Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Occurring Scripture for the Hour of Matins

First Week of Passiontide
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sunday    Monday    Tuesday    Wednesday    Thursday    Friday    Saturday


Sunday

Lesson i
A reading from the book of Jeremias
Jeremias 1:1-6

    The words of Jeremias the son of Helcias, of the priests that were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin.  The word of the Lord which came to him in the days of Josias the son of Amon king of Juda, in the thirteenth year of his reign.  And which came to him in the days of Joakim the son of Josias king of Juda, unto the end of the eleventh year of Sedecias the son of Josias king of Juda, even unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive, in the fifth month.  And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:  Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou came forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.  And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.

Lesson ii
Jeremias 1:7-13

    And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shall go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shall speak.  Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, said the Lord.  And the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me: Behold I have given my words in thy mouth:  Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root up, and pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant.  And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: What see thou, Jeremias? And I said: I see a rod watching.  And the Lord said to me: Thou hast seen well: for I will watch over my word to perform it.  And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying: What seest thou? I see a boiling caldron, and the face thereof from the face of the north.

Lesson iii
Jeremias 1:14-19

    And the Lord said to me: from the north shall an evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.  For behold I will call together all the families of the kingdoms of the north: said the Lord: and they shall come, and shall set every one his throne in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and upon all the walls thereof round about, and upon all the cities of Juda,  And I will pronounce my judgments against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, and have adored the work of their own hands.  Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee. Be not afraid at their presence for I will make thee not to fear their countenance.  For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof, and to the priests, and to the people of the land.  And they shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, said the Lord, to deliver thee.

Lesson iv
From the Sermons of Pope Saint Leo the Great
9th for Lent

    Dearly beloved brethren, we know that of all the solemn Feasts which are kept by Christians the Paschal observance is the chief. The ordinances of the whole rest of the year are ordered to the end of preparing us to come to this one in worthy and meet manner. But these days, which now are, are they which ought most especially to stir up a godly mind in us, seeing that they are they which are nearest to that most glorious mystery of God's mercy. In these days the holy Apostles, taught by the Holy Ghost, ordered the chief store of Fasting, that we, sharing His Cross with Christ, might, albeit we are what we are, in Him, do some of the same things which He did for our sakes, and so realize the saying of the Apostle If we suffer with Him, we shall be also glorified together.'' He that is partaker of the sufferings of the Lord hath a sure and certain hope of that blessedness which He hath promised unto us.

Lesson v

    Dearly beloved brethren, there is no man to whom the state of the age in which he lived denied a share in this glory of partaking, first the sufferings, and then the triumph and joy, of Christ. It is not as though this time of peace were barren in occasions of valor. The Apostle gives us this warning: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy iii: 12). And therefore, as long as godliness is watchful, persecution will never be asleep. The Lord Himself said in one of His own exhortations He that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me" (Matthew x: 38). And we must not doubt that these words of Christ apply not only to His immediate disciples, to whom He spoke them, but belong to all the faithful and to the whole Church, who, whosoever be the believers of whom she is for the time composed on earth, hears in these words the way to be saved which her Lord hath appointed for them.

Lesson vi

    As then, it is the duty of the whole body of the Church to live godly, so is it her right at all times to be bearing her Master's Cross, and that not only in her general body, but individually in the person of each one of her members, who differ every one from another in the way in which they have to carry it, and the shape in which it is laid upon them. The one common name for all their carrying of the Cross is persecution, but the manner of his wrestling is special to each; and there is often more danger in the ambush than in the pitched field of battle. Blessed Job, who had tried both the goods and the ills of this world, said: "Is not the life of man upon earth a warfare?" (Job vii: 1). The attack upon the faithful soul arrays itself not alone in bodily torture and punishment; yea, when the limbs are sound enough, fearful is the ravage that threatens us when the lusts of the flesh unman us. But when "the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh" (Galatians iv: 7) the reasonable mind finds her reinforcement in the helpful Cross of Christ, and though she be lured by foul cravings, yet refuses to give her consent, for God makes her pure thoughts to tremble for fear of Him.

Lesson vii

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
John 8: 46-59

At that time Jesus said to the multitude of Jews:  "Which of you shall convict me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me?  He that is of God, hears the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God."  The Jews therefore answered, and said to him: "Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"  Jesus answered: "I have not a devil: but I honor my Father, and you have dishonored me.  But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeks and judges.  Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever."  The Jews therefore said: "Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou say: 'If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever.'  Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?"  Jesus answered: "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifies Me, of whom you say that He is your God.  And you have not known him, but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word.  Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad."  The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?"  Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am."  They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Homily of Pope Saint Gregory the Great
18th on the Gospels.

    Dearly beloved brethren, consider the gentleness of God. He came to take away sins, and He said: "Which of you convicts Me of sin?" He Who, through the might of His Godhead, was able to justify sinners, was contented to show by argument that He was not Himself a sinner. But exceeding dread is that which follows. He that is of God hears God's words; you, therefore, hear them not, because you are not of God. If, then, whosoever is of God hears God's words, and whosoever is not of Him cannot hear His words, let each one ask himself if he, in the ear of his heart, hears God's words, and understands Whose words they are? The Truth commands us to long for a Fatherland in heaven, to bridle the lusts of the flesh, to turn away from the glory of the world, to seek no man's goods, and to give away our own.

Lesson viii

    Let each of you, therefore, think within himself if this voice of God is heard in the ear of his heart, and if he knows already if he is of God. For some there be whom it pleases not to hear the commandments of God even with their bodily ears. And some there be, who receive the same with their bodily ears, but whose heart is far from them. And some also there be, who hear the words of God with joy, so that they are moved thereby even to tears; but when their fit of weeping is past they turn again to iniquity. They hear not the words of God, who despise to do them. Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, call up your own life before your mind's eye, and then ponder with trembling those awful words which the mouth of the Truth spoke "Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."

Lesson ix

    The Truth speaks these words concerning the reprobate; but the reprobate make manifest the same thing concerning themselves, by their evil works. Thus immediately follows: "Then answered the Jews, and said unto Him, 'Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil'?" But let us hear what the Lord said to this insult: "I have not a devil, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me." The Lord said I have not a devil, but He did not say I am not a Samaritan, for in a sense a Samaritan He was indeed, since the word Samaritan, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies, being interpreted, a Watcher, and the Lord is that Watcher, of Whom the Psalmist said (cxxviii. 2) that unless He keep the city, other watchman watch but in vain. He also is that Watchman unto Whom cried Isaiah (xxi. 11): "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" Therefore the Lord said I have not a devil, but not I am not a Samaritan. Of the two things brought against Him He denied one; but by His silence, admitted the other.

    Let us pray We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon this thy family, that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday

Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
John 7: 32-39

    At that time 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 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 says, '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.

An Homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
Tract xxxi on John.

    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."

Lesson ii

    "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 worked the same directly also by Himself, according as He had said unto them: "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John xv. 5). When that lame man that was laid daily at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple stood up at the voice of Peter (Acts iii), 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?

Lesson iii

    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 (Luke xxiii. 34). At that hour He had seen among many aliens 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.

    Let us pray Hallow, O Lord, we beseech thee, this our Fast, and mercifully grant us forgiveness of all our trespasses. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Tuesday

Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
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 do. For there is no man that does any thing in secret, and he himself seeks 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 it hates Me: 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 seduces the people.  Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews.

An Homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop
Tract xxviii on John.

    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 always with the Father, (John i. 18; iii. 13), and, as touching His Manhood, hath been with us in time. (Matthew i. 23). For He had not sought the work of His hands unless He had been made His own work. John i. 14. 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.

Lesson ii

    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 example 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.

Lesson iii

    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 (Acts ix. 4): "Why persecute 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 persecute thou My holy ones, nor, My servants, no, nor yet called He them by that more honorable name, My brethren, but, Why persecute thou Me? that is, the members of My Body, whose Head I am.

    Let us pray Lord, we beseech thee, that this our Fast may be acceptable in Thy sight, and may, through thy blessing, effectually work in us, making us meet here to receive Thy grace and hereafter the everlasting glory which Thou hast promised. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Wednesday

Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
John 10: 22-38

    At 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.  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 shown 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, make 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 blaspheme,' 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."

A homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop.
Tract xxxii on John

    The Greek word "Enkainia," used by the Evangelist, signifies 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 spoke the words which have been read.

Lesson ii

    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 do 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 believes draws near to and he which denies, goes away from. The feet of the soul, by which it is moved, are its affections.

Lesson iii

    They were frozen for 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 did not draw near by faith, rather, 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 was upon their heart.

    Let us pray O God, be mercifully pleased, through the hallowing of this Fast, to shed light upon the hearts of thy faithful people, and since Thou hast given them the mind to pray, let thy pitiful ears be opened graciously to hear their supplications. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Thursday

Lesson i


The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
Luke 7: 36-50

    At that time 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 touches 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 loves 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 gave me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them.  Thou gave 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 loves 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 forgives sins also?  And He said to the woman: "Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace."

An Homily of Pope Saint Gregory the Great.
xxxiii on the Gospels.

    When I think of the repentance of Mary Magdalene I feel nearer to weeping than to saying anything. Is there indeed any man, however stony his heart, who is not somewhat moved to follow the example 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.

Lesson ii

    We believe that this woman, of whom Luke said that she was a woman in the city, which was a sinner, and whom John named Mary, (xi. 2), was the same as she of whom it is written in Mark (xvi. 9) 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.

Lesson iii

    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.

    Let us pray Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the honor of man's nature, which gluttony has degraded, may be seasonably renewed by strictness in keeping of this healthful Fast. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday
Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lesson i
A reading from the book of Isaias
Isaias 53:1-5

    Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?  And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground: there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him:  Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.

Lesson ii
Isaias 53:6-9

    All we like sheep have gone astray, every one has turned aside in his own way: and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.  He was taken away from distress, and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? because he is cut out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of my people have I struck him.  And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death: because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth.

Lesson iii
Isaias 53:10-12

    And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity: if he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in his hand.  Because his soul hath labored, he shall see and be filled: by his knowledge shall this my just servant justify many, and he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I distribute to him very many, and he shall divide the spoils of the strong, because he hath delivered his soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked: and he hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for the transgressors.

Lesson iv
From the Sermons of St Bernard, Abbot
On the twelve stars.

    The Martyrdom of the Virgin is set before us, not only in the prophecy of Simeon, but also in the story itself of the Lord's Passion. The holy old man said of the Child Jesus" "Behold, this Child is set for the fall and the rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; yea, said he unto Mary, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul" (Luke ii. 34). Even so, O Blessed Mother! The sword did indeed pierce through thy soul! for nothing could pierce the body of thy Son, nor pierce thy soul. And when this Jesus of thine had given up the ghost, and the bloody spear could torture Him no more, thy soul winced as it pierced His dead Side His Own Soul might leave Him, but thine could not.

Lesson v

    The sword of sorrow pierced through thy soul, so that we may truly call thee more than martyr, in whom the love, that made thee suffer along with thy Son, wrung thy heart more bitterly than any pang of bodily pain could do. Did not that word of His indeed pierce through thy soul, "sharper than any two-edged sword, even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit," (Hebrews iv: 12), "Woman, behold thy son"! (John xix: 26). O what a change to thee! Thou art given John for Jesus, the servant for his Lord, the disciple for his master, the son of Zebedee for the Son of God, a mere man for Very God. O how keenly must the hearing of those words have pierced through thy most loving soul, when even our hearts, stony, iron, as they are, are wrung at the memory thereof only!

Lesson vi

    Marvel not, my brethren, that Mary should be called a Martyr in spirit. He indeed may marvel who remembers not what Paul said, naming the greater sins of the Gentiles, that they were without natural affection (Romans i: 31). Far other were the bowels of Mary, and far other may those of her servants be! But some man perchance will say did she not know that He was to die? Yea, without doubt, she knew it. Did she not hope that He was soon to rise again? Yea, she most faithfully hoped it. And did she still mourn because He was crucified? Yea, bitterly. But who art thou, my brother, or whence hast thou such wisdom, to marvel less that the Son of Mary suffered than that Mary suffered with Him? He could die in the Body, and could not she die with Him in her heart? His was the deed of that Love, greater than which hath no man (John xv: 13); hers, of a love, like to which hath no man, save He.

Lesson vii

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
John 19: 25-27

    At that time stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.   When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He said to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.  After that, He said to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

An Homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop
Tract xi on John.

    This is that hour whereof Jesus, when He was about to turn water into wine, had said unto His Mother: "Woman, what is that to me and to thee? Mine hour is not yet come" (John ii: 4). He had spoken of this hour, which then was not yet come, wherein, being about to die, it should be His duty to acknowledge her of whom He had been born in a dying Body. Then, since He was about to work the works of God, He thrust from Him, as though He knew her not, her who was His Mother, not in that nature as touching which He is equal to the Father, but in that as touching which He is inferior to the Father. But now, since He is suffering the pains of Man, He cared, with a Man's love, for her of whom He hath been made Man. And herein He gives us a lesson. He does that which He would have us to do. The Good Master, by His Own example, commanded that among His disciples, dutiful children should succor their parents, as though even that Tree whereupon His dying Limbs were nailed, even that Tree were to be a pulpit for His teaching.

Lesson viii

    And of this teaching by Jesus Crucified comes that which the Apostle Paul commanded, where he said: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Tim. v. 8). But what is so much of a man's own house, as children are of their parents'? and parents of their children's? Of this most healthy law the Master of the Saints was pleased Himself to give an example, when, being God, He treated not as His handmaid her of whom He was the Maker and the Lord, but, being also Man, gave another to be as a son in His stead, to her of whom as Man He had been made, and whom He was leaving.

Lesson ix
Commemoration of the Feria.

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
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.

An Homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo
Tract il on John.

    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.

    Let us pray. O God, at Whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced through the gentle soul of the glorious Maiden and Mother Mary, mercifully grant to as many as do ever remember with awe how that her soul was pierced and Thou didst suffer, even for all such be Thou entreated, for the sake and by the prayers of all thy glorious and holy servants who stood so loyally by thy Cross, and grant unto the same, that for them thy life-giving Death may not have been in vain.

Saturday

Lesson i


The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
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 came, and told 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: It remains alone remains alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that love his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world, keeps 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 honor. 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 abides for ever; and how say 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 walks in darkness, knows not where he goes.   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.

A homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop
Tract L on John

    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 paralyze 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.

Lesson ii

    "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."

Lesson iii

    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 opens a Kingdom in heaven to all such as centre in Him their faith, their hope, and their love.

    Let us pray: Grant, O Lord, that thy people, which are consecrated to thy service may continually increase in all godly affections: that they being duly instructed in all holy learning, may both be made the more acceptable unto thy divine majesty, and prospered more abundantly in the gifts of thy bounty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 


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