Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Occurring Scripture for the Hour of Matins

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


Lesson i
A reading from the book of Genesis

    And the Lord said to Abram: "Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father's house, and come into the land which I shall show thee.   And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shall be blessed.   I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed":   So Abram went out as the Lord had commanded him, and Lot went with him: Abram was seventy-five years old when he went forth from Haran.   And he took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all the substance which they had gathered, and the souls which they had gotten in Haran: and they went out to go into the land of Chanaan. And when they were come into it,  Abram passed through the country into the place of Sichem, as far as the noble vale: now the Chanaanite was at that time in the land.

Lesson ii
Genesis 12:7-13

    And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him: To thy seed will I give this land. And he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.   And passing on from thence to a mountain, that was on the east side of Bethel, he there pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east; he built there also an altar to the Lord, and called upon his name.   And Abram went forward, going, and proceeding on to the south.   And there came a famine in the country; and Abram went down into Egypt, to sojourn there: for the famine was very grievous in the land.   And when he was near to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife: "I know that thou art a beautiful woman:   And that when the Egyptians shall see thee, they will say: She is his wife: and they will kill me, and keep thee.   Say, therefore, I pray thee, that thou art my sister: that I may be well used for thee, and that my soul may live for thy sake."

Lesson iii
Genesis 12:14-19

    And when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians saw the woman that she was very beautiful.   And the princes told Pharao, and praised her before him: and the woman was taken into the house of Pharao.   And they used Abram well for her sake. And he had sheep and oxen, and he asses, and men servants and maid servants, and she asses, and camels.   But the Lord scourged Pharao and his house with most grievous stripes for Sarai, Abram's wife.   And Pharao called Abram, and said to him: What is this that thou hast done to me? Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?   For what cause didst thou say, she was thy sister, that I might take her to my wife? Now, therefore, there is thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

Lesson iv
From the Book on the Patriarch Abraham of St Ambrose, Bishop
Book  I Ch. 2.

    Abraham was truly a great man, illustrious as an example of many virtues; one the like of whom the day-dreams of Philosophy have not been able to produce. That which Philosophy imagines is less than that which he did; his simple truth and faith were something grander than her lying rounded periods. Let us then consider what this man's loyalty was. For that virtue is first to be taken which was the source of all the others, and thus this was the first which God called for from him, when He said: Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house. It would have been enough to have said, Get thee out of thy country, for there were his kindred, and there his father's house.

Lesson v

    But He gave the details of his sacrifice one by one, that He might see whether he loved Him, lest also he should begin rashly, or should seek to evade the heavenly commandment. But as the whole of the precept was plainly set forth, lest anything should be unconsidered, so also were the rewards set forth, lest the burden should seem hopeless. He was tried as one that is strong, he was roused as one that is true, he was called as one that is righteous; and he departed loyally as the Lord had spoken unto him. And Lot went forth with him. That saying of the Seven Wise Men of Greece is much spoken of "Follow God." But this did Abraham before the Seven Wise Men were thought of; he followed God, and went out of his own land.

Lesson vi

    But, forasmuch as Abraham had before had another country, namely, Ur in the land of the Chaldees, from whence went forth Terah the father of Abraham, and came unto Haran, and forasmuch as he to whom it had been said, "Get thee out from thy kindred," took Lot, his brother's son, with him, let us consider whether this "Get thee out of thy country" signifieth not get thee out of this earthly dwelling, namely, our body, from which Paul came forth, who said, "Our conversation is in heaven. "

Lesson vii

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 18:31-43

    At that time, Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said to them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man.  For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon:  And after they have scourged him, they will put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again.  And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said.  Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging.   And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant.  And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.  And he cried out, saying: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.  And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me.  And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him,  saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see.  And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole.  And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

A Homily of Pope Saint Gregory the Great
Hom. II on the Gospels

    Our Redeemer, foreseeing that the minds of His disciples would be troubled by His suffering, told them long before both of the pains of that suffering, and of the glory of His rising again, to the end that, when they should see Him die as He had prophesied, they might not doubt that He was likewise to rise again. But, since His disciples were yet carnal, and could not receive the words telling of this mystery, He wrought a miracle before them. A blind man received his sight before their eyes, that if they could not receive heavenly things by words, they might be persuaded of heavenly things by deeds.

Lesson viii

    But, dearly beloved brethren, we must so take the miracles of our Lord and Savior, believing both that they were actually worked, and that they have some mystic interpretation for our instruction. For in His works, power speaks one thing and mystery yet another. Behold this account, for instance. We know not historically who this blind man was, but we do know of what he was mystically the figure. Mankind is blind, driven out from Eden in the persons of his first parents, knowing not the light of heaven, and suffering the darkness of condemnation. But, nevertheless, through the coming of his Redeemer, mankind is enlightened, so that now it sees by hope already the gladness of inward light, and walks by good works in the path of life.

Lesson ix

    One must note that as Jesus drew to Jericho a blind man received his sight. Now, this name Jericho, being interpreted, signifies the city of the moon and in Holy Scripture the moon is used as a figure of our imperfect flesh, of whose gradual corruption her monthly waning is a type. As, therefore, our Maker draws nigh to Jericho, a blind man receives his sight. While the Godhead takes into itself, our weak manhood, man receives again the light which he had lost. By God's suffering in the manhood, man is raised up toward God. This blind man is also well described as sitting by the wayside begging, for the Truth said: “I am the Way.”

Let us pray:

    O Lord, we beseech You, mercifully hear our prayers; loose us from the chains of our sins and keep us from all adversity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Lesson i
A reading from the book of Genesis
Genesis 13:1-6

    And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2 And he was very rich in possession of gold and silver. 3 And he returned by the way that he came, from the south to Bethel, to the place where before he had pitched his tent between Bethel and Hai: 4 In the place of the altar which he had made before; and there he called upon the name of the Lord. 5 But Lot also, who was with Abram, had flocks of sheep, and herds of beasts, and tents. 6 Neither was the land able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, and they could not dwell together.

Lesson ii
Genesis 13:7-11

    Whereupon also there arose a strife between the herdsmen of Abram and of Lot. And at that time the Chanaanite and the Pherezite dwelled in that country.   Abram therefore said to Lot: Let there be no quarrel, I beseech thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen: for we are brethren.   Behold the whole land is before thee: depart from me I pray thee: if thou wilt go to the left hand, I will take the right: if thou choose the right hand, I will pass to the left.   And Lot, lifting up his eyes, saw all the country about the Jordan, which was watered throughout, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, as the paradise of the Lord, and like Egypt as one comes to Segor.   And Lot chose to himself the country about the Jordan, and he departed from the east.

Lesson iii
Genesis 13:11-16

    And they were separated one brother from the other.  Abram dwelt in the land of Chanaan; and Lot abode in the towns that were about the Jordan, and dwelt in Sodom.   And the men of Sodom were very wicked, and sinners before the face of the Lord, beyond measure.   And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him: Lift up thy eyes, and look from the place wherein thou now art, to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west.   All the land which thou see, I will give to thee, and to thy seed for ever.   And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth.


Lesson i
A reading from the book of Genesis
Genesis 14:8-12

    And the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrha, and the king of Adama, and the king of Seboim, and the king of Bala, which is Segor, went out: and they set themselves against them in battle array in the woodland vale:  To wit, against Chodorlahomor king of the Elamites, and Thadal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Sennaar, and Arioch king of Pontus: four kings against five.   Now the woodland vale had many pits of slime. And the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrha turned their backs and were overthrown there: and they that remained fled to the mountain.   And they took all the substance of the Sodomites, and Gomorrhites, and all their victuals, and went their way:   And Lot also, the son of Abram's brother, who dwelt in Sodom, and his substance.

Lesson ii
Genesis 14:13-16

    And behold one that had escaped told Abram the Hebrew, who dwelt in the vale of Mambre the Amorrhite, the brother of Escol, and the brother of Aner: for these had made league with Abram.   Which when Abram had heard, to wit, that his brother Lot was taken, he numbered of the servants born in his house, three hundred and eighteen well appointed: and pursued them to Dan.   And dividing his company, he rushed upon them in the night: and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hoba, which is on the left hand of Damascus.   And he brought back all the substance, and Lot his brother, with his substance, the women also the people.

Lesson iii
Genesis 14:17-20

    And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after he returned from the slaughter of Chodorlahomor, and of the kings that were with him in the vale of Save, which is the king's vale.   But Melchisedech the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God,   Blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.   And blessed be the most high God, by whose protection the enemies are in thy hands. And he gave him the tithes of all.


Ash Wednesday

Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matthew 6:16-21

    At that time Jesus said to his disciples:  when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.  But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face;  That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who sees in secret, will repay thee.  Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal.  But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.   For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

Homily by St Austin, Bishop. Book II on the Lord's Sermon on the Mount
chapter xii., tome 4.

    It is evident that by these precepts we are bidden to seek for inner gladness, lest, by running after that reward which is without, we should become conformed to the fashion of this world, and should so lose the promise of that blessing which is all the truer and more stable that it is inward, that blessing wherein God has chosen us to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. In this chapter we will principally consider the fact that vain-glory finds a ground for its exercise in struggling poverty as much as in worldly distinction and display; and this development is the most dangerous, because it entices under pretence of being the serving of God.

Lesson ii

    He that is characterized by unbridled indulgence in luxury or in dress, or any other display, is by these very things easily shown to be a follower of worldly vanities, and deceives no one by putting on an hypocritical mask of godliness. But those professors of Christianity, who turn all eyes on themselves by an eccentric show of groveling and dirtiness, not suffered by necessity, but by their own choice, of them we must judge by their other works whether their conduct really proceeds from the desire of mortification by giving up unnecessary comfort, or is only the mean of some ambition. The Lord bids us to "beware of wolves in sheep's clothing, but by their fruits," says He, "ye shall know them."

Lesson iii

    The test is when, by diverse trials, such persons lose those things which under the cover of seeming un-worldliness they have either gained or sought to gain. Then must it appear whether they are wolves in sheep's clothing, or indeed sheep in their own. But that hypocrites do the contrary, it is not duty of a Christian to shine before the eyes of men with a display of needless luxury. The sheep need not to lay aside their own clothing because wolves sometimes falsely assume it.

    Let us pray: Grant, O Lord, to thy faithful people, that they may undertake with fitting piety the venerable solemnities of fasting, and complete them with steadfast devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matthew 8:5-13

    At that time 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 making answer, 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, Go, and he goes, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.  And Jesus hearing this, marveled; and said to them that 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 thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.

An Homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop.
Book 2 of the Harmony of the Gospels, chap. xx.

    Let us see whether Matthew and Luke agree together concerning this servant of the centurion. For Matthew said: "There came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, My servant lies at home sick of the palsy.: That which Luke said seems to contradict this: "And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him the elders of the Jews, beseeching Him that He would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus they besought Him instantly, saying, 'That he was worthy for whom He should do this: for he loves our nation, and hath built us a synagogue.' Then He went with them: and when He was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying unto Him: 'Lord, trouble not Thyself, for I am not worthy that Thou should enter under my roof. '"

Lesson ii

    If the circumstances were as Saint Luke has related them, how is Saint Matthew's narrative true: There came unto Him a certain centurion: seeing that he did not come himself, but sent friends?  Not unless we perceive on careful examination, that Saint Matthew has here employed a customary method of speech.  For we are accustomed to say that a man came, even before he arrives at the place, of the which it is said that he came thither; thus we say: he came a little way, or he came a considerable way, towards that point which he desires to reach.  And not only so, but also we speak of a journey as having been accomplished even though he who is said to arrive does not see the person to whom he has journeyed; as when a man reaches any one through the intervention of a friend, whose good offices are needed for such a purpose. This custom of speech is so common, that persons who by skilful efforts influence the minds of powerful men difficult of access, by employing suitable agents, are commonly called emissaries, implying that they have actually reached the persons whom they have but indirectly influenced.

Lesson iii

    Matthew then, wishing to  state briefly that the centurion obtained access to the Lord by means of others, does not speak foolishly, but rather in a way that would generally be understood, saying: "there came unto Him a centurion."  And yet the depth of this mystical speech of the Holy Evangelist is not to be lightly regarded, according as it is written in the Psalms, "Draw nigh unto Him and be enlightened."  For whereas Jesus Himself praised the faith of the centurion who truly came to Him, saying, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel," the wise Evangelist means to say that the centurion himself came to Christ, rather than those persons by whom he sent his message.


Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matthew 5:43-48; 6:1-4

    At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:  That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who makes his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and rains upon the just and the unjust.   For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this?  And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?  Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.   Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.  Therefore when thou dost an alms deed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth.  That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who sees in secret will repay thee.

An Homily of Saint Jerome, Priest
Book I, Commentary on Matthew chapters v and vi.

    But I say unto you: "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you."  There are many who judge of the commandments of the Lord by their own weakness, and not by the strength of His Saints; and so deem Him to have commanded things impossible.  These are they who think that not to hate their enemies is all that they are able to do; and that to command us to love them, is to command more than man's nature can bear.  It behooves them to know, that this which Christ commanded is not impossible, albeit perfect. This is what David did in respect of Saul and Absalom; the martyr Stephen also prayed for his enemies, even while they were stoning him; and Paul could wish that himself were accursed from Christ for his persecutors. And this, Jesus Himself did, as well as taught, when He said: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Lesson ii

    That ye may be the children of your Father Who is in heaven. If he that obeys the commandments of God becomes a son of God, then is he not a son by nature, but by his own choice. Therefore when thou give alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. He that sounds a trumpet before him, when he gives alms, is an hypocrite. He that disfigures his face, when he fasts, to the end that he may show the emptiness of his belly in his looks, he also is an hypocrite.

Lesson iii

    He that prays in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that he may be seen of men, is an hypocrite. From all which, we gather that an hypocrite is one which doeth anything that he may have glory of men. To me also it seems that he which says unto his brother: "Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye", that he also is an hypocrite; for he proposes to take upon him that office [of healing] for vainglory's sake, that he himself may appear righteous. Therefore the Lord said unto him: "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye." Thus we see that it is, not the doing good, but the motive which moves us to do good, which will meet with reward from God; and, if thou stray but a little from the right way, it is of small moment whether thou wander to the right hand or to the left,  once thou hast lost the straight path.

Let us pray. Further with thy gracious favor, we beseech thee, O Lord, the fasts which we have begun, that we may be able to practice the bodily fasts which we keep, with sincere minds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.



Lesson i

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 6:47-56

    At that time when it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and himself alone on the land.  And seeing them laboring in rowing, (for the wind was against them,) and about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them walking upon the sea, and he would have passed by them.  But they seeing him walking upon the sea, thought it was a ghost, and they cried out.  For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately He spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not.  And he went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were far more astonished within themselves:  For they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded.  And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genezareth, and set to the shore.  And when they were gone out of the ship, immediately they knew him:  And running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard He was.   And whithersoever He entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch but the hem of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole.

 A homily of the Venerable Bede, Priest and Doctor of the Church.
Bk. ii., cap. 6, on Mark vi. 45

    The toil of the disciples in rowing, and the wind contrary to them, is a figure of the diverse toils of the Holy Church, as, amid the waves of a world that fights against Her, and the stormy blasts of unclean spirits, She labors to reach the rest of her Fatherland above, as a shore safe for her anchor. Here also it is well said that the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land; for sometimes it cometh to pass that the Church is, by the great pressure of the Gentiles, not only so afflicted, but also hindered, that it seems as though, if it were possible, Her Redeemer has for the time forsaken her.

Lesson ii

    Whence it is that there cometh that cry of Hers, when she is taken amid the waves, and the winds of temptations that break upon Her, and with piteous entreaty She calls on Him to protect her: "Why stand Thou afar off, O Lord, why hide Thou thyself in times of trouble?"  And then, in the verses that follow, she tells Him what saith the enemy that persecuted her, saying: For he hath said in his heart God hath forgotten; He hides His face, He will never see it. "

Lesson iii

    Truly, He forgets not the prayer of the poor, neither turns He His face away from any that put their trust in Him; yea, rather, to him whosoever is striving with the enemy, He gives him help to conquer, and, whosoever conquers, to him He gives an everlasting crown. For the same reason it is said here plainly:  "He saw them toiling in rowing." The Lord sees them that are toiling in the sea, even though He is on the land. Although He seems for a moment to delay in aiding the distressed, nevertheless the look of His love is strengthening them, all the while, lest they should faintand sometimes He sets them free, even by an open deliverance, conquering all their adversaries for them, as when He walked upon the swelling of the waves, and stilled them.

Let us pray.
Hearken, O Lord, to our supplications; and grant that we may celebrate with devout service this solemn fast, which thou hast instituted for the healing of soul and body. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.


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