Saturday, 1 October 2016

Matins Readings for 20th Sunday after Pentecost

Nocturn III: Homily 28 of St Gregory the Great

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to John: At that time: There was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. And so on.

My brethren, the passage from the Holy Gospel, which ye have just now heard, standeth in need of no explanation. But lest I should seem to pass the same by in idle silence, I will say somewhat thereon, but that rather by way of exhortation than of explanation. Indeed, there seemeth to me to be but one point which calleth for explanation, and that point is this Wherefore was it that when the nobleman went unto the Lord, and besought Him that He would come down and heal his son, Jesus said unto him: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” The very fact that he had come to beseech Christ to heal his son, putteth it beyond all doubt that this nobleman believed if he had not believed Him to be a Saviour, he would not have asked Him to save his son.

R. The sun shone upon the shields of gold, and the mountains glistered therewith;
* And the army of the heathens was spread abroad.
V. For the army was very great and mighty then Judas and his host drew near and entered into battle.
R. And the army of the heathens was spread abroad.

Reading 10: Wherefore then said Jesus unto him: "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe," since he was one who had not seen, and yet had believed? But bethink you what was his prayer, and then shall ye understand clearly wherein his faith was shaky. He "besought Him that He would come down and heal his son." He asked for the bodily presence of Him Who is spiritually always present everywhere.

Reading 11: He believed not therefore enough in Christ, for he thought that He could not heal unless He were bodily present. Had his faith been perfect, he would doubtless have known that God is everywhere.This was therefore a grievously imperfect faith, in attributing the virtue not to Christ's Majesty, but to His bodily presence.

Reading 12: Thus it was that his faith was still unsound, even while he was asking for his son's health. For, though he believed concerning Him unto Whom he came that He was mighty to save, yet he thought also that at that moment He was absent from his dying child. But the Lord, being asked to go, showed that, wherever He is called on, He is there, and being He Who, by a simple act of will, brought all things into being, gave health by a simple command.

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: John 4:46-53

He came again therefore into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain ruler, whose son was sick at Capharnaum. He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into Galilee, went to him, and prayed him to come down, and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him: Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not. The ruler saith to him: Lord, come down before that my son die. Jesus saith to him: Go thy way; thy son liveth. The man believed the word which Jesus said to him, and went his way. And as he was going down, his servants met him; and they brought word, saying, that his son lived. He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him.
 The father therefore knew, that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house.

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