for my soul is filled with a loathsome disease * They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.
V. My friends and my neighbours draw near, and stand over against me; and they that are nearest to me stand afar off.
R. They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.

Reading 2: It was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple in Solomon's Porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him How long dost Thou make us to doubt? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. They sought not to know the truth, but to have whereof to accuse Him. It was winter, and they were cold; for they were slow to draw near to God's fire. If to believe is to draw near thereto, then he which believeth draweth near thereto and he which denieth, goeth away therefrom. The feet of the soul, by which it moveth, are the affections thereof.

R. O Lord, hide not thy face from thy servant * For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it; deliver me, because of mine enemies.
R. For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.

Reading 3: They were frozen with want of love, and at the same time on fire with thirst to do injury. They stood afar off, and yet came near; for though they drew not near by faith, they were eager to persecute. They sought to hear the Lord say I am the Christ; and perchance they knew somewhat concerning Christ, as touching His Manhood, for the Prophets had prophesied of Christ. But the Godhead of Christ even some heretics do not see witnessed either in the Prophets or in the Gospel; how much less the Jews, as long as the veil is upon their heart.

R. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, * And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
V. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the Angel of the Lord persecute them.
R. And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
V. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, and my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.

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