Saturday, 24 September 2016

Matins readings for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Nocturn III (Homily 38 on the Gospels by Pope St Gregory the Great)

Reading 9: I remember that I have often said that, in the Holy Gospel, the Church as she now is, is called the kingdom of heaven, for the kingdom of heaven is indeed the assembly of the righteous. The Lord hath said by the mouth of His Prophet The heaven is My throne.  Solomon saith The throne of wisdom is the soul of the righteous. And Paul saith that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. From these passages we may clearly gather that if wisdom be God, and wisdom's throne be the soul of the righteous, and God's throne be the heaven, then the soul of the righteous is heaven. Hence also the Psalmist saith, speaking of holy preachers The heavens declare the glory of God.

R. Strengthen me, O King, Who reignest over the holy ones.* Put Thou in my mouth clear and well-sounding words.
V. O Lord, King of all forces, turn back their device upon themselves.
R. Put Thou in my mouth clear and well-sounding words.

Reading 10: The kingdom of heaven, therefore, is the Church of the righteous, even of them whose hearts seek not for anything upon earth, but who sigh so continually after the things which are above, that God doth already reign in them as He doth in heaven. Let it then be said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. Ye already understand, my loving friends, who is that Royal Father of a Royal Son. It is indeed no other than He to Whom the Psalmist saith : Give the King thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the King's son.

Reading 11: Which made a marriage for his son. God the Father made a marriage for God the Son, when He wedded Him to the manhood in the womb of the Virgin, when He willed that He Who is God before all ages, should in the end of the ages become Man. The marriage union is the union of two persons, but God forbid that we should imagine that the One Person of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, Who is both God and Man, is formed by a union of an human person with a Divine Person.

Reading 12: We profess concerning Him that He is of, and in two natures, but we shrink from the blasphemy of saying that He is compounded of two persons. It will therefore be clearer and safer to say that the marriage which the Father made for His Royal Son was the wedding Him, through the mystery of the Incarnation, to His mystic Bride the Holy Church. The womb of the Maiden Mother was the marriage chamber in which this union took place. Hence it is that the Psalmist saith: In the sun hath He set His tabernacle, Who is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.

R. One Seraph cried unto another:
* Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.
V. There are Three That bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these Three are One.
R. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. The whole earth is full of His glory.

Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14

And Jesus answering, spoke again in parables to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son. And he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage; and they would not come.  Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my calves and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the marriage.  But they neglected, and went their own ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise. And the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death. But when the king had heard of it, he was angry, and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city.  Then he saith to his servants: The marriage indeed is ready; but they that were invited were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways; and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage.  And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good: and the marriage was filled with guests. And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment.  And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent.  Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen.

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