Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Reading Hebrews with St Thomas: St Thomas' Introduction to the Epistle

St Thomas offers both a prologue to the Commentary, and some comments on the structure of Hebrews, both of which are worth contemplating.

The structure and purpose of Hebrews

Aquinas:
He wrote this epistle against the errors of those converts from Judaism who wanted to preserve the legal observances along with the Gospel, as though Christ’s grace were not sufficient for salvation. 
Hence it is divided into two parts: in the first he extols Christ’s grandeur to show the superiority of the New Testament over the Old; secondly, he discusses what unites the members to the head, namely, faith (chap. 11). 
But he intends to show the New Testament’s superiority over the Old by proving Christ’s preeminence over the personnel of the Old Testament, namely, the angels, by whom the Law was handed down: ‘The law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator’ (Gal. 3:19); and Moses, by whom or through whom it was given: ‘The law was given by Moses’ (Jn. 1:17); ‘There arose no more a prophet in Israel like unto Moses, to whom the Lord spoke face to face’ (Dt. 3:10), and the priesthood by which it was administered: ‘Into the first tabernacle the priests indeed entered, accomplishing the offices of sacrifices’ (Heb. 9:6).  First, therefore, he favors Christ over the angels; secondly, over Moses (chap. 3); thirdly, over the priesthood of the Old Testament (chap. 5). 
Comment: The error of our times is no longer Judaising tendencies, but the arguments used in are still extremely pertinent in countering the modern tendency to downplay the divinity of Jesus.

The transcendence of Christ (Prologue)

 ‘There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours’ (Ps. 86:8).
In these words Christ’s transcendence is described under two aspects: first as compared to other gods, when he says, ‘There is none among the gods like thee, O Lord’; secondly, as reflected in His effects, when he says, ‘nor are there any works like yours’.

In regard to the first it should be noted that although there is but one God by nature, as it says in Deut. 6:4: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord’, nevertheless, by participation there are many gods both in heaven and on earth: ‘For there be gods many, and lords many’ (1 Cor. 8:5). For angels are sometimes called gods: ‘When the sons of God came to stand before the Lord’ (Jb. 1:6 & 11), and also prophets, as is said of Moses: ‘Behold I have appointed you the god of Pharaoh’ (Ex. 7:1), and priests: ‘You shall not speak ill of the gods’, i.e., of the priests (Ex. 22:28); ‘If the thief be not known, the master of the house shall be brought to the gods’ (Ex. 22:8). Angels are called gods on account of their rich splendor of divine brightness: ‘Upon whom shall not his light arise?’ (Jb. 25:3).

Christ is greater than all others called 'gods': But angels are not like unto Christ among the gods, because He is the ‘brightness of the Father’s glory’ (1:3); ‘Setting him on his right hand in the heavenly place above all principality and power and above every name named in this world and in the world to come’ (Eph. 1:20). The prophets are called gods, because the word of God was spoken to them; ‘He called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken’ (Jn. 10:35). Therefore, Christ is God in some more excellent way, because He is the substantial Word of God. Priests are called gods, because they are God’s ministers: ‘You shall be called priests of the Lord, you ministers of our God’ (Is. 61:6). But Christ is God in a stronger sense, for He is not a minister but the Lord of all: ‘Lord of Lords’ (Rev. 19:16). ‘But Christ was faithful in his own house as a son’ (Heb. 3:6). Christ, therefore, is the great God above all the gods, because He is the splendor, the Word, and the Lord

 Secondly, this transcendence is shown by His works; hence it says, nor are there any works like thine. Here it should be noted that the matchless work of Christ is threefold: one extends to every creature, namely, the work of creation: ‘All things were made through Him’ (Jn. 1:3); a second extends to the rational creature, who is enlightened by Christ, namely, the work of enlightenment: ‘He was the true light which enlightens every man that comes into the world’ (Jn. 1:9); the third extends to justification, which pertains only to the saints, who are vivified and sanctified by Him, i.e., by life-giving grace: ‘And the life was the light of men’ (Jn. 1:4). Now, the other gods cannot perform these works: for the angels are not creators, but creatures ‘Who make your angels spirits’ (Ps. 103:4); prophets are enlightened and not enlighteners: ‘He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light’ (Jn. 1:8); and priests do not justify: ‘It is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away’ (Heb. 10:4).

The transcendence of Christ is thus clearly shown in our text; and this is the subject matter of this epistle to the Hebrews....

Prayer

Lord, 

May our reading and meditation on this your word help protect us against error and lead us to greater understanding and love of you.
  Oh God, as we contemplate your wonderful work of creation, and your work of enlightenment of men, give us too your life-giving grace that we may be sanctified and vivified through Christ,

Amen. 

Monday, 30 May 2016

Introduction to the Epistle to the Hebrews/1


Today, an introduction to a series of posts aimed at supporting lectio divina on the epistle to the Hebrews, drawing mainly on the Commentary of St Thomas Aquinas.

Why read Hebrews?

Fr Hunwicke recently posted a rather sad piece on the failure of Catholics to appreciate the reality and importance of the sacrifice of the Mass.

Personally I think the problem is not just the Mass (central though that is) but a broader issue around our understanding of suffering and sacrifice (viz Arianism is alive and well in our day), not to mention Christology (viz Arianism is alive and well!).  Certainly in my own theological degree the topics of sacrifice and atonement, and their relevance to everyday Christian practice were topics jumped over pretty lightly indeed, and several years later I'm still trying to fill in gaps in my understanding.

In large part I suspect the problem stems from our reluctance to read and engage with the Old Testament thoroughly, and understand the way it foreshadows and teaches us the foundations for the New.  That continuity is of course a key theme in Acts, which I've just finished working through here with the help of St John Chrysostom, but it is most developed in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and so I thought it might make a suitable next subject for lectio.

Authorship and date

The Epistle to the Hebrews is traditionally attributed to St Paul, supported by the testimony of Clement of Rome.  Doubt about his authorship started in the third century, mainly because the style of the Greek is much more polished than his other epistles.

St Thomas Aquinas comments for example that:
... it should be noted that before the Council of Nicaea, some doubted that this was one of Paul’s epistles for two reasons: first, because it does not follow the patters of the other epistles. For there is no salutation and no name of the author. Secondly, it does not have the style of the others; indeed, it is more elegant. Furthermore, no other work of Scripture proceeds in such an orderly manner in the sequence of words and sentences as this one. Hence, they said that it was the work of Luke, the evangelist, or of Barnabas or Pope Clement. For he wrote to the Athenians according to this style.
Nevertheless, the old doctors, especially Dionysius and certain others, accept the words of this epistle as being Paul’s testimony. Jerome, too, acknowledges it as Paul’s epistle.
St Thomas provides some arguments to counter the virtual consensus of modern scholars against Pauline authorship:
To the first argument, therefore, one may respond that there are three reasons why Paul did not write his name: first, because he was not the apostle of the Jews but of the Gentiles: ‘He who wrought in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, wrought in me also among the Gentiles’ (Gal. 2:8); consequently, he made no mention of his apostleship at the beginning of this epistle, because he was unwilling to speak of it except to the Gentiles. Secondly, because his name was odious to the Jews, since he taught that the observance of the Law were no longer to be kept, as is clear from Acts (15:2). Consequently, he concealed his name, lest the salutary doctrine of this epistle go for naught. Thirdly, because he was a Jew: ‘They are Hebrews: so am I’ (2 Cor. 11:22). And fellow countrymen find it hard to endure greatness in their own: ‘A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country and in his own house’ (Mt. 13:57).
To the second argument the answer might be given that the style is more elegant, because even though he knew many languages: ‘I speak with all your tongues’ (1 Cor. 14:18), he knew the Hebrew language better than the others, for it was his native tongue, the one in which he wrote this epistle. As a result, he could write more ornately in his own idiom than in some other language; hence, he says: ‘For though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge’ (2 Cor. 11:6). But Luke, who was a skillful writer, translated this ornate Hebrew into Greek.
Regardless of authorship, most accept that it was written early, possibly around 63-64 AD.

Length and structure

Hebrews has thirteen chapters, and there are various ways of dividing them.

Modern scholars tend to divide it into five parts: Christ's pre-existence; his superiority over the angels; his superiority over Moses; Christ's priesthood; his sacrifice compared to the sacrifices of the Old Law.

Commentaries

While Hebrews is a text that really does benefit from the insights of modern scholarship, particularly from the Dead Sea Scrolls and related literature (and I'll try and provide a few comments and links on this here and there), there are two key commentaries from the Fathers and Doctors that are available online and well worth reading.

The first is by St John Chrysostom.  His commentary on Hebrews focuses above all on the idea of redemptive suffering.  He sees the Epistle as a document of encouragement for Jewish converts:
...that they might not think themselves forsaken..that they should bear nobly whatever befalls them; the other, that they should look assuredly for their recompense. For truly He will not overlook those with Abel and the line of unrewarded righteous following him.
Chrysostom also focuses on St Paul's use of the Old Testament as proof of the Resurrection:
But he speaks much of both the New and the Old Covenant; for this was useful to him for the proof of the Resurrection. Lest they should disbelieve that [Christ] rose on account of the things which He suffered, he confirms it from the Prophets, and shows that not the Jewish, but ours are the sacred [institutions]
St Thomas Aquinas argues that the focus of the Epistle is "Christ’s grandeur to show the superiority of the New Testament over the Old", "what unites the members to the head, namely, faith".  His Prologue to his commentary on Hebrews provides an exposition of Christ's transcendence by way of introduction to the text, and I'll post some of that tomorrow.

My approach

I plan to use extracts from St Thomas' commentary by way of a change of pace (though we won't entirely abandon Chrysostom, since St Thomas frequently quotes him) in terms of material to support close reading, study and meditation on the text.

I will be using the translation of the text by Fabian R. Larcher, O.P (provided over at the Dominican Priory website linked to above).

Both St Thomas' and St John's commentaries are quite long: Chrysostom's for example, averages about three homilies per chapter (compared to around two for each chapter of Acts); and  the Dominican Priory website divides St Thomas' text into 52 separate sections.

For this reason, I'm going to be moving fairly slowly through the text.  I'll also plan on inserting in any key Old Testament texts (particularly those likely to be less familiar).

All the same, I do plan on editing rather heavily, and cutting out a lot of the Commentary, so I would encourage you to go and read the full commentary (and that of St John) if you have time.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Second Sunday after Pentecost

The Matins readings for the Benedictine Office for the Second Sunday after Pentecost are set out below.

Nocturn I (I Kings/Samuel 1)

Reading 1:There was a man once called Elcana, that lived at Ramathaim-Sophim, in the hill-country of Ephraim; he was an Ephraimite born, descended from Suph through Jeroham, Eliu and Thohu. He had two wives, one called Anna, the other Phenenna, and this Phenenna had borne him sons, whereas Anna was childless. Never a feast-day would he keep in his own city; he must be at Silo, worshipping the Lord of hosts, and offering him sacrifice; there dwelt the Lord’s priests, Ophni and Phinees, the two sons of Heli.

R. Prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him Only* And He will deliver you out of the hand of your enemies.
V. Return unto Him with all your hearts, and put away the strange gods from among you.
R. And He will deliver you out of the hand of your enemies.

Reading 2: When the time came for Elcana’s sacrifice, Phenenna must have many portions, for a son here, a daughter there, and he was sad at heart as he gave Anna her single portion, for Anna he loved dearly. Why had the Lord denied her motherhood? And still she must endure bitter persecution from her rival, that did not scruple to make her childlessness a matter of reproach; year after year, when they went up to the Lord’s temple for the feast, it was ever the same.

R. God, Which heareth all, even He sent His Angel, and took me from keeping my father's sheep, and
* Anointed me with the oil of His mercy.
V. The Lord That delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear
R. And anointed me with the oil of His mercy.

Reading 3: In tears she sat, with no heart for eating, while her husband Elcana tried to comfort her. Anna, he said, what need to weep, what need to deny thyself food? What sorrow weighs on thy heart? Is it not worth the love of ten sons, the love I bear thee?

R. The Lord That delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear
* He will deliver me out of the hand of mine enemies.
V. God hath sent forth His mercy and His truth, and delivered my soul from among the lion's whelps.
R. He will deliver me out of the hand of mine enemies.

Reading 4:Once, on such a visit to Silo, when eating and drinking was done, Anna rose up from her place and went to the temple door, where the priest Heli was sitting. Sad at heart, she prayed to the Lord with many tears, and made a vow: Lord of hosts, if thou wilt take good heed of this sorrow I bear, if thou wilt keep this handmaid of thine ever in remembrance, and grant her a son, then he shall be my gift to the Lord all his life long, a Nazirite unshorn.

R. Remember, O Lord, thy covenant, and say unto the destroying Angel: Stay now thine hand;
* That the land be not utterly laid waste, and that thou destroy not every living soul.
V. Even I it is that have sinned, and done evil indeed but these sheep what have they done? Let thine anger, I pray thee, O Lord, be turned away from thy people.
R. That the land be not utterly laid waste, and that Thou destroy not every living soul.

Nocturn II: Sermon of St John Chrysostom

Reading 5: His Word saith: "This is My Body." This we confess, and believe, and, with spiritual eyes, do see. Christ hath not left unto us Himself in such form as that we can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste Him and yet hath He left Himself unto us in things which we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, and which all men may understand. Thus also is it in baptism by mean of water, which men perceive outwardly, is given unto them a gift which they can grasp only inwardly, that is, a new birth. If we had no bodies, then would these things be given us without any outward and visible signs, but since we are here made up of souls and bodies, there are given unto our souls gifts which they can grasp, in outward signs which our bodies may perceive. How many there be which say I would that I could see His comely presence, His Face, His garments, even His shoes Behold, thou dost see and touch Him, yea, thou dost feed upon Him. And wouldest thou behold His raiment Lo, He hath given unto thee not only to behold it, but to feed upon it, and handle it, and take it into thyself.

R. Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.* Because the hand of the Lord was with him, he smote the Philistine, and took away the reproach from Israel.
V. Is not this David? Did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
R. Because the hand of the Lord was with him, he smote the Philistine, and took away the reproach from Israel.

Reading 6: At this table of the Lord let none dare to draw near with squeamishness or carelessness. Let all be fiery, all hot, all roused. To the Jews it was commanded touching the Paschal lamb: "And thus shall ye eat it with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand and ye shall eat it in haste it is the Lord's Passover." But thou needest to be more watchful than they. They were just about to travel from Egypt to Palestine, and therefore they bore the guise of travellers but the journey that lieth before thee is from earth to heaven.

R. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain upon you
* For there are the mighty of Israel fallen
V. All ye mountains that stand round about, the Lord look upon you but let Him pass by Gilboa
R. For there are the mighty of Israel fallen

Reading 7: And therefore it behoveth thee in all things to be on thy guard, for the punishment of him that eateth or drinketh unworthily is no light one. Bethink thee how thou art indignant against him which betrayed, and them that crucified the Lord and look to it well that thou also be not " Guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord." As for them, they slew His Most Holy Body but thou, after all that He hath done for thee, dost thrust Him into thy polluted soul. For His love, it was not enough to be made Man, to be buffeted, and to be crucified He hath also mingled Himself with us, by making us His Body, and that not by faith only, but verily and indeed.

R. Thus saith the Lord I took thee out of thy father's house, and appointed thee to be ruler over My people, over Israel.
* And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, to establish thy kingdom for ever.
V. And I have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies.
R. And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, to establish thy kingdom for ever.

Reading 8: Anything be purer than that man ought to be, who eateth of this great Sacrifice Can sun-beam be clearer than that hand ought to be which breaketh this Flesh? that mouth, which is filled with that spiritual fire? that tongue, which is reddened by that Blood, awful exceedingly? That whereon the Angels quail to look, neither dare to gaze steadfastly upon It, because of the blinding glory that shineth therefrom, upon This we feed, with This we become one, and are made one body of Christ, and one flesh. "Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord who can show forth all His praise?" Where is the shepherd which feedeth his flock with his own blood Nay, why should I say, shepherd Many mothers there be, who after all the pains of travail, give their own little ones to strangers to nurse. But so would not He, but feedeth us with His Own Blood, and maketh us to grow up in His Own substance.

R. O Lord, Thou hast hearkened unto the prayer of thy servant, that I might build a temple unto thy Name,* O God of Israel, bless Thou, and hallow this house for ever.
V. O Lord, Who keepest covenant with thy servants that walk before thee in all their heart.
R. O God of Israel, bless Thou, and hallow this house for ever.

Nocturn III (from St Gregory, Homily on the Gospels no 1):

Reading 9: Dearly beloved brethren, between the dainties of the body and the dainties of the mind there is this difference, that the dainties of the body, when we lack them, raise up a great hunger after them, and when we devour them, straightway our fulness worketh in us niceness. But about the dainties of the mind we are nice while as yet we lack them, and when we fill ourselves with them, then are we an-hungered after them, and the more, being an-hungered, we feed thereon, the more are we an-hungered thereafter.

R. My sins are many, yea, they are more in number than the sands of the sea; I am not worthy to look up toward heaven because of the multitude of my iniquities; for I have provoked thee to anger
* And done evil in thy sight.
V. For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me, for against thee only have I sinned
R. And done evil in thy sight.

Reading 10: In the bodily dainties, the hunger is keener than the fulness, but in the spiritual the fulness is keener than the hunger. In the bodily, hunger gendereth fulness, and fulness niceness in the spiritual, hunger indeed gendereth fulness, but fulness gendereth hunger. Scriptural dainties, in the very eating, do stir up the keenness of hunger in the mind which they fill, for, the more we taste their sweetness, the better we know how well they deserve to be loved and, if we taste them not, we cannot love them, for we know not how sweet they be.

R. Hearken, O Lord, unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee today, that thine eyes may be open and thine ears attend;
* Toward this house day and night.
V. Look down from thine high and holy place, O Lord, even from heaven thy dwelling.
R. Toward this house, day and night.

Reading 11: And who can love that whereof he knoweth nothing Hence saith the Psalmist " O taste and see that the Lord is good", that is, as it were, " If ye taste not, ye shall not see His goodness but let your heart once taste the bread of life, and then indeed, having tasted and proved His sweetness, ye shall be able to love Him." But these were the dainties which man lost when he sinned in Eden, and when he had shut his own mouth against the sweet bread whereof if any man eat he shall live for ever, he forsook paradise.

R. Lord, when thy people shall turn again to thee, and shall pray unto thee in this house
* then hear Thou in heaven, O Lord, and deliver them out of the hand of their enemies.
V. If thy people sin against thee, and turn again, and repent, and come and pray unto thee in this house.
R. Then hear Thou in heaven, O Lord, and deliver them out of the hand of their enemies.

Reading 12: And we that, from the first man, are born under the afflictions of this pilgrimage, are come into the world smitten with niceness we know not what we ought to want, and the disease of our niceness groweth the worse, as our soul draweth itself the more away from that bread of sweetness. We are no longer an-hungered after inward dainties, since we have lost the use of feeding on them. And so in our niceness we starve, and the sickness of long famishing maketh prey of our health. We will not eatof that inward sweetness which is made ready for us, and being enamoured only of things outward we sink into the wretchedness of loving starvation.

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: St Luke 14:

 At ipse dixit ei: Homo quidam fecit cœnam magnam, et vocavit multos. Et misit servum suum hora cœnæ dicere invitatis ut venirent, quia jam parata sunt omnia.  Et cœperunt simul omnes excusare. Primus dixit ei: Villam emi, et necesse habeo exire, et videre illam: rogo te, habe me excusatum.  Et alter dixit: Juga boum emi quinque, et eo probare illa: rogo te, habe me excusatum.  Et alius dixit: Uxorem duxi, et ideo non possum venire.  Et reversus servus nuntiavit hæc domino suo. Tunc iratus paterfamilias, dixit servo suo: Exi cito in plateas et vicos civitatis: et pauperes, ac debiles, et cæcos, et claudos introduc huc.  Et ait servus: Domine, factum est ut imperasti, et adhuc locus est.  Et ait dominus servo: Exi in vias, et sæpes: et compelle intrare, ut impleatur domus mea.  Dico autem vobis quod nemo virorum illorum qui vocati sunt, gustabit cœnam meam.

But he said to him: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused.  And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame.  And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.  And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of those men that were invited, shall taste of my supper.

Friday, 27 May 2016

I&II Kings (aka I&II Samuel)

Икона пророка Самуила из собрания ДОХМ.jpg
The prophet Samuel
Russian c17th

From the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Matins readings (on Sundays in the Benedictine Office) work through I&II Kings (or I&II Samuel depending on which Bible you are using), so herewith a short introduction to it.

**I should note as an aside that, as foreshadowed a few weeks ago, I plan to start posting on Hebrews from next week.

Importance of Kings

Kings doesn't get much of a run in the traditional Mass lectionary - its sole entry as far as I can find is on Monday after the fourth Sunday of Lent (2 Kings 3:16-28).

But it is extremely important in terms of the history of Israel, covering the period roughly about 1070 - 970 BC, and includes some key 'types' of Jesus, including in the nativity story of Samuel, as well, of course, as in the life and promises made to King David.

About 1&2 Kings

Kings comes immediately after Ruth in the Bible.  I  Kings has 31 chapters; II Kings has 24.

Jewish tradition held it to have been written by Samuel, whose story it sets out, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan.  Certainly conservative scholars have generally dated it to the reign of Kings David and Solomon circa 1000-930BC.  But of course modern(ist) scholars dispute this, suggesting it was probably written around  630-540 BC.

The storyline starts with the conception of Samuel by Hannah after her pleading with God at the shrine of Silo.  Samuel becomes a judge and prophet, but inaugurates the monarchy with his anointing of Saul and then David.  Much of the first book then deals with the conflicts between the two.  Book II mainly deals with reign of David, up to death of Absalom.

Some of its key themes include God as the Lord of history, working his will through fallible and sinful human beings; the model of friendship provided by Jonathan and David; the effects of sin; and the dependence of a nation’s happiness on its leaders’ personal holiness

Some of its most important moments include:
  • Hannah’s song of praise, which is the key source text for the Magnificat (2 Kings 2:1-10), said in the Benedictine Office on Wednesday's at Lauds (ferial canticle);
  • Samuel's vocation story (1 Samuel 3);
  • the loss of the Ark of the covenant to the Philistines, and subsequent punishment of the priests of Silo (I Kings  4-6);
  • the promise to David that his descendants will rule forever (2 Kings 7);
  • David's adultery with Bathsheba, and subsequent repentance (2 Kings 11).
Structure

I Kings starts off with the story of the priest Eli and Samuel, moves to the establishment of the monarchy, and from chapter 13 onwards deals with the conflict between David and Saul.  Book II is primarily concerned with David, and conflict within his house (chapters 9-20).

I&II Kings in the Matins lectionary

In the Benedictine Office (unlike the Roman), I&II Kings is read over the period when there are no weekday readings, and so the readings set are for Sundays only:

Second Sunday after Pentecost: 1 Kings (I Samuel) 1:1-11
Third Sunday after Pentecost: 1 Kings (I Samuel) 9:18-10:1
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost: 1 Kings (I Samuel) 17:1-16
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: 2 Kings (II Samuel) 1:1-15
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: 2 Kings (II Samuel) 12:1-16.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Feast of Corpus Christi

The Matins readings in the Benedictine Office for the feast are set out below.

Nocturn I (1 Cor 11)

Reading 1: And when you assemble together, there is no opportunity to eat a supper of the Lord; each comer hastens to eat the supper he has brought for himself, so that one man goes hungry, while another has drunk deep. Have you no homes to eat and drink in, that you should shew contempt to God’s church, and shame the poor? Praise you? There is no room for praise here.

R. The whole assembly of the children of Israel shall kill the lamb toward the evening of the Passover.
* And they shall eat the flesh, and unleavened bread.
V. Even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us therefore let us keep the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
R. And they shall eat the flesh, and unleavened bread.

Reading 2: The tradition which I received from the Lord, and handed on to you, is that the Lord Jesus, on the night when he was being betrayed, took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, given up for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. And so with the cup, when supper was ended, This cup, he said, is the new testament, in my blood. Do this, whenever you drink it, for a commemoration of me.

R. Ye shall eat flesh, and shall be filled with bread.
* This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.
V. Moses gave you not that Bread from heaven, but My Father giveth you the true Bread from heaven.
R. This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.

Reading 3: So it is the Lord’s death that you are heralding, whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, until he comes.  And therefore, if anyone eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily, he will be held to account for the Lord’s body and blood.

R. Elijah looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals at his head, and he arose, and did eat and drink
* And went in the strength of that meat [forty days and forty nights] unto the mount of God.
V. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever.
R. And went in the strength of that meat [forty days and forty nights] unto the mount of God

Reading 4: A man must examine himself first, and then eat of that bread and drink of that cup; he is eating and drinking damnation to himself if he eats and drinks unworthily, not recognizing the Lord’s body for what it is. That is why many of your number want strength and health, and not a few have died. If we recognized our own fault, we should not incur these judgements;  as it is, the Lord judges us and chastises us, so that we may not incur, as this world incurs, damnation.

Nocturn II (Sermon of St Thomas Aquinas)

Reading 5: The immeasurable benefits, which the goodness of God hath bestowed on Christian people, have conferred on them also a dignity beyond all price. " For what nation is there so great, who hath gods so nigh unto them, as the Lord, our God, is" unto us? Deut. iv. 7. The Only-begotten Son of God, being pleased to make us " partakers of the Divine nature," 2 Pet. i. 4, took our nature upon Him, being Himself made Man that He might make men gods. And all, as much of ours as He took, He applied to our salvation. On the Altar of the Cross He offered up His Body to God the Father as a sacrifice for our reconciliation He shed His Blood as the price whereby He redeemeth us from wretchedness and bondage, and the washing whereby He cleanseth us from all sin. And for a noble and abiding memorial of that so great work of His goodness, He hath left unto His faithful ones the Same His very Body for Meat, and the Same His very Blood for Drink, to be fed upon under the appearance of bread and wine.

R. As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blest it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said
* Take, eat this is My Body.
V. The men of my tabernacle said O that we had of his flesh we cannot be satisfied.
R. Take, eat this is My Body.

Reading 6: How precious a thing then, how marvellous, how health-giving, how furnished with all dainties, is the Supper [of the Lord !] Than His Supper can anything be more precious ? Therein there is put before us for meat, not, as of old time, the flesh of bulls and of goats, but Christ Himself, our very God. Than this Sacrament can anything be more marvellous ? Therein it cometh to pass that bread and wine are bread and wine no more, but in the stead thereof there is the Body and there is the Blood of Christ; that is to say, Christ Himself, Perfect God and Perfect Man, Christ Himself is there, under the appearance of a little bread and wine.

R. Jesus took the cup, after supper, saying This cup is the New Testament in My Blood.
* This do in remembrance of Me.
V. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
R. This do in remembrance of Me.

Reading 7: His faithful ones eat Him, but He is not mangled ; nay, when [the veil which shroudeth Him in] this Sacrament is broken, in each broken piece thereof remaineth whole Christ Himself, Perfect God and Perfect Man. All that the senses can reach in this Sacrament, [look, taste, feel, smell, and the like, all these] abide of bread and wine, but the Thing is not bread and wine. And thus room is left for faith ; Christ Who hath a Form That can be seen, is here taken and received not only unseen, but seeming to be bread and wine, and the senses, which judge by the wonted look, are warranted against error.

R. I am that Bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
* This is the Bread Which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
V. I am the living Bread Which came down from heaven if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever.
R. This is the Bread Which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Reading 8: Than this Sacrament can anything be more health - giving Thereby are sins purged away, strength renewed, and the soul fed upon the fatness of spiritual gifts. This Supper is offered up in the Church both for the quick and dead it was ordained to the health of all, all get the good of it. Than this Sacrament can anything be more furnished with dainties The glorious sweetness thereof is of a truth such that no man can fully tell it. Therein ghostly comfort is sucked from its very well - head. Therein a memorial is made of that exceeding great love which Christ showed in time of His sufferings. It was in order that the boundless goodness of that His great love might be driven home into the hearts of His faithful ones, that when He had celebrated the Passover with His disciples, and the last Supper was ended, the Lord " Jesus, knowing that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end," John xiii. 1, and instituted this Sacrament, this Sacrament, the everlasting forth - " showing of His death until He come " again, 1 Cor. xi. 26, this Sacrament, the embodied fulfilment of all the ancient types and figures, this Sacrament, the greatest miracle which He ever wrought, and the one mighty joy of them that now have sorrow, till He shall come again, and their heart shall rejoice, and their joy no man take from them. John xvi. 22.

Nocturn III (from St Augustine)

Reading 9: By use of meat and drink men would fain that " they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more," Apoc. vii. 16, and yet there is but one Meat and one Drink, Which doth work in them that feed thereon that " this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality,"  namely communion with that general assembly and Church of God's holy children, who are "kept in perfect peace," and are "all one," fully and utterly. And therefore it is, as men of God before our time have taken it, that our Lord Jesus Christ hath set before us His Body and His Blood in the likeness of things which, from being many, are reduced into one. In one loaf are many grains of corn, and one cup of wine the juice of many grapes.

R. He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood,
* Dwelleth in Me, and I in him.
V. What nation is there so great, who hath gods so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is to us
R. Dwelleth in Me, and I in him.

Reading 10: And now He giveth us to know how that which He spake cometh to pass, and how indeed "this Man can give us His Flesh to eat," and His Blood to drink. "He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him." To dwell in Christ, therefore, and to have Him dwelling in us, is to "eat of that Bread and drink of that Cup,".

R. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father,
* So he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.
V. With the bread of life and understanding hath the Lord fed him.
R. So he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.

Reading 11: And he which dwelleth not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwelleth not, without all doubt doth not spiritually eat His Flesh nor drink His Blood, although he do carnally and visibly press the Sacrament with his teeth but, contrariwise, he "eateth and drinketh damnation to himself," because he dareth to draw nigh filthy to that secret and holy thing of Christ, whereunto none draweth nigh worthily, save he which is pure, even he which is of them concerning whom it is said "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Reading 12: "As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me." This is as though He said: The Father hath sent Me into the world and I have emptied Myself [and taken upon Me the form of a servant, and being found in fashion as a man]. I have My life from the Father, as One That is greater than I. He that eateth Me, even he, by thereby taking part in Me, shall live by Me. It is as having humbled Myself that I live by the Father, but he that eateth Me, him will I raise up, and so he shall live by Me. It is said "I live by the Father" that is to say, He is of the Father, not the Father of Him, and yet not so, but that the Father and the Son are co-equal together. Also it is said "So he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me," whereby He showeth the gracious work towards His people of Him Who is the "one Mediator between God and man," and not that He Which is eaten and he which eateth Him are co-equal together.

Gospel: St John 6:

56 Caro enim mea vere est cibus: et sanguis meus, vere est potus; 57 qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, in me manet, et ego in illo. 58 Sicut misit me vivens Pater, et ego vivo propter Patrem: et qui manducat me, et ipse vivet propter me. 59 Hic est panis qui de cælo descendit. Non sicut manducaverunt patres vestri manna, et mortui sunt. Qui manducat hunc panem, vivet in æternum.

For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. [57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. [58] As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. [59] This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Lectio on Acts: Index of posts and resources

Ministry of the Apostles: Russian icon by Fyodor Zubov, 1660

During Eastertide I posted a series of posts on Acts, drawing on the commentary by St John Chrysostom.  This post provides an index to them.

General resources on Acts

Haydock's introduction to Acts
Divine Lamp resources
Patristic citations of Acts
Ante-Nicene Fathers e catena


Posts


St John Chrysostom on the importance of Acts

Introduction to the book

Acts 1:1-3

Ascension of Christ

Acts 1: 3-14

The Twelve

Acts 1:15-26

Pentecost

Acts 2:1-36
Acts 2:37-47

St Peter's homily and the early Christian community

Acts 3 (1-25)
Acts 4 (1-37)
Acts 5 (1-42)

The Seven (inc martyrdom of Stephen)

Acts 6 (1-15)
Acts 7 (1-59)

Mission in Judea and Sumaria

Acts 8

Conversion of St Paul

Acts 9

Mission to the gentiles - vision of St Peter and baptism of Cornelius

Acts 10

Persecution of the Church and arrest of Peter

Acts 11: 1-18
Acts 11: 19-30
Acts 12

St Paul's first missionary journey

Acts 13:1-12
Acts 13: 13-52
Act 14

Council of Jerusalem

Acts 15:1-29

St Paul's Second Missionary journey

Acts 15:30 - 16:40
Acts 17

St Paul's Third Missionary Journey

Acts 18
Acts 19
Acts 20
Acts 21

St Paul's arrest in Jerusalem and imprisonment at Caesarea

Acts 22
Acts 23
Acts 24
Acts 25
Acts 26

St Paul's voyage to Rome

Acts 27
Acts 28

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Trinity Sunday

The Matins readings for Trinity Sunday in the Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn I (Isaiah 6: 1-12)

Reading 1: In the year of king Ozias’ death, I had a vision. I saw the Lord sitting on a throne that towered high above me, the skirts of his robe filling the temple.  Above it rose the figures of the seraphim, each of them six-winged; with two wings they veiled God’s face, with two his feet, and the other two kept them poised in flight. And ever the same cry passed between them, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts; all the earth is full of his glory.

R. I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the whole earth was full of His glory
* And His train filled the temple.
V. Above it stood the Seraphim each one had six wings.
R. And His train filled the temple.

Reading 2: The lintels over the doors rang with the sound of that cry, and smoke went up, filling the temple courts. Alas, said I, that I must needs keep silence; my lips, and the lips of all my countrymen, are polluted with sin; and yet these eyes have looked upon their King, the Lord of hosts. Whereupon one of the seraphim flew up to me, bearing a coal which he had taken with a pair of tongs from the altar;

R. Blessed be the Lord God of hosts, Who only doeth wondrous things.
* And blessed be His glorious Name for ever.
V. And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen. Amen.
R. And blessed be His glorious Name for ever.

Reading 3:  he touched my mouth with it, and said, Now that this has touched thy lips, thy guilt is swept away, thy sin pardoned. 8 And now I heard the Lord say, Who shall be my messenger? Who is to go on this errand of ours? And I said, I am here at thy command; make me thy messenger.Go then, said he, and give a message to this people of mine: Listen as you will, but ever without understanding; watch all, and nothing perceive!

R. Let God, even our own God, bless us; let God bless us.
* And let all the ends of the earth fear Him.
V. God be merciful unto us, and bless us.
R. And let all the ends of the earth fear Him.

Reading 4: Thy office is to dull the hearts of this people of mine, deaden their ears, dazzle their eyes, so that they cannot see with those eyes, hear with those ears, understand with that heart, and turn back to me, and win healing. For how long, Lord? I asked. And he said, Till the cities are left unpeopled, and the houses untenanted, and the whole land a wilderness. The Lord will send its people into exile far away; wider, ever wider desolation must spread over it.

Nocturn II (From the Book on the Faith, addressed to Peter by St Fulgentius, Bishop [of Ruspa.]
Found in the Works of Augustine, tom 3)

Reading 5: The Faith which the holy Patriarchs and Prophets received from God before His Son was made Flesh, the Faith which the holy Apostles heard from the Lord Himself when Present in the Flesh, the Faith which the same Apostles learnt by the teaching of the Holy Ghost not only to preach by word of mouth, but also to leave behind them in their writings for the healthful instruction of all that should come after, that Faith teacheth that the Trinity, that is to say, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, is but ONE God. But we could not truly call the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost a Trinity, if One and the Selfsame Person were named Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

R. Who is so great a God as our God
* Thou art the God that doest wonders.
V. Thou hast declared thy strength among the people Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people.
R. Thou art the God that doest wonders.

Reading 6: Nor if as the Being of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is One Being, so were there but One Person, then were it untrue to say that God is a Trinity. On the other hand, if, as the Persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are distinguished One from Another by that which is proper to Each, so were They diverse by difference of nature, then were it untrue to say that God is ONE.

R. To thee be praise, to thee be glory, to thee be thanksgiving for ever and ever
* O Blessed Trinity
V. And blessed is thy glorious and Holy Name, and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
R. O Blessed Trinity

Reading 7: But since concerning the nature of the One True God, Who is a Trinity, it is the Truth to say that God is ONE, and the Truth to say that God is a Trinity, therefore the True God is a Trinity in Persons, and an Unity in nature. Through this Oneness of nature All That the Father is is in the Son and the Holy Ghost, All That the Son is is in the Father and the Holy Ghost, and All That the Holy Ghost is is in the Father and the Son.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
* And His Wisdom is unsearchable.
V. Great is our Lord, and of great power, and His understanding is infinite.
R. And His Wisdom is unsearchable.

Reading 8: Of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, None is without Other, None is before Other, None is Greater than Other, None is Mightier than Other. The Father, as touching the One Divine Nature, is neither before nor greater than the Son and the Holy Ghost neither is it possible that the Eternity and Infinity of the Son, whether as before or greater, should be before or greater than the Eternity and Infinity of the Spirit.

Nocturn III (Homily by St Gregory of Nazianzus)

Reading 9: : There is no Catholic but knoweth that the Father is a Very Father, the Son a Very Son, and the Holy Ghost a Very Holy Ghost, even as the Lord Himself saith unto His Apostles " Go ye and baptize all nations in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." This is that Perfect Trinity Who is but ONE being, and of Whom therefore we testify that His Substance is one.

R. Bless we the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
* Let us praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
V. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven, and above all to be praised and glorified for ever.
R. Let us praise and exalt Him above all for ever.

Reading 10: For we make no division in God, as divisions are made in bodies, but we testify, that, according to the power of the Divine Nature, Which standeth not in matter, the Persons named have a real existence, and that God is ONE.  We do not say, as some have dreamt, that the Begetting of the Son of God is an outgrowing from one part to another part neither do we say that He is the Word in the sense of a mere sound uttered by a voice, but we do believe that these three Names and the Persons meant by them are all of only One Being, One Majesty, and One Power.

Reading 11: And therefore we testify that God is one, because this ONE-ness of His Majesty forbiddeth that we should use the Plural form of speech and say, "Gods." It is Catholic language to say, " Father and Son," but we cannot and must not say that the Father and the Son are two gods. And that, not because the Son of God is not by Himself God yea, He is Very God of Very God but because we know that the Son of God is not from elsewhere, but from the One Father Himself, and therefore we say that God is ONE.

R. Thee, ☩ O God the Father uncreate, thee, the Sole begotten Son, thee, O Holy Spirit the paraclete, thee O holy and undivided Trinity, with heart and lips we confess, we praise, and we bless :
* To thee be glory throughout all ages.
V. For thou only are great and doest wondrous things : thou art God alone.
R. To thee be glory throughout all ages.

Reading 12: This is the doctrine which Prophets and Apostles have delivered this is the doctrine which the Lord Himself taught when He said, " I and the Father are ONE," John x. 30, that is, He meant, as touching the one Divine Being, but as touching Persons, We are distinct.

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.

The Gospel for Trinity Sunday:

18 Et accedens Jesus locutus est eis, dicens: Data est mihi omnis potestas in cælo et in terra: 19 euntes ergo docete omnes gentes: baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti: 20 docentes eos servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis: et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem sæculi.

 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Whit Saturday: St Luke 4:38-44

St Luke 4:

38 Surgens autem Jesus de synagoga, introivit in domum Simonis. Socrus autem Simonis tenebatur magnis febribus: et rogaverunt illum pro ea. 39 Et stans super illam imperavit febri: et dimisit illam. Et continuo surgens, ministrabat illis. 40 Cum autem sol occidisset, omnes qui habebant infirmos variis languoribus, ducebant illos ad eum. At ille singulis manus imponens, curabat eos. 41 Exibant autem dæmonia a multis clamantia, et dicentia: Quia tu es Filius Dei: et increpans non sinebat ea loqui: quia sciebant ipsum esse Christum. 42 Facta autem die egressus ibat in desertum locum, et turbæ requirebant eum, et venerunt usque ad ipsum: et detinebant illum ne discederet ab eis. 43 Quibus ille ait: Quia et aliis civitatibus oportet me evangelizare regnum Dei: quia ideo missus sum. 44 Et erat prædicans in synagogis Galilææ.

[38] And Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon' s house. And Simon' s wife's mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought him for her. [39] And standing over her, he commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. [40] And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them to him. But he laying his hands on every one of them, healed them. [41] And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them he suffered them not to speak, for they knew that he was Christ. [42] And when it was day, going out he went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought him, and came unto him: and they stayed him that he should not depart from them. [43] To whom he said: To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God: for therefore am I sent. [44] And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

Matins readings (from St Ambrose)

Reading 1: Behold here how long-suffering is the Lord our Redeemer Neither moved to anger against them, nor sickened at their guilt, nor outraged by their attacks, did He leave the Jews' country. Nay, forgetting their iniquity, and mindful only of His mercy, He strove to soften their hard and unbelieving hearts, sometimes by His teaching, and sometimes by freeing some of them, and sometimes by healing them. St Luke doth well to tell us first of the man who was delivered from an unclean spirit, and then of the healing of a woman. The Lord indeed came to heal both sexes, but that must be healed first which was created first, and then must not she be passed by whose first sin arose rather from fickleness of heart than from depraved will.

R. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Holy Ghost gave them utterance
* And the multitude came together, saying: Alleluia.
V. The Apostle spake in divers tongues the wonderful works of God.
R. And the multitude came together, saying: Alleluia.

Reading 2: That the Lord began to heal on the Sabbath-day showeth in a figure how that the new creation beginneth where the old creation ended. It showeth, moreover, that the Son of God, Who is come not to destroy the law but to fulfil the law, is not under the law, but above the law. Neither was it by the law, but by the Word, that the world was created, as it is written "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made." The law, then, is not destroyed, but fulfilled, in the Redemption of fallen man. Whence also the Apostle saith: "Put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." 

R. Henceforth I call you not servants, but I have called you My friends because ye have known all things, whatsoever I have done among you. Alleluia.
* Receive ye the Holy Ghost, Who is your Comforter within you the Same is He Whom the Father will send unto you. Alleluia.
V. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
R. Receive ye the Holy Ghost Who is your Comforter within you the Same is He Whom the Father will send unto you. Alleluia.

Reading 3: It was well that He began to heal on the Sabbath, that He might show Himself to be the Creator, weaving in one with another of His works, and continuing that which He had already begun, even as a workman, being to repair an house, beginneth not to take down that which is old from the foundations, but from the roof. Thus doth the Lord begin to lay to His hand again, in that place whence last He hath lifted it then He beginneth with things lesser, that He may go on to things greater. Even men are able to deliver other men from evil spirits, albeit with the word of God to command the dead to rise again is for God's power alone. Perchance, also, this woman, the mother-in-law of Simon and Andrew, was a type of our nature, stricken down with the great fever of sin, and burning with unlawful lusts after divers objects. Nor would I say that the passion which rageth in the mind is a lesser fire than that fever which burneth the body. Covetousness, and lust, and uncleanness, and vain desires, and strivings, and anger these be our fevers.

R. Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel, alleluia:
* He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, alleluia,alleluia, alleluia.
V. In my name shallt hey cast out devils; they shall speak with tongues" they shall take up serpents.
R. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, alleluia,alleluia, alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, alleluia,alleluia, alleluia.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Whit Friday: St Luke 5:17-26

St Luke 5:17-26:

17 Et factum est in una dierum, et ipse sedebat docens. Et erant pharisæi sedentes, et legis doctores, qui venerant ex omni castello Galilææ, et Judææ, et Jerusalem: et virtus Domini erat ad sanandum eos. 18 Et ecce viri portantes in lecto hominem, qui erat paralyticus: et quærebant eum inferre, et ponere ante eum. 19 Et non invenientes qua parte illum inferrent præ turba, ascenderunt supra tectum, et per tegulas summiserunt eum cum lecto in medium ante Jesum. 20 Quorum fidem ut vidit, dixit: Homo, remittuntur tibi peccata tua. 21 Et cœperunt cogitare scribæ et pharisæi, dicentes: Quis est hic, qui loquitur blasphemias? quis potest dimittere peccata, nisi solus Deus? 22 Ut cognovit autem Jesus cogitationes eorum, respondens, dixit ad illos: Quid cogitatis in cordibus vestris? 23 Quid est facilius dicere: Dimittuntur tibi peccata: an dicere: Surge, et ambula? 24 Ut autem sciatis quia Filius hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata, (ait paralytico) tibi dico, surge, tolle lectum tuum, et vade in domum tuam. 25 Et confestim consurgens coram illis, tulit lectum in quo jacebat: et abiit in domum suam, magnificans Deum. 26 Et stupor apprehendit omnes, et magnificabant Deum. Et repleti sunt timore, dicentes: Quia vidimus mirabilia hodie.

And it came to pass on a certain day, as he sat teaching, that there were also Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, that were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was to heal them. [18] And behold, men brought in a bed a man, who had the palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. [19] And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, because of the multitude, they went up upon the roof, and let him down through the tiles with his bed into the midst before Jesus. [20] Whose faith when he saw, he said: Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.[21] And the scribes and Pharisees began to think, saying: Who is this who speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? [22] And when Jesus knew their thoughts, answering, he said to them: What is it you think in your hearts? [23] Which is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? [24] But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say to thee, Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. [25] And immediately rising up before them, he took up the bed on which he lay; and he went away to his own house, glorifying God. [26] And all were astonished; and they glorified God. And they were filled with fear, saying: We have seen wonderful things today.

Matins readings (from St Ambrose)

Reading 1: And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy." The healing of this paralytic was not idle, nor its fruits limited to himself. The Lord healed him, or ever he could ask, not because of the entreaties of others, but for example's sake. He gave a pattern to be followed, and sought not the intercession of prayer. In the presence of the Pharisees and doctors of the law, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem, many sick folk were healed, but among them is specially described the healing of this paralytic. First of all, as we have before said, every sick man ought to engage his friends to offer up prayers for his recovery, that so the tottering framework of this our life, and the distorted feet of our works, may be righted by the healing power of the word from heaven.

R. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you
* That ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.

R. That ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 2: Here ought therefore to be advisers, who should rouse up the minds of the sick to higher things, since when the body becometh languid with sickness, the mind is apt to follow its example. With the help of such friends he can be brought and laid on the ground before the Feet of Jesus, and seem worthy of a glance from the Lord for the Lord looketh upon such as lie lowly before Him, "for He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden " Luke ii. 48. " And when He saw their faith, He said unto him Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." Great is the Lord, Who, for the sake of some, forgiveth the sins of others Who trieth some, and pardoneth the wanderings of others. Why should thine equal, O man, avail not with thee, if a slave have won power to intercede, and right to obtain, with God

. The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world,
* And That Which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. For [Wisdom] is the worker of all things, having all power, overseeing all things.
R. And That Which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 3: O Thou that judgest, learn to forgive thou that art sick, to pray. If thou doubt of the pardon of thy sins, because of their grievousness, get thee to the Church, that she may pray for thee, and that the Lord, accepting her countenance, may grant to her petitions what He refuses to thine. And although we are bound to accept this history as one of fact, and to believe that the body of the paralytic was healed yet remember thou also his inward cure, unto whom his sins were forgiven. The Jews said: "Who can forgive sins but God alone " And in these words they confessed the Godhead of Him Who forgave the sins of the paralytic, and themselves condemned their own unbelief in Him Whose work they acknowledged, but Whose Person they denied.

R. The Apostles did speak with other tongues the wonderful works of God,* As the Spirit gave them utterance, alleluia.
V. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak.

R. As the Spirit gave them utterance, alleluia.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Whit Thursday: St Luke 9:1-6

St Luke 9:1-6:

Convocatis autem duodecim Apostolis, dedit illis virtutem et potestatem super omnia dæmonia, et ut languores curarent. 2 Et misit illos prædicare regnum Dei, et sanare infirmos. 3 Et ait ad illos: Nihil tuleritis in via, neque virgam, neque peram, neque panem, neque pecuniam, neque duas tunicas habeatis. 4 Et in quamcumque domum intraveritis, ibi manete, et inde ne exeatis. 5 Et quicumque non receperint vos: exeuntes de civitate illa, etiam pulverem pedum vestrorum excutite in testimonium supra illos. 6 Egressi autem circuibant per castella evangelizantes, et curantes ubique.

Then calling together the twelve apostles, he gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. [2] And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. [3] And he said to them: Take nothing for your journey; neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats. [4] And whatsoever house you shall enter into, abide there, and depart not from thence. [5] And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off even the dust of your feet, for a testimony against them. [6] And going out, they went about through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.

Matins readings (from St Ambrose)

Reading 1: We learn from the commandments of the Gospel what manner of men they ought to be who preach the glad tidings of the kingdom of God "Take nothing for your journey neither staves nor scrip, neither bread neither money." Thus let the Apostle destitute of earthly help, and panoplies in faith, deem himself able to do all the more, as he needeth all the less Such as please may also put upon these words a spiritual interpretation in that a man may be said to lay as the encumbrances of the body, not only by abdicating power, and casting away riches, but also by denying the very body itself its pleasures. The first general commandment given to the Apostles touching their manners was to be bringers of peace, and to be no gadders about, but keepers of the laws of guests. To wander from house to house, and to abuse the rights of hospitality, are things alien to a preacher of the kingdom of heaven.

R. The fire of God fell, not to burn them, but to enlighten them not to devour them, but to illuminate them and found the hearts of the disciples clean vessels.
* And He gave them gifts of His grace. Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. He found them one in love, and the out-poured grace of the Godhead shone through them.
R. And He gave them gifts of His grace. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 2: But as the kindness of hospitality is to be met with courtesy, so also is it said " Whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet, for a testimony against them." Hereby is it taught that hospitality doth meet with a good reward, since not only do we bring peace to such as receive us, but also, if they be shadowed by some earthly vanities, these defects are taken away, where enter the feet of them that bear the glad tidings of Apostolic preachment. It is well written "Into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy and there abide till ye go thence" thus avoiding any possible need of going from house to house. But no such selection is commanded to him that giveth hospitality, lest his hospitality itself should be lessened, while he picketh his guests.

R. The Holy Ghost filled all the house where the Apostles were and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
* And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in divers tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. When the disciples were all with one accord in one place, for fear of the Jews, suddenly there came a sound from heaven upon them.
R. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in divers tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 3: This passage, taken according to the plain meaning, is a sacred commandment touching the religious duty of hospitality, but its heavenly words likewise hint at a mystery. When the house is chosen, it is asked if the master thereof be worthy. Let us see if this be not perchance a figure of the Church, and her Master, Christ. What worthier house can the Apostolic preacher enter, than the Holy Church? Or what host is more to be preferred before all others, than Christ, Whose use it is to wash the feet of His guests yea, Who suffereth not that any whom He receiveth into His house should dwell there with foul feet, but, defiled as they are by their former wanderings, doth vouchsafe to change them into new and clean livers. He Alone is He, from Whose house no man ought ever to go forth, nor change His roof for any other shelter, for unto Him it is well said " Lord, to whom shall we go Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe."

R. There appeared  unto the Apostles cloven tongues like as of fire, alleluia:
* And the Holy Ghost rested upon each one of them, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

R. And the Holy Ghost rested upon each one of them, alleluia, alleluia.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Whit Wednesday: St John 6:44-52

Today's Gospel is St John 6:44-52:

44 nemo potest venire ad me, nisi Pater, qui misit me, traxerit eum; et ego resuscitabo eum in novissimo die. 45 Est scriptum in prophetis: Et erunt omnes docibiles Dei. Omnis qui audivit a Patre, et didicit, venit ad me. 46 Non quia Patrem vidit quisquam, nisi is, qui est a Deo, hic vidit Patrem. 47 Amen, amen dico vobis: qui credit in me, habet vitam æternam. 48 Ego sum panis vitæ. 49 Patres vestri manducaverunt manna in deserto, et mortui sunt. 50 Hic est panis de cælo descendens: ut si quis ex ipso manducaverit, non moriatur. 51 Ego sum panis vivus, qui de cælo descendi. Si quis manducaverit ex hoc pane, vivet in æternum: et panis quem ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi vita.

 [44] No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. [45] It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me. [46] Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father. [47] Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life. [48] I am the bread of life. [49] Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. [50] This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
[51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven. [52] If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 1: Think not that thou art drawn against thy will the soul is drawn, not willingly only, but lovingly. Neither must we be afraid lest men who are great weighers of words, and very far from understanding the things of God, should catch us up upon this Gospel doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, and should say to us How can my faith be willing if am drawn I answer Thou art not drawn as touching thy will, but by pleasure. And, now, what is being drawn by pleasure Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Ps. xxxvi. 4. There is pleasure in that heart to which the Bread That came down from heaven is sweet. The poet is allowed to say His special pleasure draweth each, but pleasure, which so draweth, is not a necessity, not a bond, but a delight how much more strongly, may we say that men are drawn to Christ, who delight in truth, who delight in blessed ness, who delight in righteousness, who delight in life everlasting, since truth and blessedness, and righteousness and everlasting life are all to be found in Christ? Or have the bod ily senses pleasure, and the spiritual senses none? If the spiritual sense have no pleasures, wherefore is it written: And the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house, and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life, and in thy light shall we see light. 


R. The Lord taught them good judgment and knowledge Alleluia. He established in them the grace of His Spirit
* And filled their hearts with understanding. Alleluia.
V. For with a sudden sound the Holy Ghost came upon them

R. And filled their hearts with understanding. Alleluia.

Reading 2: Give me a lover, and he will catch my meaning give me a longer, give me an hungerer, give me a wanderer in this desert, a thirst and gasping for the fountains of the eternal Fatherland give me such an one, and he will catch my meaning. If I talk to some cold creature, he will not. Such cold creatures were they of whom it is written The Jews then murmured at Him because He said, I am the Bread Which came down from heaven. And they said Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and Mother we know How is it then that He saith, I came down from heaven Jesus therefore answered and said unto them Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father, Which hath sent Me, draw him. 41-44. But wherefore speaketh Christ of them whom the Father draweth, since He Himself draweth Why was it His will to say No man can come to Me except the Father draw him If we are to be drawn, let us be drawn by Him to Whom one that loved much said Draw me, we will run after the savour of thy good ointments. Cant. i. 4. But let us consider, my brethren, what He meant, and understand it as well as we can. The Father draweth to the Son them who believe in the Son, because they are persuaded that He hath God to His Father. God the Father begetteth to Himself a coequal Son; and whosoever is~ persuaded, and realiseth unto himself by faith, and thinketh, that He in Whom he~ believeth is equal to the Father, him the Father is drawing unto the Son.


R. Go ye unto all the world and preach the Gospel Alleluia.
* He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. In My Name shall they cast out devils they shall speak with new tongues they shall take up serpents.

R. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 3: Arius, who believed that the Son was made, was not one of them whom the Father draweth since whosoever believeth not that the Father is a Father by the begetting of a coequal Son, such an one knoweth not the Father. What sayest thou, O Arius What sayest thou, O thou heretic What is thy profession What is Christ He is not, saith Arius, Himself Very God. Then, O Arius, the Father hath not drawn thee thou hast not understood His dignity as a Father, to Whom thou deniest His Son. Thou dost deny the existence of the Son of God, the Father draweth thee not, and thou art not drawn to the Son, since the Son of whom thou speakest is another son, [existing only in thine imagination,] and not the really existent Son. Photinus said Christ is a mere man, and not God at all. He who uttered those words was not one of them whom the Father draweth. But whom hath the Father drawn The Father drew him who said: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matth. xvi. 16, 17. Show a sheep a green bough, and thou drawest him. Let a boy see some nuts, and he is drawn by them. As they run, they are drawn, drawn by taste, drawn without bodily hurt, drawn by a line bound to their heart. If, then, among earthly things, such as be sweet and pleasant draw such as love them, as soon as they see them, so that it is truth to say, His special pleasure draweth each, doth not that Christ, Whom the Father hath revealed, draw What stronger object of love can a soul have than the Truth?



Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Whit Tuesday: St John 10:1-10

In the pre-1962 verson of the Benedictine Office, today had three Nocturns: Nocturn I was Joel 2: 23-32;  Nocturn II was a homily from St John Chrysostom (available at Divinum Officium); the Nocturn III readings are identical to the current readings, below.

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 1: In the words of the Gospel which are this day read, the Lord has spoken unto us in similitudes, touching His flock, and the Door whereby entry is made into their fold. The Pagans therefore may say, "We have good lives," but if they enter not in the Door, what doth that profit them whereof they make their boast? Good life is profitable to a man if it lead unto life everlasting, but if he does not have life everlasting, what shall his good life profit him? Neither indeed can it be truly said that they live good lives, who are either so blinded as not to know, or so puffed up as to despise, the end of a good life. And no man can have a true and certain hope of life everlasting, unless he know the true Life, Which is Christ, and enter in by that Door into the sheepfold.

R. There appeared unto the Apostles cloven tongues like as of fire, alleluia:* And the Holy Ghost rested upon each one of them, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
R. And the Holy Ghost rested upon each one of them, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 2: There are many such, who try to persuade men to live good lives but not to be Christians. These are they who would fain "climb up some other way," "for to kill and to destroy," and are not as the Good Shepherd, Who is come to keep and to save. There have been philosophers who have treated many subtle questions of right and wrong, who have been the authors of many distinctions and definitions, who have completed many exceedingly clever arguments, who have filled many books, and have proclaimed their own wisdom with braying trumpets. These dared to say to men: "Follow us embrace our school of thought, and you will find therein the secret of an happy life." But these were not of them who enter in by the Door they came not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.


R. The Apostles did speak with other tongues the wonderful works of God,* As the Spirit gave them utterance, alleluia.
V. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak.
R. As the Spirit gave them utterance, alleluia.

Reading 3: Touching these, what shall I say? Behold, the Pharisees themselves read of Christ, and therefore talked of Christ they looked for His coming, and when He came, they knew Him not. They boasted that they themselves were among the Seers, that is, of the wise ones, and they denied Christ, and entered not in by the Door. Therefore they, if they led away any, led them away only to kill and to destroy, not to free them. So much for them. Now let us see if all they who boast the name of Christian enter in by the Door. Some there are, and their number cannot be reckoned, who not only boast that they themselves are among the Seers, but would fain appear as though their hearts were enlightened by Christ but they are heretics.


R. The Lord taught them good judgment and knowledge Alleluia. He established in them the grace of His Spirit* And filled their hearts with understanding. Alleluia.
V. For with a sudden sound the Holy Ghost came upon them
R. And filled their hearts with understanding. Alleluia.

Today's Gospel is St John 10:1-10:

1 Amen, amen dico vobis: qui non intrat per ostium in ovile ovium, sed ascendit aliunde, ille fur est et latro. 2 Qui autem intrat per ostium, pastor est ovium. 3 Huic ostiarius aperit, et oves vocem ejus audiunt, et proprias ovas vocat nominatim, et educit eas. 4 Et cum proprias oves emiserit, ante eas vadit: et oves illum sequuntur, quia sciunt vocem ejus. 5 Alienum autem non sequuntur, sed fugiunt ab eo: quia non noverunt vocem alienorum. 6 Hoc proverbium dixit eis Jesus: illi autem non cognoverunt quid loqueretur eis. 7 Dixit ergo eis iterum Jesus: Amen, amen dico vobis, quia ego sum ostium ovium. 8 Omnes quotquot venerunt, fures sunt, et latrones, et non audierunt eos oves. 9 Ego sum ostium. Per me si quis introierit, salvabitur: et ingredietur, et egredietur, et pascua inveniet. 10 Fur non venit nisi ut furetur, et mactet, et perdat. Ego veni ut vitam habeant, et abundantius habeant.

Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. [2] But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. [3] To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. [4] And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. [5] But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.[6] This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke to them. [7] Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. [8] All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not. [9] I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures. [10] The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Whit Monday - St John 3: 16-21

This week is the Octave of Pentecost in the traditional calendar, and each day has its own Gospel.

In the pre-1962 Office, Monday and Tuesday had three Nocturns: Acts 19 1-12 for the first Nocturn today; a homily of St Augustine for Nocturn II (available at Divinum Officium, albeit divided into three readings rather than four); the third Nocturn readings are the same as for the current Office, set out below, but split into four readings).

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 1: The Physician cometh that, as often as in him lieth, he may heal the sick man. He is his own destroyer who will not keep the commandments of the Physician. Into the world came the Saviour. Why is He called the Saviour of the world but because He came "into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved"? If thou willest not be saved through Him, thou wilt be condemned of thyself. And why say I that thou wilt be condemned Because it is written " He that believeth in Him is not condemned." What then canst thou hope that He will say of " him that believeth not," but that He will be condemned And indeed He doth say farther " He that believeth not is condemned already." He is condemned already, though the condemnation be not yet openly pronounced.

R. When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, alleluia, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, alleluia.* as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house, alleluia, alleluia.
V. Where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, there suddenly came upon them a sound from heaven.
R. As of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house, alleluia, alleluia.

Reading 2: He is condemned already, for " the Lord knoweth them that are His." He knoweth them for whom is laid up the crown, and likewise them that are reserved unto the fire. His eye seeth in the field of the world the distinction of the wheat and of the straw, of the and of the tares. " He that believeth not is condemned already." And why " Because he hath not believed in the Name of the Only-begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." " Because their deeds were evil " but, my brethren, is there one man of whom God findeth that his works are good No, not one. God findeth all works to be (in themselves) bad. How then do we hear that some there be who do truth, and come to the light For these words come anon " But he that doeth truth, cometh to the light."

R. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Holy Ghost gave them utterance;* And the multitude came together, saying: Alleluia.
V. The Apostles spoke in divers tongues the wonderful works of God.
R. And the multitude came together, saying: Alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. And the multitude came together, saying: Alleluia.

Reading 3: But the Lord saith [of such as these, who are condemned already, because they believe not in Him] " They loved darkness rather than light." And here He maketh the great point [of difference between such, and them that do the truth.] There are many who have loved their sins there are many who have confessed their sins and he that confessed and denounceth his sin, is working already with God. God denounceth thy sins, and if thou denounce them likewise, then dost thou join thyself with God in His act. The man and the sinner are two different things. God made the man, and the man made the sinner. Put away thy work, and God will save His. Thou art behoven to hate in thyself thine own work, and to love God's work. When thine own works begin to displease thee, then is it that thou beginnest to do well, because thou denouncest thine own evil works. The first thing to do, if thou wouldest do good works, is to acknowledge thine evil ones.

R. Henceforth I call you not servants, but I have called you My friends, because ye have known all things, whatsoever I have done among you. Alleluia.
* Receive ye the Holy Ghost, Who is your Comforter within you; the Same is He Whom the Father will send unto you. Alleluia.
V. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

R. Receive ye the Holy Ghost Who is your Comforter within you; the Same is He Whom the Father will send unto you. Alleluia.


Today's Gospel is St John 3:16-21:

16 Sic enim Deus dilexit mundum, ut Filium suum unigenitum daret: ut omnis qui credit in eum, non pereat, sed habeat vitam æternam. 17 Non enim misit Deus Filium suum in mundum, ut judicet mundum, sed ut salvetur mundus per ipsum. 18 Qui credit in eum, non judicatur; qui autem non credit, jam judicatus est: quia non credit in nomine unigeniti Filii Dei. 19 Hoc est autem judicium: quia lux venit in mundum, et dilexerunt homines magis tenebras quam lucem: erant enim eorum mala opera. 20 Omnis enim qui male agit, odit lucem, et non venit ad lucem, ut non arguantur opera ejus: 21 qui autem facit veritatem, venit ad lucem, ut manifestentur opera ejus, quia in Deo sunt facta.

For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. [18] He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. [20] For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.[21] But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.