Saturday, 3 September 2016

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - Matins readings (Third Nocturn and Gospel)

The Matins readings for the third Nocturn this Sunday are set out below.

Nocturn III (Homily of St Ambrose)

Reading 9: Now is healed this man sick of the dropsy, in whom too much watery matter had well-nigh drowned the functions of life, and quenched the fire of understanding. Anon, a lesson is given in lowly-mindedness, when it is forbidden to the guests at a marriage feast to go and sit down unasked in the highest room, albeit the Lord spake gently, that the teaching of courtesy might forestall a harsh rebuke, reason prevail by dint of persuasion, and the desires be bent to follow the instruction.

R. O that Thou wouldest hide me in the grave; that Thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, even thine, O Lord, Thou That alone art God;* That Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
V. Are thy days as the days of man, that Thou inquirest after mine iniquity, and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
R. That Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!

Reading 10: And upon this, as next-door neighbour, cometh courtesy, which is so called by the Lord, when it is shown to the poor and weak, since to show it to them from whom we are to receive aught, is but a movement of self-interest.Lastly, as to a soldier that hath served his full time, is apportioned a reward for esteeming lightly of riches so he only can inherit the kingdom of God, whose soul is not given to seek after lower ends, and who purchaseth not to himself earthly possessions whereas the Lord saith "Sell that thou hast, and follow Me."

(responsory not available)

Reading 11: Neither can he gain it that buyeth oxen, which beasts Elisha slew and gave unto the people. Neither can he win it which hath married a wife and therefore cannot come, for " he that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife." Not that this is to be taken for blame of marriage, but only that virginity is the more honourable way, since "the unmarried woman" and the widow "careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit."

(responsory not available)

Reading 12: But in all fairness, having thus spoken concerning widows, let us betake ourselves again among the married, and join with them in entertaining the opinion which is held by so many, that there are only three classes of men who are shut out from the great supper named in the gospel, which three classes are Heathens, Jews, and Heretics. And therefore it is that the Apostle warneth us that we "walk not as other Gentiles walk," in malice and bitterness, and uncleanness, and covetousness, and so have no entry into the kingdom of Christ, since "no unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ

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 14:1-11:

And it came to pass, when Jesus went into the house of one of the chief of the Pharisees, on the sabbath day, to eat bread, that they watched him. And behold, there was a certain man before him that had the dropsy. And Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? But they held their peace. But he taking him, healed him, and sent him away. And answering them, he said: Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him out, on the sabbath day?  And they could not answer him to these things. And he spoke a parable also to them that were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them: When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honourable than thou be invited by him: And he that invited thee and him, come and say to thee, Give this man place: and then thou begin with shame to take the lowest place.  But when thou art invited, go, sit down in the lowest place; that when he who invited thee, cometh, he may say to thee: Friend, go up higher. Then shalt thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee. Because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

Matins readings for the first Sunday of September

The Matins readings for the first Sunday of September in the Benedictine office are set out below.

Nocturn I (Job 1:1-11)

Reading 1: There was a man in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, and that man was simple and upright, and fearing God, and avoiding evil.  And there were born to him seven sons and three daughters.  And his possession was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a family exceeding great: and this man was great among all the people of the east.

R. What shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?* The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. As the Lord hath pleased, so hath it befallen. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
V. Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither.
R. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. As the Lord hath pleased, so hath it befallen. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Reading 2: And his sons went, and made a feast by houses every one in his day. And sending they called their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  And when the days of their feasting were gone about, Job sent to them, and sanctified them: and rising up early offered holocausts for every one of them. For he said: Lest perhaps my sons have sinned, and have blessed God in their hearts. So did Job all days.

R. My sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters, for the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Was not I silent Held not I my peace Was not I at rest* And trouble came.
V. Behold, I cannot help myself, and they that were needful unto me have forsaken me.
R. And trouble came.

Reading 3: Now on a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them.  And the Lord said to him: Whence comest thou? And he answered and said: I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it. And the Lord said to him: Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a simple and upright man, and fearing God, and avoiding evil?

R. Why do ye argue against the words of truth? Do ye imagine words to reprove me and strive to confound one that is your friend* Nevertheless, finish that ye have in mind.
V. Judge that which is just, and ye shall find no iniquity in my tongue.
R. Nevertheless, finish that ye have in mind.

Reading 4:And Satan answering, said: Doth Job fear God in vain? Hast not thou made a fence for him, and his house, and all his substance round about, blessed the works of his hands, and his possession hath increased on the earth? But stretch forth thy hand a little, and touch all that he hath, and see if he blesseth thee not to thy face.

R. My harp is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.* Let me alone, O Lord, for my days are vanity.
V. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
R. Let me alone, O Lord, for my days are vanity.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Let me alone, O Lord, for my days are vanity.

Nocturn II (Book of Morals of St Gregory the Great)

Reading 5:The Holy Scripture is put before the eyes of our mind somewhat after the fashion of a looking-glass, that we may see therein the aspect of our inward man. Therein we see what are our unsightly, and what our comely traits thereby we judge how we are growing, and how far yet we are from fullness of stature. The Holy Scripture telleth of the doings of the Saints, and stirreth up the heart of us weaklings to follow them. While it maketh memorial of their victorious deeds, it strengtheneth our frailty to strive against sin. And so by the words of the Scripture it cometh to pass that the soul trembleth less at the battle, for that she seeth how many times the enemies before her have been beaten by brave men.

R. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust. My skin is dry and drawn together.* Remember me, O Lord, for my life is wind.
V. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.
R. Remember me, Lord, for my life is wind.

Reading 6: And some while the Scripture showeth unto us, not only how the Saints fought bravely, but also how they fell, that we may see by the example of the mighty, not only what weapons we must take, if we would conquer, but also what snares we must keep clear of, if we would avoid falling. For example, here is Job on the one hand, waxing nobler under trial, and on the other hand, David, tried, and failing utterly. And so the glory of the great strengtheneth our hope, and the backsliding of the same doth stir us up to be watchful and lowly the one cheering us with gladness, and the other putting us on our guard through fear, so that the soul of him which heareth of these things may by the one gain sure and certain hope, and by the other fearfulness and watchfulness, and so neither be rashly puffed up, nor hopelessly cast down, nor may faint under the weight of dread, forasmuch as she is stirred up to trustfulness by the example of him who triumphed.

R. My days are few, and in a short while they will be ended. Let me alone, then, O Lord, that I may bewail my sorrow a little;
* Before I go to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death.
V. Thine hands, O Lord, have made me, and fashioned me together round about, and yet dost Thou forthwith destroy me.
R. Before I go to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death.

Reading 7: There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. We are told where this holy man lived, that thereby we may gauge the worth of his bravery. Who knoweth not that Uz is a place in the countries of the Gentiles The Gentile world had been so degraded and corrupted by sin, that they had ceased to know that they had a Maker.

R. Hide not thy face from me, O Lord. Withdraw not thine hand far from me,
* And let not thy dread make me afraid.
V. O Lord, correct me but in mercy not in thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.
R. And let not thy dread make me afraid.

Reading 8:Therefore is it told us where Job dwelt, that it may redound to his praise that he was good in the midst of the wicked. It is not very praiseworthy to be good among the good, but to be good among the bad. For even as it is more grievous to be bad among the good, so is it right praiseworthy to have remained good among the bad.

R. O that my sins, whereby I have deserved wrath
* And the calamity whereunder I suffer, were laid in the balances together.
V. For now it would appear heavier than the sand of the sea, therefore also my words are full of sorrow.
R. And the calamity, whereunder I suffer, were laid in the balances together.