The Roman Breviary – Matins
The Lesson is taken from the Book of Genesis – Chapter 37: 2-10
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come and bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? R. When they saw Joseph afar off, his brethren said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh, * come now, therefore, and let us slay him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams. V. And when Joseph’s brethren saw that his father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him, and said therefore. Come.
Lesson II – Chapter 37:11-20
And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, they are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. R. Judah said unto his brethren: Behold, the Ishmeelites are passing by: come, and let us sell him, and let not our hand be upon him: R. What profit is it, if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? It is better that he be sold. R. for he is our flesh and our brother.
Lesson III – Chapter 37:21-28
And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; and they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat bread ; and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. R. And they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver. * And when Reuben returned to the pit, and found him not, he rent his clothes and wept, and said: * The child is not, and I, whither shall I go? V. But they killed a kid of the goats, and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood, and they brought it to their father; and said, Know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. And R. And when Reuben returned unto the pit, and found him not, he rent his clothes, and he wept and said. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
The Lesson is taken from the Book of St. Ambrose the Bishop, on holy Joseph
The lives of the saints are the models of holy living to us. And on that account we have received a very full series of Scripture histories, in order that while we become acquainted with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other righteous men by reading their lives, we may steadfastly follow with imitating footsteps the path of innocence which has been, so to speak, unlocked for us by their virtue. Of those three great patriarchs I have already frequently spoken; to day we have to consider the history of holy Joseph. Now, although very many kinds of virtue met in him, yet above all the illustrious gift of chastity shone forth in his life. And I may say, that as the particular lesson in the history of Abraham was the activity of devout faith, in that of Isaac the purity of an honest mind, in that of Jacob marvelous patience of soul and endurance of labors, so as a rule it is best to direct your attention rather to the special teaching of each saint, than to the entire round of his virtues. When Jacob saw Joseph’s clothes, he rent his clothes, and brought it to their father, and when their father knew it he said. An evil.
Let then holy Joseph be set before us as a mirror of holy chastity. For modesty shines in his conduct and in his acts, and a certain radiant grace, the companion of purity, gleams in him. Wherefore also he was more loved by his parents than the other sons. But that gave rise to envy, a fact which could not be passed over in silence. For this was the starting point of the whole story of his life, that we might learn two things, that a perfect man is not moved with evil desire of avenging his sufferings, and that he does not retaliate evil for evil. Wherefore David saith: If I have rewarded evil to him that dealt unfriendly with me. When Joseph entered into the land of Egypt, he heard a tongue that he understood not his hands served in labors: * and his tongue spoke of wisdom among the princes, V. His feet they hurt in the stocks: the iron entered into his soul, until the time came that his cause was known. And his mouth.
But why should Joseph have been preferred to his brethren, if he injured those that injured him, or loved those that loved him? This is what most persons do. But, if we love our enemies, then we rise above human nature: as the Saviour teaches. This was the more admirable, that he did these things before the Gospel was preached: he spared them that injured him, forgave them that attacked him, being sold returned not injury, but rendered favor for contumely. We who live after the Gospel, have been taught to do this, and yet do it not. Let us learn therefore the envy to which the saints were exposed, that we may imitate the patience they exercised; and let us acknowledge that their nature was not more excellent, but more observant; that they were not unassaulted by temptation, but resisted it. But if feeling a grudge caused the saints to burn, how much more care should be taken, lest it set sinners on fire? R. Think on me when it shall be well with thee: * and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this place: * for indeed I was stolen away out of the land, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. V. Yet there are three days, after which thy ministry shall come to Pharaoh’s remembrance, and he shall restore ‘thee unto thy former place: then think on me. And make mention of me to the Pharaoh. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. Stolen was I from mine own land; and here have I done nothing that deserveth the dungeon.
A Homily by St. Venerable Bede the Priest
Matthew saith that the devil, by which this poor creature was possessed, was not only dumb, but also blind; and that, when the possessed was healed by the Lord, he both saw and spake. Three miracles, therefore, were performed on this one man; the blind saw, the dumb spake, and the possessed was freed from the devil. This mighty work was then done in the flesh, but is now fulfilled spiritually every time men are converted and become believers. For from them the devil is cast out, and their eyes are given to see the light of the Faith, and their lips, which before were dumb, are opened that their mouth may shew forth the praise of God. But some of them said: He casteth out devils through Beelzebub, the chief of the devils. It was not some of the multitude that uttered this slander, but Pharisees and scribes, as we are told by the other Evangelists. R. We indeed suffer justly, for verily we be guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear; * Therefore is this distress come upon us.And Reuben made answer: Spake I not unto you, saying, do not sin against the child? and ye would not hear. Therefore is this distress come upon us.
The multitude, which was made up of such as had little instruction, was filled with wonder at the works of the Lord. But the Pharisees and scribes, on the other hand, denied the facts when they could; and when they could not, they twisted them by an evil interpretation, and asserted that the works of God were the works of an unclean spirit. And Matthew saith: Others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. It would seem that they desired him to do some such thing as Elias did, who called down fire from heaven; or like as Samuel, who caused thunder to roll, and lightning to flash, and rain to fall at midsummer: as though they could not have explained away these signs also, as being the natural result of some unusual, albeit hitherto unremarked, state of the atmosphere. O thou who stubbornly deniest that which thine eye seeth, thine hand holdeth, and thy sense perceiveth, what wilt thou say to a sign from heaven? Verily, thou wilt say that divers signs from heaven were once also wrought even by the sorcerers in Egypt. R. Reuben said unto his brethren, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child? and ye would not hear. * Therefore behold also his blood is required. V. We indeed suffer justly, for verily we be guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear. R. Therefore behold also his blood is required.
But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and an house divided against an house falleth. Thus did he make answer, not to their words, but to their thoughts, in hopes that they might at least believe in the power of him who seeth the secrets of the heart. But if every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, it followeth that the kingdom of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which same is to abide in everlasting stedfastness, is not a divided kingdom. Wherefore we hold, without fear of contradiction, that it never can be brought to desolation by any shock whatsoever. But, saith the Lord, if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils by Beelzebub. In saying this, he sought to draw from their own mouth a confession that they had chosen for themselves to be part of that devil’s kingdom which, if it be divided against itself, cannot stand. R. Jacob lamented concerning his two sons: Me have ye bereaved, for Joseph is not, and Benjamin is taken away. * I will pray the King of Heaven that I who so deeply sorrow may once again behold them.Casting himself with tears upon the ground, and worshiping, Jacob said. I will pray the King of Heaven that I who so deeply sorrow may once again behold them. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. I will pray the King of Heaven that I who so deeply sorrow may once again behold them.
ST. JOHN OF GOD, CONFESSOR
Nothing in John’s early life foreshadowed his future sanctity. He ran away as a boy from his home in Portugal, tended sheep and cattle in Spain, and served as a soldier against the French, and afterwards against the Turks. When about forty years of age, feeling remorse for his wild life, he resolved to devote himself to the ransom of the Christian slaves in Africa, and went thither with the family of an exiled noble, which he maintained by his labor. On his return to Spain he sought to do good by selling holy pictures and books at low prices. At length the hour of grace struck. At Granada a sermon by the celebrated John of Avila shook his soul to its depths, and his expressions of self-abhorrence were so extraordinary that he was taken to the asylum as one mad. There he employed himself in ministering to the sick. On leaving he began to collect homeless poor, and to support them by his work and by begging. One night St. John found in the streets a poor man who seemed near death, and, as was his wont, he carried him to the hospital, laid him on a bed, and went to fetch water to wash his feet. When he had washed them, he knelt to kiss them, and started with awe: the feet were pierced, and the print of the nails bright with an unearthly radiance. He raised his eyes to look, and heard the words, “John, to Me thou doest all that thou doest to the poor in My name: I reach forth My hand for the alms thou givest; Me dost thou clothe, Mine are the feet thou dost wash.” And then the gracious vision disappeared, leaving St. John filled at once with confusion and consolation. The bishop became the Saint’s patron, and gave him the name of John of God. When his hospital was on fire, John was seen rushing about uninjured amidst the flames until he had rescued all his poor. After ten years spent in the service of the suffering, the Saint’s life was fitly closed. He plunged into the river Xenil to save a drowning boy, and died, 1550, of an illness brought on by the attempt, at the age of fifty-five.
THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT – MASS PROPERS
Station at St. Lawrence without the Walls
Semi-Double / Sunday of the First Class / Violet Vestments
Psalm 24: 15-16
Oculi mei semper ad Dóminum, quia ipse evéllet de láqueo pedes meos: réspice in me, et miserére mei, quóniam únicus et pauper sum ego.
Psalm 24: 1-2
Ad te, Dómine, levávi ánimam meam: Deus meus, in te confído, non erubéscam. V. Glória Patri.
My eyes are ever towards the Lord: for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare: look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor.
Ps. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. V. Glory be to the Father.
We beseech Thee, almighty God, regard the desires of Thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defense. Through Jesus Christ thy Son…
2nd Collect – Commemoration St. John of God
O God, who didst cause blessed John, when burning with love of Thee, to walk unscathed through flames, and who by him didst enrich Thy Church with a new religious order: grant through the help of his merits, that our vices may be healed by the fire of Thy love, and that we may receive remedies unto eternal life. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
The Lesson is taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 5: 1-9
Brethren: Be ye followers of God, as most dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and hath 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 becometh 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, hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore 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.
Psalm 9: 20, 4
Arise, O Lord, let no man be strengthened; let the nations be judged in Thy sight. V. When my enemy shall be turned back, they shall be weakened and perish before Thy face.
Psalm 122: 1-3
To Thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. V. Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters. V. And as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us. V. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke.
Luke 11: 14-28
At that time Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb. And when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitudes were in admiration at it. But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. And others, tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven. But He, seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils: doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him and overcome him, he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest: and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck. But He said: Yea, rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Psalm 18: 9-12
The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb: for Thy servant keepeth them.
May this offering, we beseech Thee, O Lord, cleanse away our sins, sanctifying Thy servants in both soul and body for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
2nd Secret – Commemoration of St. John of God
In memory of Thy Saints, O Lord, we offer Thee the sacrifice of praise, by which we trust to be freed from both present and future evils. Through Jesus Christ…
PREFACE FOR LENT
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. Who by the fasting of the body dost curb our vices, elevate our minds and bestow virtue and reward; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts, with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
Psalm 83: 4-5
The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest, where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, and my God: blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they shall praise Thee for ever and ever.
Mercifully absolve us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all guilt and deliver us from all danger, whom Thou dost grant to partake of so great a mystery. Through Jesus Christ…
2nd Postcommunion – Commemoration of St. John of God
Refreshed by meat and drink from heaven, O God, we humbly entreat Thee, that we may be protected by the prayers of him in whose memory we have partaken. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.