Monday in the third week of Lent

Today's Gospel is St Luke 4:23-30:

And he said to them: Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country.  And he said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country.  In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth.  And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian.  And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger.  And they rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.

Matins readings

Reading 1: Homily of St Ambrose - Here we have a display of a spite not very common. Their hatred of Christ, and their desire to find grounds for that hatred in what in Him appealed for their love, had made them forget their local friendliness to a fellow-citizen. By this example as well as by God's declaration, thou mayest learn that thou wilt wait in vain to be holpen of His mercy, whilst thou art envious of the spiritual good of thy neighbour. Yea, the Lord turneth Him away from the envious, and will not show the mighty works of His power to such as are bitter against His gifts to others. The example of Himself which God hath been pleased to set before us is that of His doings in the Flesh, and it is by these His doings which He suffered to be seen, that we are taught touching those which are unseen.

R. Tollite hinc vobiscum munera, et ite ad dominum terrae: et cum inveneritis, adorate eum super terram: * Deus autem meus faciat eum vobis placabilem: et remittat et hunc fratrem vestrum vobiscum, et eum quem tenet in vinculis.
V. Sumite de optimis terrae frugibus in vasis vestris, et deferte viro munera. Deus.
R. Deus autem meus faciat eum vobis placabilem: et remittat et hunc fratrem vestrum vobiscum, et eum quem tenet in vinculis.
R. Take hence presents with you, and go unto the lord of the land, and when ye be come into his presence, bow yourselves to him to the earth. * And my God give you mercy before the man, that he may send away again this your brother, and him which he keepeth in ward.
V. Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present.
R. And my God give you mercy before the man, that he may send away again this your brother, and him which he keepeth in ward.

Reading 2: The Saviour then doth not lightly excuse Himself that He had wrought none of His mighty works in His own country, lest perchance any should thence learn to think lightly of our duty to love our Fatherland. Neither was it possible that He Who loved all, should not love His own countrymen; they it was who failed in that love because of their very envy. I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias. The days of Elias not that the said days belonged to Elias, but either because those were the days when Elias lived and worked; or, else, this is a mystic phrase, meaning that Elias by his works made many souls to awake spiritually from the night of sin to the day of grace, and turn to the Lord. In this latter sense that holy Prophet was a mean whereby heaven was opened to such as looked to the eternal and mysterious things of God, and again was shut, (and there was a famine,) when there were no means of knowing God through outward ordinances. This subject, however, I have treated before at full length, when I was writing on the subject of widows.

R. Iste est frater vester minimus, de quo dixeratis mihi? Deus misereatur tibi, fili mi. * Festinavitque in domum, et ploravit: quia erumpebant lacrimae, et non poterat se continere.
V. Attollens autem Joseph oculos, vidit Benjamin stantem: et commota sunt omnia viscera ejus super fratre suo.
R. Festinavitque in domum, et ploravit: quia erumpebant lacrimae, et non poterat se continere.
R. Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? God be gracious unto thee, my son. * And he made haste, and entered into the house, and wept there, for his tears brake forth, and he could not refrain himself.
V. And Joseph lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, and his bowels yearned upon his brother.
R. And he made haste, and entered into the house, and wept there, for his tears brake forth, and he could not refrain himself.

Reading 3: And many lepers were in Israel in the days of Eliseus the Prophet, and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. By these words of the Lord our great Physician, we are plainly taught and urged to put our trust in the Adorable God, since we see that none was healed, or cleansed from bodily plague- spots, save him who took a religious means to regain health. For the blessings of God are not given to them who close their eyes in sleep, but to them that look to Him. We have remarked in our other book, alluded to above, that the widow to whom Elias was sent was a type of the Church. And next after (the mention of the type of) the Church cometh meetly the (mention of him who was a type of the Gentile) people, (her converts.) Yea, the Gentiles were a people foreigners by birth, leprous, and covered with plague-spots, till they were baptized in the stream (of the) mystic (Jordan;) but from the sacramental waters they rise, lepers no more, but cleansed in body and soul, a glorious virgin Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

R. Dixit Joseph undecim fratribus suis: Ego sum Joseph, quem vendidistis in Aegyptum: adhuc vivit pater noster senior, de quo dixeritis mihi? * Ite, adducite eum ad me, ut possit vivere.
V. Biennium enim est quod coepit esse fames in terra: et adhuc restant anni quinque, quibus nec arari poterit, nec meti.
R. Ite, adducite eum ad me, ut possit vivere.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Ite, adducite eum ad me, ut possit vivere.
R. Joseph said unto his eleven brethren I am Joseph whom ye sold into Egypt; is our father yet alive, the old man of whom ye spake unto me? * Go, bring him down unto me, that he may live.
V. For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
R. Go, bring him down unto me, that he may live.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Go, bring him down unto me, that he may live.


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