Saturday, 8 April 2017

Readings for Palm Sunday** updated

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

Nocturn I (Jeremiah 2:12-22; 29-32)

Reading 1: Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and ye gates thereof, be very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have done two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.  Is Israel a bondman, or a homeborn slave? why then is he become prey? The lions have roared upon him, and have made a noise, they have made his land a wilderness: his cities are burnt down and there is none to dwell in them.


R. In die qua invocavi te Domine, dixisti: Noli timere:* Judicasti causam meam, et liberasti me, Domine Deus meus.
V. In die tribulationis meae clamavi ad te, quia exaudisti me.
R. Judicasti causam meam, et liberasti me, Domine Deus meus.
R. O Lord, in the day that I called upon thee, Thou saidst Fear not.* Thou hast pleaded my cause, and hast redeemed me, O Lord my God.
V. In the day of my trouble I called upon thee, for Thou hast heard me.
R. Thou hast pleaded my cause, and hast redeemed me, O Lord my God.

Reading 2: The children also of Memphis, and of Taphnes have deflowered thee, even to the crown of the head.  Hath not this been done to thee, because thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God at that time, when he led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the troubled water? And what hast thou to do with the way of the Assyrians, to drink the water of the river? Thy own wickedness shall reprove thee, and thy apostasy shall rebuke thee. Know thou, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee, to have left the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not with thee, saith the Lord the God of hosts.


R. Fratres mei elongaverunt se a me: et noti mei,* Quasi alieni recesserunt a me.
V. Dereliquerunt me proximi mei, et qui me noverunt.
R. Quasi alieni recesserunt a me.
R. My brethren stand afar off from me, and they which have known me* Make themselves strange unto me, and leave me.
V. My neighbours forsake me, and mine acquaintance
R. Make themselves strange unto me, and leave me me.

Reading 3: Of old time thou hast broken my yoke, thou hast burst my bands, and thou saidst: I will not serve. For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself.  Yet I planted thee a chosen vineyard, all true seed: how then art thou turned unto me into that which is good for nothing, O strange vineyard? Though thou wash thyself with nitre, and multiply to thyself the herb borith, thou art stained in thy iniquity before me, saith the Lord God.


R. Attende Domine ad me, et audi voces adversariorum meorum:* Numquid redditur pro bono malum, quia foderunt faveam animae meae?
V. Recordare quod steterim in conspectu tuo, ut loquerer pro eis bonum, et averterem indignationem tuam ab eis.
R. Numquid redditur pro bono malum, quia foderunt faveam animae meae?

R. Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.* Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul.
V. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
R. Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul.


Reading 4: Why will you contend with me in judgement? you have all forsaken me, saith the Lord. In vain have I struck your children, they have not received correction: your sword hath devoured your prophets, your generation is like a ravaging lion.  See ye the word of the Lord: Am I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springing land? why then have my people said: We are revolted, we will come to thee no more.  Will a virgin forget her ornament, or a bride her stomacher? but my people hath forgotten me days without number.


R. Viri impii dixerunt: Opprimamus virum justum injuste, et deglutiamus eum tamquam infernus vivum: auferamus memoriam illius de terra: et de spoliis ejus sortem mittamus inter nos: ipsi enim homicidae thesaurizaverunt sibi mala.* Insipientes et maligni oderunt sapientiam: et rei facti sunt in cogitationibus suis.
V. Haec cogitaverunt, et erraverunt: et excavavit illos malitia eorum.
R. Insipientes et maligni oderunt sapientiam: et rei facti sunt in cogitationibus suis.
R. Viri impii dixerunt: Opprimamus virum justum injuste, et deglutiamus eum tamquam infernus vivum: auferamus memoriam illius de terra: et de spoliis ejus sortem mittamus inter nos: ipsi enim homicidae thesaurizaverunt sibi mala.* Insipientes et maligni oderunt sapientiam: et rei facti sunt in cogitationibus suis.
R. The ungodly said Let us oppress the righteous man without cause, and swallow him up alive, as the grave let us make his memorial to perish from the earth, and cast lots among us for his spoils and those murderers laid by store for themselves, but of evil.* Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.
V. Such things they did imagine, and were deceived, for their own wickedness blinded them.
R. Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.
R. The ungodly said Let us oppress the righteous man without cause, and swallow him up alive, as the grave let us make his memorial to perish from the earth, and cast lots among us for his spoils and those murderers laid by store for themselves, but of evil.* Fools and haters loathe wisdom, and are guilty in their thoughts.

Nocturn II (Sermon 62 of St Leo)

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, the jubilant and triumphal day which ushereth in the commemoration of the Lord's Passion is come; even that day for which we have longed so much, and for whose yearly coming the whole world may well look. Shouts of spiritual exultation are ringing, and suffer not that we should be silent. It is indeed hard to preach often on the same Festival, and that always meetly and rightly, but a Priest is not free, when we celebrate so great and mysterious an out-pouring of God's mercy, to leave his faithful people without the service of a discourse. Nay, that his subject-matter is unspeakable should in itself make him eloquent, since where enough can never be said, there must needs ever be somewhat to say.


R. Conclusit vias meas inimicus, insidiator factus est mihi sicut leo in abscondito, replevit et inebriavit me amaritudine: deduxerunt in lacum mortis vitam meam, et posuerunt lapidem contra me.* Vide Domine iniquitates illorum: et judica causam animae meae, defensor vitae meas.
V. Factus sum in derisum omni populo meo, canticum eorum tota die.
R. Vide Domine iniquitates illorum: et judica causam animae meae, defensor vitae meas.
R. The enemy hath enclosed my ways he lay in wait for me as a lion in secret places he hath filled me and made me drunken with bitterness they have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.* O Lord, behold all their iniquity, and plead the cause of my soul, Thou That art the Redeemer of my life!
V. I was a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
R. O Lord, behold all their iniquity, and plead the cause of my soul, Thou That art the Redeemer of my life!

Reading 6: Let man's weakness, then, fall down before the glory of God, and acknowledge herself ever too feeble to unfold all the works of His mercy. We may jade our emotions, break down in our understanding, and fail in our speech it is good for us, that even what we truly feel in presence of the Divine Majesty is but little, (compared to the vastness of the subject.)  For when the Prophet saith Seek the Lord and be strong; seek His face evermore, let no man thence conclude that he will ever have found all that he seeketh, lest he which hath ceased to come near should cease to be near.


R. Salvum me fac Deus, quoniam intraverunt aquae usque ad animam meam: ne avertas faciem tuam a me:
* Quoniam tribulor, exaudi me Domine Deus meus.
V. Intende animeae meae, et libera eam: propter inimicos meos eripe me,
R. Quoniam tribulor, exaudi me Domine Deus meus.
R. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul hide not thy face from me;* For I am in trouble. Hear me speedily, O Lord my God.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it deliver me because of mine enemies.
R. For I am in trouble. Hear me speedily, O Lord my God.

Reading 7: But among all the works of God which foil and weary the steadfast gaze of man's wonder, what is there that doth at once so ravish and so exceed the power of our mind's eye as do the sufferings of the Saviour? He it was Who, to loose man from the bands wherewith he had bound himself by the first death-dealing transgression, spared to bring against the rage of the devil the power of the Divine Majesty, and met him with the weakness of our lowly nature. For if our proud and cruel enemy had been able to know the counsel of God's mercy, it had been his task rather to have softened the minds of the Jews into gentleness, than to have inflamed them with unrighteous hatred; and so lost the service of all his slaves, by pursuing for his Debtor One That owed him nothing.


R. Noli esse mihi Domine alienus: parce mihi in die mala: confundantur omnes qui me persequuntur, * Et non confundar ego.
V. Confundantur omnes inimici mei, qui quaerunt animam meam.
R. Et non confundar ego.
R. O Lord, be not Thou far from me spare me in the day of evil let them be confounded that persecute me; * But let not me be confounded.
V. Let all mine enemies which seek after my soul be confounded.
R. But let not me be confounded.

Reading 8: But his own hate dug a pit-fall for him he brought upon the Son of God that death which is become life to all the sons of men. He shed that innocent Blood, Which hath reconciled the world unto God, and become at once the price of our redemption and the cup of our salvation. The Lord hath received that which according to the purpose of His Own good pleasure He hath chosen. He hath let fall on Him the hands of bloody men but while they were bent only on their own sin, they were servants ministering to the Redeemer's work. And such was His tenderness even for His murderers that His prayer to His Father from the Cross, as touching them, was, not that He might be avenged upon them, but that they might be forgiven.


R. Opprobrium factus sum nimis inimicis meis: viderunt me, et moverunt capita sua: * Adjuva me Domine Deus meus.
V. Locuti sunt adversum me lingua dolosa, et sermonibus odii circumdederunt me.
R. Adjuva me Domine Deus meus.
R. Opprobrium factus sum nimis inimicis meis: viderunt me, et moverunt capita sua: * Adjuva me Domine Deus meus.
R. I became a reproach unto mine enemies they looked upon me and shaked their heads. * Help me, O Lord my God!
V. They have spoken against me with a lying tongue they compassed me about also with words of hatred.
R. Help me, O Lord my God!
R. I became a reproach unto mine enemies they looked upon me and shaked their heads. * Help me, O Lord my God!

Nocturn III (St Ambrose)

Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew - In that time when Jesus drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples, Saying to them: And so on.

Homily by St Ambrose, Bishop - Beautiful is the type, when the Lord, about to leave the Jews, and to take up His abode in the hearts of the Gentiles, goeth up into the Temple; a figure of His going to the true Temple wherein He is worshipped, not in the deadness of the letter, but in spirit and in truth, even that Temple of God whereof the foundations are laid, not in buildings of stone, but in faith. He leaveth behind Him such as hate Him, and getteth Him to such as will love Him. And therefore cometh He unto the Mount of Olives that He may plant upon the heights of grace those young olive-branches, whose Mother is the Jerusalem which is above.


R. Dominus mecum est tamquam bellator fortis: propterea persecuti sunt me, et intelligere non potuerunt: Domine probas renes et corda:
* Tibi revelavi causam meam.
V. Vidisti Domine iniquitates eorum adversum me: judica judicium meum.
R. Tibi revelavi causam meam.
R. The Lord is with me as a Mighty Terrible One; therefore have they persecuted me, and have not been able to understand. O Lord, Thou triest the reins and the heart* Unto thee have I opened my cause.
V.O Lord, Thou hast seen my wrong that they do me; judge Thou my cause.
R. Unto thee have I opened my cause.

Reading 10: Upon this mountain standeth He, the Heavenly Husbandman, that all they which be planted in the House of the Lord may be able each one to say: "But I am like a fruitful olive-tree in the House of God.And perchance that mountain doth signify Christ Himself. For what other is there that beareth such fruit of olives as He doth, not rich with store of loaded branches, but spiritually fruitful with the fulness of the Gentiles? He also it is on Whom we go up, and unto Whom we go up; He is the Door; He is the Way; He is He Which is opened and Which openeth; He is He upon Whom knocketh whosoever entereth in, and to Whom they that have entered in, do worship.


R. Dixerunt impii apud se, non recte cogitantes: Circumveniamus justum, quoniam contrarius est operibus nostris: promittit se scientiam Dei habere, Filium Dei se nominat, et gloriatur patrem se habere Deum:* Videamus si sermones illius veri sunt: et si est vere Filius Dei, liberet eum de manibus nostris: morte turpissima condemnemus eum.
V. Tamquam nugaces aestimati sumus ab illo, et abstinet se a viis nostris tamquam ab immunditiis: et praefert novissima justorum.
R. Videamus si sermones illius veri sunt: et si est vere Filius Dei, liberet eum de manibus nostris: morte turpissima condemnemus eum.
R. The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright; Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because he is clean contrary to our doings he professeth to have the knowledge of God, he calleth himself the Son of God, and boasteth that he hath God to his Father.* Let us see if his words be true; and, if he be indeed the Son of God, let Him deliver him from our hand; let us condemn him with a shameful death.
V. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and commendeth the end of the just.
R. Let us see if his words be true; and, if he be indeed the Son of God, let Him deliver him from our hand; let us condemn him with a shameful death.

Reading 11: A figure also was it that the disciples went into a village, and that there they found an ass tied and a colt with her neither could they be loosed, save at the command of the Lord. It was the hand of His Apostles which loosed them. He whose work and life are like theirs will have such grace as was theirs. Be thou also such as they, if thou wouldest loose them that are bound.Now, let us consider who they were, who, being convicted of transgression, were banished from their home in the Garden of Eden into a village, and in this thou wilt see how Life called back again them whom death had cast out.


R. Circumdederunt me viri mendaces: sine causa flagellis ceciderunt me: * Sed tu Domine defensor vindica me.
V. Quoniam tribulatio proxima est, et non est qui adjuvet.
R. Sed tu Domine defensor vindica me.
R. Liars are come round about me, they have fallen upon me with scourges without a cause.* But do Thou, O Lord my Redeemer, avenge me!
V. For trouble is near, and there is none to help.
R. But do Thou, O Lord my Redeemer, avenge me!

Reading 12: For this reason, we read in Matthew that there were tied both an ass and her colt; thus, as man was banished from Eden in a member of either sex, so is it in animals of both sexes that his re-call is figured. The she-ass is a type of our sinful Mother Eve, and the colt of the multitude of the Gentiles; and it was upon the colt that Christ took His seat. And thus it is well written of the colt, that thereon never yet had man sat, for no man before Christ ever called the Gentiles into the Church which statement thou hast in Mark also: Whereon never man sat.


R: Cum audisset populus quia Jesus venit Jerusalem exierunt ei + Plurima autem turba straverunt vestimenta sua in via + alii  ramos de arboribus sternebant et clamabant * Hosanna filio David: benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini
V: Turbæ autem, quæ præcedebant, et quæ sequebantur, voce magna clamabant,
R Hosanna filio David: benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini
R: Cum audisset populus quia Jesus venit Jerusalem exierunt ei + Plurima autem turba straverunt vestimenta sua in via + alii  ramos de arboribus sternebant et clamabant * Hosanna filio David: benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini
R: When the people heard when that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet him.
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees,  and shouted: * Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord
V: And the multitudes that went before and that followed, and shouted out in a loud voice.
R: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord
R: When the people heard when that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet him.

Gospel (St Matthew 21:1-9):

And when they drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples,  Saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to me. And if any man shall say anything to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:  Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy king cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke. And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them.  And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon.  And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way:  And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Saturday in Passion week

The Gospel is St John 12:10-36:

But the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also: Because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away, and believed in Jesus.  And on the next day, a great multitude that was to come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,  Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel.  And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written:  Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass' s colt.These things his disciples did not know at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things to him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with him, when he called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised him from the dead.  For which reason also the people came to meet him, because they heard that he had done this miracle.  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? behold, the whole world is gone after him.  Now there were certain Gentiles among them, who came up to adore on the festival day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus.  Philip cometh, and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus.  But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.  Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,  Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour.  Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour.  Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.  The multitude therefore that stood and heard, said that it thundered. Others said: An angel spoke to him.  Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.) The multitude answered him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?  Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke; and he went away, and hid himself from them.

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to John - In that time the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also: Because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away, and believed in Jesus. And so on.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop - When they saw Lazarus who had been raised from the dead, and knew that the miracle which the Lord had worked was so great, spread about by so many witnesses, and so plain and manifest that it could neither be concealed nor denied, they invented an expedient; and see here what it was--"But the chief Priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death." What stupidity of thought, what blindness of cruelty is here! If the Lord Christ had raised up again a man who had died a natural death, could He not also raise up one that had died by violence? Would killing Lazarus paralyse the Lord? But if ye consider that there is a difference between a man dead of disease, and a man killed, behold, the Lord hath raised up both for He first raised up Lazarus, who had died a natural death, and then Himself, after a violent one.

R. O Lord, I go mourning all the day long, for my soul is filled with a loathsome disease * They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.
V. My friends and my neighbours draw near, and stand over against me; and they that are nearest to me stand afar off.
R. They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.

Reading 2: On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel That cometh in the Name of the Lord!" Palm branches are glorious boughs which tell of victory; yea, the Lord was now ready by His Own Death to trample down death, and to carry the victorious banner of His Cross in triumph over the devil, the prince of death. The cry with which He was greeted, namely "Hosanna," hath not, as we are assured by some who are acquainted with the Hebrew language, any meaning in particular, but is a shout after the manner of interjections, as they are called, just as in Latin when we lament we say "Heu," or when we are pleased, "Vah."

R. O Lord, hide not thy face from thy servant* For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it; deliver me, because of mine enemies.
R. For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.

Reading 3: These were the shouts of applause with which the crowd greeted Him, "Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel That cometh in the Name of the Lord!" What inward torture must the jealousy of the Jewish leaders have caused them, when they heard that great multitude hailing Christ as their King! But, for the Lord, what was it to be King of Israel? To the Eternal King what mattered it to become a King of men? And Christ is not King of Israel in the sense of monarchs who exact tribute, or arm hosts with steel to conquer enemies that are seen. But King of Israel He is, as He Who is Lord of our intellect, a Ruler Whose power shall never wane, and Who openeth a Kingdom in heaven to all such as centre in Him their faith, their hope, and their love.

R. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, * And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
V. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the Angel of the Lord persecute them.
R. And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
R. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, and my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Friday in Passion week

The Gospel is John 11:47-54:

The chief priests therefore, and the Pharisees, gathered a council, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles? If we let him alone so, all will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation.  But one of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing.  Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.  And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed.  From that day therefore they devised to put him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews; but he went into a country near the desert, unto a city that is called Ephrem, and there he abode with his disciples.

Matins readings

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to John - In that time chief priests and the Pharisees, gathered a council, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles? If we let him alone so, all will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. And so on.

Homily of St Austin bishop of Hippo - The chief Priests and the Pharisees took counsel together, but Let us believe in Him was not one of the suggestions offered. Those lost creatures thought much more how they might hurt and undo Him, than how they might save themselves from perishing. And yet they were afraid, and took counsel together, and said What do we? For this Man doeth many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him; and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and our nation. They were afraid of losing temporal things, but they gave no thought to eternal life, and so they lost both.

R. Thou art my God be not far from me for trouble is near;* For there is none to help.
V. But be not thy strength far from me; O Lord, haste thee to help me.
R. For trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Reading 2: For, after that the Lord had suffered and been glorified, first came the Romans, and took away both their place and nation, prevailing against them and leading them away captive, and secondly there followeth them that which is written But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness. But their fear was that, if all men should believe on Christ, none would remain to defend the city of God and His Temple against the Romans, since they deemed that Christ's teaching was against the Temple itself, and against the laws of their fathers.

R. I was cast upon thee from the womb; Thou art my God from my mother's belly; be not far from me.* For trouble is near, and there is none to help.
V. Save me from the lion's mouth, and mine affliction from the horns of the unicorns.
R. For trouble is near, and there is none to help.

Reading 3: And one of them, named Ca'iphas, being the High Priest that same year, said unto them: Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself but being High Priest that year, he prophesied. Here we will learn that bad men are enabled by the spirit of prophecy to foretell the future; which, at the same time, the Evangelist attributeth to an ordinance of God, namely, that he was the High Priest.

R. O Lord, my trouble is near, and there is none to help me; or ever they pierce my hands and my feet, save me from the lion's mouth! * That I may declare thy Name unto my brethren.
V. O God, deliver my soul from the sword, and my darling from the power of the dog.
R. That I may declare thy Name unto my brethren.
R. O Lord, my trouble is near, and there is none to help me; or ever they pierce my hands and my feet, save me from the lion's mouth! * That I may declare thy Name unto my brethren.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Thursday in Passion week

The Gospel today is St Luke 7:36-50:

And one of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat.  And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he sat at meat in the Pharisee' s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment;  And standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet, with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner.  And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors, the one who owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most?  Simon answering, said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said to him: Thou hast judged rightly.  And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.  My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed my feet.  Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.  And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee.  And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace.

Matins readings (from St Gregory the Great)

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to Luke - In that time one of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, And so on.

Homily by Pope St Gregory - When I think of the repentance of Mary Magdalene I feel nigher to weep than to say ought. Is there indeed any man, however stony his heart, who is not somewhat moved to follow the ensample of her repentance by the tears of that poor sinful woman? She weighed what she did, and would not that what she did should be niggardly. She came unbidden among the guests, and obtruded her tears upon the banquet. Ye may hence gather her sorrow, that she was content to weep at a feast.

R. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, and out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. * For Thou art my hope.
V. O my God, be not far from me O my God, make haste for my help.
R. For Thou art my hope.

Reading 2: We believe that this woman, of whom Luke saith that she was a woman in the city, which was a sinner, and whom John nameth Mary, was the same as she of whom it is written in Mark that the Lord had cast out of her seven devils. And what signify seven devils but all manner of sin? For even as seven days do represent all time, so doth the number seven stand for all. Therefore is it said that Mary had seven devils, because she was full of all sin.

R. They be increased that trouble me, and that say There is no help for him in his God. * Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!
V. Lest mine enemy say I have prevailed against him.
R. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!

Reading 3: But see how she realized the depth of her own filthiness, and came to be washed to the Well of Mercy, before all them which were bidden to the feast. The bitterness of her inward shame made her esteem it a light thing to be despised outwardly. At what then do we marvel, my brethren? That she came, or that the Lord welcomed her? Or would it be truer for me to say that He drew her to Him and welcomed her when she came? for His mercy inwardly drew her, and, when she came, His gentleness openly welcomed her.

R. How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? * Consider, and hear me, O Lord my God!
V. Those that trouble me will rejoice when I am moved but I have trusted in thy mercy.
R. Consider and hear me, O Lord my God!
R. How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? * Consider and hear me, O Lord my God!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Wednesday in Passion Week

Today's Gospel is St John 10:22-38:

And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon' s porch.  The Jews therefore came round about him, and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of my Father, they give testimony of me.  But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me.  And I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand.  That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father.  I and the Father are one. The Jews then took up stones to stone him.  Jesus answered them: Many good works I have shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do you stone me?  The Jews answered him: For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, maketh thyself God.  Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said you are gods?  If he called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the scripture cannot be broken;  Do you say of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.  But if I do, though you will not believe me, believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

Matins readings (St Augustine)

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to John - In that time it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. And so on.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop  - The Greek word Enkainia, used by the Evangelist, signifieth the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple. The derivation thereof is kainon, which is, being interpreted, new; and the Dedication of anything new is thence called Enkainia. The use of this word is still preserved among ourselves; if any man put on his new coat for the first time we say that he enkainiateth. It was the use of the Jews to keep solemn holiday upon the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Temple, and this was the Feast-day which was being observed when the Lord spake the words which have been read.

R. O Lord, I go mourning all the day long, for my soul is filled with a loathsome disease * They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.
V. My friends and my neighbours draw near, and stand over against me; and they that are nearest to me stand afar off.
R. They also that sought after my life have used violence against me.

Reading 2: It was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple in Solomon's Porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him How long dost Thou make us to doubt? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. They sought not to know the truth, but to have whereof to accuse Him. It was winter, and they were cold; for they were slow to draw near to God's fire. If to believe is to draw near thereto, then he which believeth draweth near thereto and he which denieth, goeth away therefrom. The feet of the soul, by which it moveth, are the affections thereof.

R. O Lord, hide not thy face from thy servant * For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it; deliver me, because of mine enemies.
R. For I am in trouble; hear me speedily.

Reading 3: They were frozen with want of love, and at the same time on fire with thirst to do injury. They stood afar off, and yet came near; for though they drew not near by faith, they were eager to persecute. They sought to hear the Lord say I am the Christ; and perchance they knew somewhat concerning Christ, as touching His Manhood, for the Prophets had prophesied of Christ. But the Godhead of Christ even some heretics do not see witnessed either in the Prophets or in the Gospel; how much less the Jews, as long as the veil is upon their heart.

R. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, * And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
V. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the Angel of the Lord persecute them.
R. And my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.
V. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night! for my nearest brother hath supplanted me, and my neighbour hath walked with slanders against me.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Tuesday in Passion Week

Today's Gospel is St John 7:1-13

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.  Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.  And his brethren said to him: Pass from hence, and go into Judea; that thy disciples also may see thy works which thou dost.  For there is no man that doth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, manifest thyself to the world.  For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said to them: My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth: because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil.  Go you up to this festival day, but I go not up to this festival day: because my time is not accomplished.  When he had said these things, he himself stayed in Galilee.  But after his brethren were gone up, then he also went up to the feast, not openly, but, as it were, in secret. The Jews therefore sought him on the festival day, and said: Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the multitude concerning him. For some said: He is a good man. And others said: No, but he seduceth the people.  Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews.

Matins readings (from St Augustine)

Reading 1: From the holy Gospel according to John - In that time Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. And so on.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop - In this chapter of the Gospel, my brethren, our Lord Jesus Christ hath much commended Himself unto our faith, as touching His Manhood. At the same time, His words and works were always such as to give us to believe that He is both God and Man, yea, that God Who made us, and that Man Who hath sought us, yea, God the Son, Who, as touching His Godhead, is alway with the Father, and, as touching His Manhood, hath been with us in time.  For He had not sought the work of His hands unless He had been made His own work.. Keep this well in mind, and let your hearts never forget it, namely, that Christ was not made Man so as to cease to be God. He, Who made the Manhood, took It into that Godhead Which is His from everlasting to everlasting.

R. Thou art my Helper and my Protector, O Lord, and in thy word do I hope. * Depart from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God.
V. I hate the unrighteous, but thy law do I love.
R. Depart from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God.

Reading 2: While therefore He lay hid in the Manhood, we must not think that He had suffered any lessening of power, but that He was giving ensample to our weakness. When He willed it, He was taken; when He willed it, He was put to death. But, since He was to have members, that is, His faithful people, who would not have that power over their lives which He, our God, had over His, He hid Himself, He concealed Himself, as if it were to escape being put to death, to show what should be done by those His members in whom He should dwell.

R. will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee. * Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation.
V. O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
R. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation.

Reading 3: Christ is not the Head of His Church in such sense that He is not in her Body; but the whole Christ is in the Head, and the whole Christ is in the Body. That, then, which His members are is Himself, though That Which He is, That are not therefore His members. For if His members had not been indeed His Own, how had He said unto Saul: Why persecutest thou Me? since Saul was not persecuting Him in Himself, but in His members, that is, in His faithful ones which were upon earth. He said not, Why persecutest thou My holy ones, nor, My servants, no, nor yet called He them by that more honourable name, My brethren, but, Why persecutest thou Me? that is, the members of My Body, whose Head I am.

R. Make not my soul to perish with sinners, O God, nor my life with bloody men. * Redeem me, O Lord!
V. Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man, preserve me from the wicked man.
R. Redeem me, O Lord!
R. make not my soul to perish with sinners, O God, nor my life with bloody men. * Redeem me, O Lord!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Monday in Passion week

The Gospel at Mass is St John 7:32-39:

The Pharisees heard the people murmuring these things concerning him: and the rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend him.  Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while I am with you: and then I go to him that sent me.  You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come.  The Jews therefore said among themselves: Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?  What is this saying that he hath said: You shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am, you cannot come?  And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.  He that believeth in me, as the scripture saith, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  Now this he said of the Spirit which they should receive, who believed in him: for as yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Matins readings

Reading 1:  From the holy Gospel according to John - In that time the rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend him. And so on.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop -   How could they take Him until such time as He willed to be taken? If, then, they could not take Him until He willed to be taken, were they sent to watch His teaching? Then said Jesus unto them Yet a little while am I with you what ye now seek to do, ye shall do; but not yet, for I will not so yet. And why will I not so yet? Because yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent Me I must fulfill that which I am sent to do, and so go to suffer.

R. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, and out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.* For Thou art my hope.
V. O my God, be not far from me O my God, make haste for my help.
R. For Thou art my hope.

Reading 2: You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me, and where I am thither ye cannot come. In these words He foretold already His rising again from the dead. While He was with them they would not know Him; and afterwards they sought Him, when they saw that a multitude already believed in Him. For great signs were wrought also when the Lord rose again, and ascended up into heaven. Then were great signs again wrought through the Disciples, that is, through them by Him Who worketh the same directly also by Himself, according as He had said unto them Without Me ye can do nothing. When that lame man that was laid daily at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple stood up at the voice of Peter. and walked, and all the people were filled with wonder, Peter bade them know that it was not by his own power that he had made him to walk, but by the power of Him Whom they had killed. And when they heard this, many were pricked in their heart, and said What shall we do?

R. They that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, saying God hath forsaken him; * Persecute and take him, for there is none to deliver him. O my God, be not far from me O my God, make haste for my help.
V. All that hate me whispered together against me; against me did they devise my hurt, saying
R. Persecute and take him, for there is none to deliver him. O my God, be not far from me O my God, make haste for my help.

Reading 3: Nor they saw that they were burdened with the guilt of an exceeding great sin, in that they had killed Him, Whom it was their duty to worship and adore and for that guilt they knew of no propitiation. Yea, their sin was indeed exceeding great; and the consideration of it made them to despair for whom the Lord, when He hung upon the Cross, had been willing to pray, as it is written Then said Jesus Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. At that hour He had seen among many strangers some that were His Own; for them He asked forgiveness, while yet He suffered at their hand, nor considered that they were putting Him to death, but only that He was dying for them.

R. Mine enemies spoke to me peaceably, but in wrath they troubled me. * This Thou hast seen, O Lord; keep not silence be not far from me.
V. But as for me, when they troubled me my clothing was sackcloth, and I humbled my soul with fasting.
R. This Thou hast seen, O Lord; keep not silence be not far from me.
R. Mine enemies spoke to me peaceably, but in wrath they troubled me. * This Thou hast seen, O Lord; keep not silence be not far from me.