Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Ember Wednesday in the first week of Lent

Today's Gospel in the Roman Office is St Matthew 12:38-50.  In the Benedictine calendar it is the feast of St Gregory the Great, for which the Gospel is St Matthew 16: 13-19, with the readings from a sermon of Pope St Leo..

Here is the Latin of the Gospel for the Lent day, from New Advent:

38 Tunc responderunt ei quidam de scribis et pharisæis, dicentes: Magister, volumus a te signum videre. 39 Qui respondens ait illis: Generatio mala et adultera signum quærit: et signum non dabitur ei, nisi signum Jonæ prophetæ. 40 Sicut enim fuit Jonas in ventre ceti tribus diebus, et tribus noctibus, sic erit Filius hominis in corde terræ tribus diebus et tribus noctibus. 41 Viri Ninivitæ surgent in judicio cum generatione ista, et condemnabunt eam: quia pœnitentiam egerunt in prædicatione Jonæ, et ecce plus quam Jonas hic. 42 Regina austri surget in judicio cum generatione ista, et condemnabit eam: quia venit a finibus terræ audire sapientiam Salomonis, et ecce plus quam Salomon hic.43 Cum autem immundus spiritus exierit ab homine, ambulat per loca arida, quærens requiem, et non invenit. 44 Tunc dicit: Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et veniens invenit eam vacantem, scopis mundatam, et ornatam. 45 Tunc vadit, et assumit septem alios spiritus secum nequiores se, et intrantes habitant ibi: et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus. Sic erit et generationi huic pessimæ. 46 Adhuc eo loquente ad turbas, ecce mater ejus et fratres stabant foris, quærentes loqui ei. 47 Dixit autem ei quidam: Ecce mater tua, et fratres tui foris stant quærentes te. 48 At ipse respondens dicenti sibi, ait: Quæ est mater mea, et qui sunt fratres mei? 49 Et extendens manum in discipulos suos, dixit: Ecce mater mea, et fratres mei. 50 Quicumque enim fecerit voluntatem Patris mei, qui in cælis est, ipse meus frater, et soror, et mater est.

And the Douay-Rheims:

[38] Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying: Master we would see a sign from thee. [39] Who answering said to them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. [40] For as Jonas was in the whale' s belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.[41] The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. [42] The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon here. [43] And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. [45] Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation. [46] As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him. [47] And one said unto him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee. [48] But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? [49] And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren. [50] For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

The Matins readings, from a Homily of St Ambrose, via the Divinum Officium website:

Reading 1: After the condemnation of the Jewish people, the mystery of the Church is plainly declared in the figures of the repentant Ninevites, and of the Queen of the South. Like that Queen, the Church cometh from the uttermost parts of the earth, to hear the wisdom of the true Solomon, the Prince of Peace. A Queen she is, and a Queen of one indivisible realm, wrought into one body out of all nations, however divers and distant.

R.br. Rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God;
* For He is gracious and merciful.
V. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return' unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him.
R. For He is gracious and merciful.

Reading 2: And thus cometh that great mystery of Christ and the Church, a mystery more excellent now in the fulness of truth, than in the ancient type. For there they had in Solomon only a type of that which Christ is now in His own Person. And the Church is of two classes, whereof the one knoweth not how to sin, and the other sinneth no more. To wash away sin is the work of repentance, to eschew it that of wisdom.

R.br. Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor and the wanderer to thine house.
* Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy righteousness shall go before thee.
V. When thou seest the naked, cover him; and hide not thyself from thine own flesh.
R. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy righteousness shall go before thee.

Reading 3: Lastly, the sign of the Prophet Jonas, as it was a figure of the Lord's sufferings, was also a witness to the gravity of those sins which the Jews committed. At the same time, we see in these words of the Lord a declaration at once of His power, and of His love; for, by turning our eyes on the Ninevites, He showeth us a way of escape, while He setteth before us the horror of what will otherwise be our punishment. Even the Jews need not cease to hope for pardon, if only they would repent.

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