Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Matins readings for Tuesday in the second week of Lent

Today's Gospel is St Matthew 23: 1-12:

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.  All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men' s shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them.  And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes.  And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues,  And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.  But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren.  And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.  Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, Christ.  He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Matins readings

Reading 1 (Homily by St Jerome): Was there ever man gentler and kinder than the Lord? The Pharisees tempted Him; their craft was confounded, and, in the words of the Psalmist, The arrows of babes have pierced them, and nevertheless, because of the dignity of their priesthood and name, He exhorteth the people to be subject to them, by doing according to their words, though not according to their works. By the words Moses' seat we are to understand the teaching of the law. Thus also must we mystically take, Sitteth in the seat of the scornful, and likewise, overthrew the seats of them that sold doves, to describe doctrine.

R. As Jacob went out from his own land, he saw the glory of God, and said How dreadful is this place * This is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.
V. Surely God is in this place, and I knew it not.
R. This is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.

Reading 2: How they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. This is generally directed against all teachers who command things hard, and themselves do not even things easy. But it is to be remarked that the shoulders, the fingers, and the binding of the burdens, have a spiritual interpretation. But all their works they do for to be seen of men. Whosoever therefore doth anything for to be seen of men, the same is, so far, a Scribe and a Pharisee.

R. If the Lord my God will be with me, in this way that I go, and will keep me, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, and will bring me again safely * The Lord shall be my refuge, and this stone shall be a sign.
V. So Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it, and said
R. The Lord shall be my refuge, and this shall be a sign.

Reading 3: They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments. And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi. Woe to us miserable sinners who have inherited the vices of the Pharisees! When the Lord had given the commandments of the law to Moses He added afterwards Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. The sense of these words is My Law shall be in thine hand to order whatsoever thou doest, and ever before thine eyes that thou mayest meditate therein day and night. But the Pharisees, by a bad interpretation, were accustomed to write on pieces of parchment the Decalogue of Moses, that is, the Ten Words of the Law, and to tie these pieces of parchment, plaited in a peculiar manner, on their foreheads, so as to make a sort of crown round their heads, which projected in front of their eyes, and always moved before them.

R. The Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be called God's house, and of all that Thou shalt give me * I will offer tithes and peace-offerings to thee.
V. If I come again to my father's house in peace.
R. I will offer tithes and peace-offerings unto thee.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. I will offer tithes and peace-offerings unto thee.

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