Monday, 25 July 2016

Feast of St James, Class II

The readings for the feast of St James are as follows:

Nocturn I (from the Common of Apostles): 1 Corinthians 4:1-4; 5-7; 8-10; 11-15

Nocturn II

Reading 5: James, the Son of Zebedee and brother of the Apostle John, was a Galilean, and with his brother one of the first of His Apostles whom the Lord called, whileas they were in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets and they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed Him. And He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder. Peter, and James, and John, were the three Apostles whom the Saviour loved best; them He took and brought up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; when He went to the house of the ruler of the synagogue to raise his daughter from the dead, He suffered no man to follow Him save Peter, and James, and John; and, at the last, just before the Jews took Him, when He cometh unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.. He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee.

R. I saw men standing together, clad in shining raiment, and the Angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying* These men are holy, for they are the friends of God.
V. I saw a strong Angel of God fly into the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice
R. These men are holy, for they are the friends of God.

Reading 6: After that Jesus Christ was ascended into heaven, James preached how that He was God, and led many in Judaea and Samaria to the Christian Faith. A while afterward, he went to Spain, and there he brought some to Christ, of whom seven were afterwards ordained Bishops by Blessed Peter, and were the first such sent into that country.

R. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake;* Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
V. When men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake.
R. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Reading 7: From Spain James went back to Jerusalem, where he taught the Faith to divers persons, and, among others, to the Magian Hermogenes. Thereupon Herod Agrippa, who had been raised to the kingdom under the Emperor Claudius, to curry favour with the Jews, condemned James to death for his firm confession that Jesus Christ is God. The officer who led James to the judgment seat, at sight of the courage wherewith he was ready to offer up his testimony, declared himself also to be a Christian.

R. These are they which have conquered, and are become the friends of God, who recked not of the commandments of princes, and earned the everlasting reward.
* And now have they crowns on their heads, and palms in their hands.
V. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
R. And now have they crowns on their heads, and palms in their hands.

Reading 8: As they were being hurried to execution, this man asked pardon of James, and the Apostle kissed him, saying, Peace be unto thee. James healed a paralytic, and immediately afterwards both the prisoners were beheaded. The body of the Apostle was afterwards taken to Compostella, (in the province of Gallicia, in Spain,) where his grave is very famous. Multitudes of pilgrims from all parts of the earth betake themselves thither to pray, out of sheer piety or in fulfilment of vows. The Birth - day of James is kept by the Church upon this day, which is that of the bringing of his body to Compostella. It was about Easter-time that he bore witness to Jesus Christ with his blood, at Jerusalem, being the first of the Apostles to do so.

Nocturn III: Homily of St John Chrysostom

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew: At that time, came to Jesus the mother of Zebedee's children, with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him. And so on.

Let no man be troubled if we say that the Apostles were still imperfect, for the mystery of the Cross was not yet finished, the grace of the Spirit had not yet been shed abroad in their hearts. If thou wilt behold them in their strength, consider them such as they became after the grace of the Spirit was given them, and thou wilt perceive that they had trodden under foot every vain desire. This is the cause wherefore their present imperfection is made known unto us, that is, that thou mayest see how great a change could be forthwith wrought by grace.

R. These are they who while yet they lived in the flesh, planted the Church in their own blood;* They drank of the Lord's cup, and became the friends of God.
V. Their sound is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
R. They drank of the Lord's cup, and became the friends of God.

 Reading 10: But nevertheless let us now look how they came unto Christ, and what they said. Master, they said, we would that Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And He said unto them: What would ye that I should do for you? not, surely, that He knew not what their wish was, but that He would make them answer, and so uncover the wound, to lay a plaster upon it. Their wish proceeded from earthly motives, and they were shy and ashamed to express it, and therefore they took Christ apart, and so asked Him. The Evangelist saith: For they were gone apart, that they might not be discovered of them and then they told Him what they sought.

R. These men are saints, whom the Lord hath chosen in love unfeigned, and hath given them glory everlasting. These are they
* By the light of whose teaching the Church is glorified, even as the moon is glorified by the light of the sun.
V. The saints through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness.
R. By the light of whose teaching the Church is glorified, even as the moon is glorified by the light of the sun.

Reading 11: To me it seemeth most likely that they had heard how that the disciples should sit upon twelve thrones; they were fain to obtain for themselves the chiefest places at this enthronement; they knew that the Lord loved them better than the most of the others; but they feared that Peter would still be preferred before them; and therefore they made bold to say: Grant unto us that we may sit, one at thy right Hand, and the other at thy left Hand, in thy glory. They were even instant with Him, saying: Say that we may. And what answered He? To show that they were asking no spiritual gift, nor even knew for themselves what they were asking, nor would have asked it if they had known what it was, Jesus said unto them: Ye know not what ye ask, ye know not how great a thing, how wonderful a thing this is, a thing which even is not Mine to give.

Reading 12: And He said moreover: Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Behold how He turneth their thoughts at once another way, speaking to them of things altogether different, as though He said, Ye come unto Me treating of honours and crowns, but I speak unto you of the wrestling and the sweat. This is not yet the time of reward, neither is My glory immediately to be revealed; but now death and danger are present with you. But consider how, by the manner of His questioning, He doth both exhort and invite them. He saith not Are ye able to bear death? Are ye able to shed your blood? but: How are ye able to drink the cup whereto He presently inviteth them, saying: the cup that I shall drink of; that He may make them readier for the strife by knowing that it is a strife which they are to share with Him.

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-23

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