Sunday, February 26, 2006

Quinquagesima Sunday. The Homily of St. Gregory, Pope as in the Matins of the day - III Nocturn Lesson 8 and 9 of the Roman Breviary.

Lesson 8.
But the miracles of Our Lord and Saviour must be accepted in this manner, dearly beloved brethren, that we must accept that they actually took place, and at the same time were intended to signify something to us. Indeed, the works of God not only manifest his power, but also speak to us of some mystery. For behold, who this blind man was of whom the story is told, we know not; but we do know what is signified by this miracle. This blind man is indeed a figure of mankind, driven out from the joys of Paradise in the person of its first parent, knowing not the glory of the heavenly light, and suffering the darkness of its condemnation. But nevertheless he is enlightened in the presence of his Redeemer; so that now he possess in desire the joys of inward light, and by good works begins to walk in the way of life.
R. The word of the Lord came to Abram, saying: Fear not, Abram: I am thy protector, and the reward exceeding great.
V. For I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out from Ur of the Chaldees.

Lesson 9.
We must take note, that the blind man received his sight as Jesus draw near to Jericho. Jericho indeed signifies: Moon; and in holy Scripture the moon denotes the failing of bodily strength, because, in waning every month, it signifies the decay of our mortal nature. When therefore our Creator drew near to Jericho, the blind man returned to the light; for when the Godhead took upon itself the weakness of our human nature, mankind again received the light it had lost. For God, through his suffering as man, raised up man to things divine. The blind man is rightly described as sitting by the wayside begging. The Truth itself says: I am the way.
R. A blind man sat by the wayside, as the Lord passed by, and cried out to him: and the Lord said to him: What wilt thou that I do for thee? Lord, that I may receive my sight.
V. And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him, and when he was come near, he asked, saying.

Benedictus Antiphon: Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written concerning the Son of man: for he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spat upon: and after they have scourged him, they will put him to death, and the third day he shall rise again.

O Lord, we beseech thee, graciously hear our prayers: and loosing the bond of our sins, guard us from all adversity. Through Our Lord.