Sunday, 3 August 2014

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Today's Gospel is St Luke 16:1-9

1 Dicebat autem et ad discipulos suos: Homo quidam erat dives, qui habebat villicum: et hic diffamatus est apud illum quasi dissipasset bona ipsius. 2 Et vocavit illum, et ait illi: Quid hoc audio de te? redde rationem villicationis tuæ: jam enim non poteris villicare. 3 Ait autem villicus intra se: Quid faciam, quia dominus meus aufert a me villicationem? Fodere non valeo, mendicare erubesco. 4 Scio quid faciam, ut, cum amotus fuero a villicatione, recipiant me in domos suas. 5 Convocatis itaque singulis debitoribus domini sui, dicebat primo: Quantum debes domino meo? 6 At ille dixit: Centum cados olei. Dixitque illi: Accipe cautionem tuam: et sede cito, scribe quinquaginta. 7 Deinde alii dixit: Tu vero quantum debes? Qui ait: Centum coros tritici. Ait illi: Accipe litteras tuas, et scribe octoginta. 8 Et laudavit dominus villicum iniquitatis, quia prudenter fecisset: quia filii hujus sæculi prudentiores filiis lucis in generatione sua sunt. 9 Et ego vobis dico: facite vobis amicos de mammona iniquitatis: ut, cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in æterna tabernacula.

And he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods. [2] And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer. [3] And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed. [4] I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. [5] Therefore calling together every one of his lord' s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? [6] But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty. [7] Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. [8] And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. [9] And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

Matins readings (from  St Jerome)

Reading 9: The lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely though wickedly. The lord, although himself defrauded by it, could not but praise the shrewdness of his dishonest servant, because he had cheated him with profit to himself. How much more will our Master Christ, Who is above any defrauding by us, and is Himself the Great Forgiver, praise us if we win a blessing from Him by dealing indulgently with those who are to believe in Him?

Reading 10: After this parable the Lord saith: “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.” This word "mammon" is a Syriac not an Hebrew) word, signifying illgotten gains. If then even ill-gotten gains can be so used by such as have them as to profit them, how much more can they who, like the Apostles, are "stewards of the mysteries of God," those true and blameless riches, how much more can they profit themselves, (1 Cor. iv. 1, even everlastingly, by their right use of them?

Reading 11: Therefore it is immediately written: “He that is faithful in that which is least, that is to say, in bodily things, is faithful also in much that is to say, in spiritual things.” “And he that is unjust in the least”, that is to say, by not giving to his needy brother succour of those things which are needful for the body, and which God hath made for all men, such an one is unjust also in much that is to say, he will deal out spiritual things unfairly, this to one and that to another, and not according to their true spiritual needs.

Reading 12: "If therefore," saith the Lord, "ye have not been faithful in the "use of earthly riches which pass away, "who will commit to your trust the true and abiding riches," that is, the spiritual riches of the word of God?  And if in those things which are foreign (and everything which is of the world is foreign to us) you have been unfaithful, who will entrust to you those things which are yours and properly given over to man?

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