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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Matins Lessons for Saturday in the Octave of Easter

Matins Lessons for Saturday in the Octave of Easter

The Holy Gospel according to John Ch. 20

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
A Homily by Saint Gregory the Great, Pope

Mary Magdalene ran, and told the disciples [of the empty tomb,] but they who loved him most, namely, Peter and John, did outrun the others. So they ran, both together, but John did outrun Peter, yet went he not in. Then cometh Peter, following him, and went in. What signifieth John, but the synagogue? Or Peter, but the Church? And ye need not think it strange to take the elder Apostle as representing the Church, and the younger as the Synagogue. For if the Synagogue were the first to worship God, yet the herd of the Gentiles of this world is older than the Synagogue, as saith Paul : That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural. By Peter, then, what was the elder, we may understand the Church of the Gentiles ; and by John, who was the younger, the Synagogue of the Jews. And they ran both together : for from the time of the Church’s birth until now, (and so will it be until the end,) the Church of the Gentiles hath run in a parallel road, and in many wise a common road, with the Synagogue, albeit not with equal understanding. The Synagogue came first to the sepulchre, but she hath not yet entered in ; for, even though she hath received the commandments of the Law, and hath heard the Prophets tell of the incarnation and passion of the Lord, she will not believe in him who died for her. \
According to the Evangelist Mark, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might anoint the body of Jesus. These women then, when they came with sweet spices, beheld Angels. Because, to wit, all such souls as do go after the Lord with the perfume of good works, and in the sweet savour of holiness, are fit to behold the citizens of heaven above.
And the Angel was seen sitting on the right hand. By the left hand is always signified something lesser, and by the right hand something greater. May we not therefore interpret the left hand as an indication of this present life, and the right hand of life everlasting? Whence, in the Song of Songs, is written : His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. [ That is, His left hand is under my head, to uphold me in this life by his grace, and his right hand doth embrace me unto life eternal with the consolations of his love.]

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who have devoutly kept this Paschal Festival may thereby be found worthy to attain to everlasting felicity, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

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