Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

The Gospel for this Sunday is St Matthew 5:20-24:

20 Dico enim vobis, quia nisi abundaverit justitia vestra plus quam scribarum et pharisæorum, non intrabitis in regnum cælorum. 21 Audistis quia dictum est antiquis: Non occides: qui autem occiderit, reus erit judicio. 22 Ego autem dico vobis: quia omnis qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit judicio. Qui autem dixerit fratri suo, raca: reus erit concilio. Qui autem dixerit, fatue: reus erit gehennæ ignis. 23 Si ergo offers munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te: 24 relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare, et vade prius reconciliari fratri tuo: et tunc veniens offeres munus tuum.

[20] For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. [21] You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. [22] But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. [23] If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; [24] Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 9: Thou shalt not kill, is of the righteousness of the Pharisees; Thou shalt not be angry with thy brother without a cause, is of the righteousness of them which shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. The least therefore is: Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall break this commandment, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whosoever shall do it, and not kill, he is not therefore great, and meet for the kingdom of heaven; albeit, he hath risen a step; but he will have gotten farther, if he be not angry with his brother without a cause, which, if he do, he will be the farther off from manslaughter. 

Reading 10: Wherefore, He Which teacheth us that we are not to be angry without a cause, destroyeth not the law, Thou shalt not kill, but rather fulfilleth and increaseth it, making us not only to be free of the sin of outward killing, but also clean of anger within.  On sins of this kind there are divers steps. First, there is the swelling feeling of anger. When this feeling appeareth in a man's heart, he keepeth it. 

Reading 11: Then the inward disturbance wringeth forth words of indignation, not themselves meaning aught, but showing the trouble of him who is provoked. And this is something more than anger kept covered under silence. Next, this audible outburst of indignation may contain direct and open reviling of him who hath roused it. And it cannot be doubted that this is something more than an empty cry of anger.

Reading 12: Behold here the three degrees of guilt open respectively to the judgment, to the council, and to hellfire. In the judgment, there is still place for defence. In the council, albeit this also is in a sense a judgment, yet we may suppose this distinction from the judgment proper, that the council pronounceth sentence, not as the result of a trial whereat the accused is present, but as the result of a consultation among the judges, to what punishment he is to be sentenced of whom it is already established that he is guilty. When we get to hell-fire, there remaineth no longer any doubt about condemnation, as in the judgment, and no longer any doubt about sentence, as in the council. In hellfire the condemnation and the pain of him that is condemned are alike certain.

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