Wednesday in the 4th Week of Lent

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

Today’s Station: San Paolo fuori le Mura

CUM Sanctificátus

INTROIT: Ezekiel 36:23-26
When I shall be sanctified in you, I will gather you from every land: and I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness: and I will give you a new spirit. (Ps. 33: 2) I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be ever in my mouth. 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.

God, Who dost vouchsafe to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon through fasting, have mercy upon Thy suppliants, that the confession of our guilt may have power to obtain for us forgiveness of our misdoings. 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

LESSON: Ezechiel 36: 23-28
Thus saith the Lord God, I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the gentiles which you have profaned in the midst of them; that the gentiles may know that I am the lord, saith the Lord of hosts, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the gentiles, and will gather you together out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land; and I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols, and will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit in the midst of you, and I will cause you to walk in My commandments, and to keep My judgments, and do them, and you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be My people, and I will be your God; saith the Lord almighty.

GRADUAL: Psalm 33: 12, 6
Come, children, harken to me: I will teach the fear of the Lord. V. Come ye to Him, and be enlightened; and your faces shall not be confounded.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who have undertaken to chastise our bodies by fasting may, even in this devotion, find cause for rejoicing: forasmuch as earthly passions being thereby subdued, we are the better able to fix our hopes on the delights 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 Isaias 1: 16-19
Thus saith the Lord God, Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from My eyes; cease to do perversely, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the op­pressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow, and then come, and accuse Me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. If you be willing and will harken to Me, you shall eat the good things of the land; saith the Lord almighty

GRADUAL: Psalm 32: 12, 6
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom He hath chosen for His inheritance. V. By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of His mouth.

TRACT: Psalm 120: 10
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. (Ps. 78: 8-9) O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor.
(Here all kneel down) Help Us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.

GOSPEL: John 9: 1-38
At that time, Jesus passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth: and His disciples asked Him, Rabbi who hath sinned, this man of his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, whilst it is day; the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay upon his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloe,” (which is interpreted, Sent). He went therefore, and washed, and he came seeing. The neighbors therefore and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he. But others said, No, but he is like him. But he said, I am he. They said therefore to him How were thy eyes opened? He answered, That man that is called Jesus, made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloe, and wash: and I went, I washed, and I see. And they said to him, Where is He? He saith, I know not. They bring him that had been blind to the pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Again therefore the pharisees asked him how he had received his sight. But he said to them, He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see. Some therefore of the pharisees said, This man is not of God, who keepeth not the Sabbath. But others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say therefore to the blind man again, What sayest thou of Him that hath opened thy eyes? And he said, He is a prophet. The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight and asked them, saying, Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that he is our son, and that he was born blind: but how he seeth we know not, or who hath opened his eyes we know not: ask himself; he is of age, let him speak for himself. These things his parents said, be cause they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves, that if any man should confess Him to to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore did his parents say, He is of age, ask him. They therefore called the man again that had been blind, and said to him, Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. He said therefore to them, If He be a sinner, I know not; one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see. They then said to him, What did He to thee? How did He open thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already and you have heard; why would you hear it again? will you also be come His disciples? They reviled him therefore, and said, Be thou His disciple: but we are the disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses; but as to this man, we know not from whence He is. The man answered and said to them, Why, herein is a wonderful thing that you know not from whence He is, and He hath opened my eyes. Now we know that God doth not hear sinners; but if a man be a server of God, and doth His will, him He heareth. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, He could not do anything. They answered and said to him, Thou wast wholly born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Dost thou believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him? And Jesus said to him, “Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.” And he said, I believe, Lord: (Here all kneel down) and falling down he adored Him.

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

Dreadful and wondrous are all the things which our Lord Jesus Christ did. They are at one and the same time both works and words : works, because they are wrought out of his might ; words, because they are signs of his wisdom. If, therefore, we consider the signification of this work of his, we see in the man blind from birth a figure of mankind. This blindness fell on the first man by reason of sin, from which we trace the origin, not only of death, but of evil also. For if blindness be unbelief, and if faith be enlightenment, whom did Christ find, at his first coming, that he could account as faithful? Yea, even the Apostle, who was himself born of the race of the Prophets, saith : We also were by nature children of wrath, even as others. And if children of wrath, then also children of vengeance, children of damnation, children of hell-fire. And how is it said : By nature : unless it be that the first man, by sinning, brought this infliction on human nature? And if he brought this penalty on all human nature, then all men, so far as their spirit is concerned, are born blind.

The Lord passed by. And then what did he? He set forth a great mystery. He spat on the ground, and made clay out of his spittle. And he who was himself the Word made flesh, thus made ointment of his spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind. But albeit the blind was thus anointed, yet at first he saw not. Wherefore the Lord sent him unto the pool which is called Siloam. Now the Evangelist was concerned to impress upon us the name of this pool, and therefore he said : Siloam, which is, by interpretation, Sent. Ye well know who is signified by this word, Sent, for had this same not been sent, we ourselves never would have been set free from sin. Accordingly the blind man went his way, and washed his eyes in that pool, which is, by interpretation, Sent. In other words, we see in this a figure of Baptism into Christ. When, therefore, he was thus figurátively baptized into him that the Father hath sent, he came seeing. If this be so, it may also be said that the anointing which he received before he went to the pool made him first of all a figure of a catechumen.

We have heard a great mystery. Ask of a man : Art thou a Christian? And if he answereth thee : I am not : then thou dost ask him : Art thou a pagan, or a Jew? And if he still saith unto thee, Nay ; dost thou then not say : Art thou then a catechumen, though not yet one of the faithful? And if he saith : Yea, a catechumen : then thou dost there behold a man anointed but not yet washed. With what hath he been anointed? Ask of him, and he will tell thee. Ask of him in whom he believeth, and, being a catechumen, he will say : In Christ. But, behold, I am now speaking in the presence of the faithful, and of catechumens also. Mark ye what I said concerning the spittle and the clay? I said : The Word was made flesh. This much even the catechumens have been taught : but it is not enough for them merely to be anointed unto this preliminary teaching. They must make haste to the washing, if they would have their eyes opened

OFFERTORY: Psalm 65: 8, 9, 20
O ye gentiles, bless the Lord our God, and make the voice of His praise to be heard; Who hath set my soul to live, and hath not suffered my feet to be moved: blessed be the Lord, Who hath not turned away my prayer nor His mercy from me.

We humbly entreat Thee, O almighty God, that our sins may be purged by these sacrifices; for so dost Thou grant us health of body and soul. 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: John 9: 11
The Lord made clay of spittle, and anointed my eyes; and I went, and I washed, and I saw, and I have believed in God.

May the sacrament we have received, O Lord, our God, both fill us with spiritual nourishment and keep us with bodily assistance. 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

May the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants, and, that Thou mayest grant their desires to them that seek Thee, make them to ask the things that are pleasing to Thee. 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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