Thursday in the 4th Week of Lent

Note the parts that are repeated daily are in the Ash Wednesday Liturgy.

Today’s Station: San Martino ai Monti


INTROIT: Psalm 104:3-4
Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord: seek ye the Lord, and be strengthened: seek His face evermore. Psalm 104:1 Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His name: declare His deeds among the nations. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who are chastised by fasting, may rejoice with holy devotion, and that our earthly affections being weakened, we may more easily understand the things of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. Amen

EPISTLE: 4 Kings 4:25-38
In those days a Sunamite woman came to Eliseus to Mount Carmel: and when the man of God saw her coming towards, he said to Giezi, his servant: Behold that Sunamitess. Go, therefore, to meet her, and say to her: Is all well with thee, and with thy husband, and with thy son? And she answered: Well. And when she came to the man of God, to the mount, she caught hold on his feet: and Giezi came to remove her. And the man of God said: Let her alone for her soul is in anguish, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. And she said to him: Did I ask a son of my lord? did I not say to thee: Do not deceive me? Then he said to Giezi: Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go. If any man meet thee, salute him not: and if any man salute thee, answer him not: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. But the mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her. But Giezi was gone before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child, and there was no voice nor sense: and he returned to meet him, and told him, saying: The child is not risen. Eliseus, therefore, went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed: And going in, he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child: and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child’s flesh grew warm. Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times, and opened his eyes. And he called Giezi, and said to him: Call this Sunamitess. And she being called, went in to him: and he said: Take up thy son. She came and fell at his feet, and worshipped upon the ground: and took up her son, and went out. And Eliseus returned to Galgal.

GRADUAL: Psalm 73:20, 19, 22
have regard, O Lord, to Thy covenant: forget not to the end the souls of Thy poor. V. Arise, O Lord, judge Thy own cause; remember the reproaches of Thy servants.

GOSPEL: Luke 7:11-16
At that time Jesus went into a city that is called Naim: and there went with him his disciples and a great multitude. And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother: and she was a widow. And a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her: Weep not. And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And he said: Young man, I say to thee, arise. And he that was dead sat up and begun to speak. And he gave him to his mother. And there came a fear upon them all: and they glorified God saying: A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people.

A Homily on the Gospel Passage From Matins for the Day
by St Ambrose the Bishop

This passage runneth over with a double portion of grace, the one from the literal, the other from the mystical interpretation thereof. From the former, we see how quickly the divine compassion was moved at the sorrow of this mother, who was a widow ; and not only that, but she was a widow broken down by both the sufferings and the death of her only son, and one also whose worthiness is borne witness to by this : Much people of the city was with her. From a mystical interpretation, however, this widow, encompassed with a multitude, is something more than a poor woman whose tears won from the Lord the resurrection of the young man, her only son. For she is a type of our holy Mother the Church, who calleth back many of her children to life from the very funeral procession of spiritual death, or even from the pomps which be the burial rites of sin. For the Lord regardeth her tears, which same it is lawful for her to shed only for sinners, and not for them that will rise again.

This man then being dead, was carried out on a bier to the grave by four bearers, even as the sinner is borne to destruction by the four elements whereof carnal things be composed. But he had hope of rising again, for that whereon he was carried was of wood. And wood, albeit of little profit to us before, is now become for us a means of life, since Jesus touched it, being thus a figure of the Tree of the Cross, wherefrom salvation floweth unto all people. Wherefrom, when those grim bearers, who were hastening the body along the deadly course of carnal nature, heard the Word of God, they stood still. And is not our case even as that of the widow’s son when we lie, as it were, lifeless on the soul’s death-bier, waiting for final burial underneath our sins? Such we are if we be consumed by the fever of inordinate desire, or frozen by bodily sloth, or starved from sinful neglect of the bright food of the soul. For these four hasten us on in the burial rites of sin.

But even at the last hour, when hope of life hath been utterly extinguished, and deadened souls are at the brink of the grave, by the Word of God the dead live again, yea, arise and speak. Thus is the son restored to his mother, called back from the grave, snatched from the tomb. What is the grave of the soul but a bad life? Sinner, thy grave is faithlessness, and thy throat is an open sepulchre whence pestilential words come forth, as it is written : Their inward parts are very wickedness ; their throat is an open sepulchre. But lo, Christ taketh thee from that sepulchre! If only thou wilt hear the Word of God, thou shalt yet arise from that grave! Yea, though thy sin be exceeding weighty, so that the tears of thine own sorrow cannot wash it away, let thy Mother the Church weep for thee, for she pleadeth for each one of her children, even as a widowed mother for her only son. Her spiritual anguish is keen like the anguish of nature, when she seeth her children borne on to death by deadly sin.

OFFERTORY: Psalm 69:2-4
O Lord, make hast to help me: let all those be confounded that desire evils to Thy servants.

Purify us, O merciful God: that the prayers of Thy Church, which are pleasing to Thee, being offered with true devotion, may become yet more pleasing by the purity of our hearts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. Amen

COMMUNION: O Lord, I will be mindful of Thy justice alone: Thou hast taught me from my youth: and unto old age and grey hairs, O God, forsake me not.

Suffer not, O Lord, Thy heavenly gifts, which Thou hast provided as a remedy for Thy faithful, to turn to the judgement of those who receive them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. Amen

O God, the Creator and Ruler of Thy people, drive away the sins which beset them, that being ever pleasing unto Thee, they may be secure under Thy protection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. Amen

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