Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wednesday in Passion Week
The Roman Breviary

The Reading of the Holy Gospel according to John
Lesson i: c.10, 22-38
At that time: It was the feats of the dedication at Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. The Jews therefore came round about him, and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them: I speak to you and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of the my Father, they give testimony of me. But you do nnot believe, because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father. I and the Father are one. The Jews then took up stones to stone him. Jesus answered them: many good works I have showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered him: For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said you are gods? If he called the gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the scripture cannot be broken; Do you say of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?
If I do not the works of my Father believe me not. But if I do, though you will not believe me, believe the works : thou you
may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

Homily of St. Augustine, Bishop
Treatise 48 on John
The Encaenia was the feast of the dedication of the Temple. For in Greek, kainon signifies new. Whenever anything new was dedicated, it was called encaenia. And now this word has passed into common use. If a man puts on a new tunic, he is said to encaeniare (to renovate). This day, then, on which the temple, was dedicated, was kept by the Jews as a solemn festival; they were keeping this same feast when the `lord spoke these words, which we have just read.
O Lord, I went about sorrowful all the day long: for my soul is filleth with illusions: And they that sought after my soul used violence
V. My friends and my neighbours have drawn near, and stood against me; and they that were near me stood afar off.

Lesson ii
It was winter, and Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. The Jews therefore came round about him, and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Not that they desired the truth, but they were planning a false accusation. It was winter, and they were cold: for they were loth to draw near to that divine fire. If to draw near is to believe, then he who believes draws near, and he who denies, retires. The soul is not moved by the feet, but by the affections.
R. O Lord, turn not, turn not away thy face from thy servant: For I am in trouble, O hear me speedily.
V. Draw nigh unto my soul and deliver it, save me because of mine enemies.

Lesson iii
They has become icy cold in the charity that shows affection, and they burned with the desire to do as injury. They were far away, and yet were there: they did not draw near by believing in him, yet they pressed close by persecuting him. They sought to hear from the Lord: I am Christ; and perhaps they did understand something of Christ as to his manhood. For the prophets had preached Christ; but the divinity of Christ expressed both in the prophets and in the Gospel itself, is not grasped even by heretics: how much less, then, by the Jews, so long as the veil is upon their hearts?
R. Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes, and I will weep day and night? For my nearest brother hath supplanted me, And every friend hath dealt deceitfully against me.
V. Let their way become dark and slippery: and let the Angel of the Lord pursue them.

We beseech thee, O God, by the sanctification of this fast, mercifully to enlighten the hearts of thy faithful: and grant unto those upon whom thou bestowest the grace of devotion a favourable hearing when they call upon thee. Through Our Lord.