Occurring Scripture for the
Hour of Matins
Ferias of the Third Full Week after Epiphany
Here begins the epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to
Paul, an apostle, not of
men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him
from the dead, And all the brethren who are with me, to the churches
of Galatia. Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father, and from
our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might
deliver us from this present wicked world, according to the will of God and
our Father: To Whom is glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I wonder that you are so
soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another
Gospel. Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you,
and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach a Gospel to you besides that which we have preached to
you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If
any one preach to you a Gospel, besides that which you have received, let
him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to
please men? If I yet pleased men, I would not be the servant of Christ.
For I give you to
understand, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not
according to man. For neither did I receive it of man, nor did I learn
it; but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my
conversation in time past in the Jews' religion: how that, beyond measure, I
persecuted the church of God, and wasted it. And I made progress in
the Jews' religion above many of my equals in my own nation, being more
abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
From the Exposition of the Epistle to the Galatians by
Saint Augustine, Bishop
Preface to Book iv
The reason of the
Apostle's writing to the Galatians was that they might understand that the
grace of God had worked in them that they were no longer under the law. For
when the grace of the Gospel was preached to them, there had not been
wanting to them some of them of the circumcision, Christians indeed in name,
but who had not yet apprehended that great benefit of grace, and desiring
still to be bound with burdens of the law burdens which the Lord God had
laid, not upon such as serve righteousness, but upon such as serve sin,
laying, that is to say, upon the unrighteous a righteous law, whereby their
unrighteousness was made manifest, not taken away. For there is not anything
which takes away sin, save only the grace of faith which works by love.
The men of the
circumcision would have the Galatians, who were under grace, to be under the
burdens of the law, persuading them that the Gospel profited them nothing,
unless they should be circumcised, and take on them the other outward
observances of the Jews' religion. Whence the Galatians began to have doubts
of the Apostle Paul, by whom the Gospel had been preached to them, as one
that held not the doctrine of the other Apostles, who compelled the Gentiles
to come under the law.
The same question is
discussed in the Epistle to the Romans, but with this difference in that
case the Apostle put an end to the discussion, and stilled the strife which
had arisen between the Jewish and the Gentile converts, in consequence of
the Jews holding that they had earned the knowledge of the Gospel as a
reward for their observance of the law, and grudging the same knowledge to
the uncircumcised, as to men who had done nothing to deserve it; and the
Gentiles, on the contrary, maintaining that they were superior to the Jews,
in that they were not the murderers of the Lord. Now, in this Epistle to the
Galatians, the Apostle addressed himself to those who were troubled by the
authority claimed by those who were of the circumcision, and sought to bring
into subjection to the law them who were of the uncircumcision.
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according
And when He was come down from the
mountain, great multitudes followed Him: And behold a leper came and
adored Him, saying: "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou can make me clean." And
Jesus stretching forth His hand, touched him, saying: "I will, be you made
clean." And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him: "See
that you tell no man: but go, show yourself to the priests, and offer the
gift which Moses commanded for a testimony to them."
And when he had entered into Capharnaum,
there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, And saying, "Lord, my servant
lies at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus
said to him: "I will come and heal him." And the centurion answering,
said: "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou should enter under my roof: but only
say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man
subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this one, 'Go,
and he goes', and to another, 'Come, and he comes,' and to my servant, 'Do
this,' and he does it." And Jesus hearing this, marveled; and said to
those who followed Him: Amen I say to you, "I have not found so great faith
in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the
west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom
of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the
exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And Jesus
said to the centurion: "Go, and as you have believed, so be it done to you."
And the servant was healed at the same hour.
An homily of Saint Jerome, Priest
Book i, Commentary on Matthew viii
When the Lord was come down from the mountain, great
multitudes followed Him. They were not able to follow Him when He went up.
And first there came a leper. This poor creature's disease had prevented him
from hearing the Savior's long sermon on the Mount. Let it be noted that he
is the first person specially named as being healed. The second was the
Centurion's servant; the third was Peter's wife's mother, who was sick of a
fever at Capernaum; the fourth were they who were brought unto Christ as
being troubled with evil spirits, from whom He by His word cast out the evil
spirits, at the same time that He healed all that were sick.
And, behold, there came a leper, who worshipped Him,
saying rightly after preaching and doctrine comes the occasion for a sign,
that the power of the miracle might confirm in the hearers the truth of the
teaching that had gone before. "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou can make me clean."
He that prayed the Lord to have the will, doubted not that He had the
power. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying: "I will; be
made clean." As soon as the Lord put forth His Hand, the leprosy departed.
Let us remark how lowly and unpretentious is the Lord's language. The leper had
said, "If Thou wilt"; the Lord answered, "I will." The leper, "Thou can make
me clean"; the Lord, "Be mad clean." Most Latin readers, misled by the
identity of form in that language between the Present Infinitive Active and
the Second Person Singular Present Imperative Passive of the Verb, read
Christ's answer as if it were, I will to make thee clean. This is wrong. The
sentences are separate. First cometh the expression of volition, "I will,"
then the command, "Be made clean."
And Jesus said to him "See that you tell no man." What need
was there to tell what his body showed? "But go your way, show yourself to the
Priest." There were diverse reasons why Christ should send him to the Priest.
First, for humility's sake, that He might show reverence to God's Priest.
Then there was a command in the law that they that were cleansed of leprosy
should make an offering to the Priests. Moreover, that, when the Priests saw
the leper cleansed, they might either believe in the Savior, or refuse to
believe; if they believed, that they might be saved, and, if they believed
not, that they might have no excuse. Lastly, that He might give no ground
for the accusation that was so often brought against Him, that He was
unobservant of the law.
Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, mercifully look upon our infirmity, and stretch
forth the right hand of Thy majesty to help and defend us. This we ask of
A reading from the epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to
O senseless Galatians, who
has bewitched you that you should not obey the
truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been set forth, crucified among
you? This only would I learn of you: Did you receive the Spirit by the
works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish, that,
whereas you began in the Spirit, you would now be made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered such great things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He
therefore Who gives to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you; does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of the faith? As it is
written: "Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice"
Know therefore, that those who are of faith are the
children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing, that God justifies
the Gentiles by faith, told unto Abraham before: "In thee shall all nations
be blessed" (Genesis 22:18; 26:4) Therefore they that are of faith,
shall be blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under a
curse. For it is written: "Cursed is every one, that abides not in all
things, which are written in the book of the law to do them." (cf.
But that in the law no man is justified with God, it is
manifest: because the just man lives by faith. But the law is not of
faith: but, He that does those things, shall live in them. Christ has
redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is
written: "Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree" (Deuteronomy 21:23): That the blessing of
Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we may receive
the promise of the Spirit by faith.
A reading from the epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to
Stand fast, and be not
held again under the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul tell you, that if
you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. And I testify
again to every man circumcising himself, that he is a debtor to the whole
law. You are made void of Christ, you who are justified in the law:
you are fallen from grace. For we in spirit, by faith, wait for
the hope of justice.
For in Christ Jesus
neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision: but faith that
works by charity. You did run well, who has hindered you, that you
should not obey the truth? This persuasion is not from Him that
calls you. A little leaven corrupts the whole lump. I have
confidence in you in the Lord: that you will not be of another mind: but He
that troubles you, shall bear the judgment, whosoever He be.
And I, brethren, if I yet
preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the scandal of
the cross made void. I would they were even cut off, who trouble you.
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty: only make not liberty an
occasion to the flesh, but by charity of the spirit serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as
yourself." But if you bite and devour one another; take heed you be
not consumed one of another. I say then, walk in the spirit, and you
shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against
the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to
another: so that you do not the things that you would.
Here begins the epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians
Paul, an apostle of Jesus
Christ, by the will of God, to all the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the
faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace be to you, and peace from God the
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed by the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with spiritual blessings in
heavenly places, in Christ: As He chose us in Him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in His sight
Who has predestined us
unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ to Himself: according to
the purpose of His will: To the praise of the glory of His grace, in
which He has graced us in His beloved son. In whom we have redemption
through His blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of His
grace, Which has abounded in us in all wisdom and prudence, That
He might make known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good
pleasure, which He has purposed in Him, In the dispensation of the
fullness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven
and on earth, in Him.
In whom we also are called
by lot, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all
things according to the counsel of His will. That we may contribute to
the praise of His glory—we who before
hoped Christ: In Whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth,
(the gospel of your salvation;) in Whom also believing, you were signed with
the holy Spirit of promise, Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto
the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of His glory.
From he epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the
I therefore, a prisoner in
the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are
called, With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one
another in charity. Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope
of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and
Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
Ephesians 4: 7-10
But to every one of us is
given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ. This is
why it says: "Ascending on high, He led captivity captive; He gave gifts to
men." (Cf. Psalm 67:19) Now that He ascended, what is it, but
because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He
that descended is the same also Who ascended above all the heavens, that He
might fill all things.
And He gave some apostles,
and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and
doctors, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Until we all meet
into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a
perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ;
That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness,
by which they lie in wait to deceive But doing the truth in charity,
we may in all things grow up in Him Who is the Head, even Christ:
From he epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians
Be ye therefore followers
of God, as most dear children; And walk in love, as Christ has also
loved us, and has delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to
God for an odor of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or
covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becomes saints:
Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but
rather giving of thanks.
For know you this and
understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a
serving of idols), has inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things comes
the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be not
partakers with them. For you were previously darkness, but now light
in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light.
For the fruit of the light
is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; Proving what is well
pleasing to God: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them. For the things that are done by
them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things that
are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest
is light. This is why he said: "Rise you who sleep, and arise from the dead:
and Christ shall enlighten you.
From the epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians
Children, obey your
parents in the Lord, for this is just. Honor thy father and thy
mother, which is the first commandment with a promise: That it may be
well with you, and you may be long lived upon earth. And you, fathers,
provoke not your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and
correction of the Lord.
Servants, be obedient to
them that are your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in
the simplicity of your heart, as to Christ: Not serving to the eye, as
it were pleasing men, but, as the servants of Christ doing the will of God
from the heart, With a good will serving, as to the Lord, and not to
men. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man shall do, the same
shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be bond, or free. And you,
masters, do the same things to them, not threatening, knowing that the Lord
of you and them is in heaven; and there is no respect of persons with Him.
Finally, brethren, be
strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put on the
armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the
devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against
principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness,
against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take
up the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to
stand in all things perfect.
In an Office of three lessons, ii
and iii above are concatenated and the third is taken from the proper of
saints or the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.