7 Epiphany, Thursday Evening

First Lesson: Deuteronomy 8:1 – 10

All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

Canticle: Magnificat. St. Luke 1:46-55

My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek;.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.
Glory be.

Second Lesson: Matthew 26:47 – 56

And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

Canticle: Nunc dimittis. St. Luke 2:29-32

LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, * according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen * thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared * before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, * and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be.

A reading from the Book of Promises by Quodvultdeus of Carthage

Impelled by the famine, Joseph’s brethren came to Egypt to buy corn from their brother, whom they had sold. Those who had crucified our Joseph, that is Christ our Lord, came to him to be revived by his bread, and so take away the hunger which was distressing their souls. The former, Joseph’s brethren, do him reverence; the latter, Christ’s brethren, likewise do him reverence. On seeing his brothers, Joseph recognised them; but they did not know who he was. This applies to us also: for his brethren knew him not. For if they had known who he was, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. Joseph was estranged from his brethren and said to them, through an interpreter, you are spies, you have come to spy out the roads and the tracks of this country. So also our Joseph, Christ our Lord, said to his persecutors through his interpreter Peter, you have denied what is holy and just and you have killed the prince of eternal life.

Joseph’s brethren are sorry for what they did. To those others also, Christ’s persecutors, the word is: Repent. They, of the olden times, say, we are at fault over our brother. So also the Jews who had told Pilate, his blood be upon us and our children, now say to the Apostles, what are we to do, brethren? Show us. So as not to be thought spies, Joseph’s brethren state that they are the sons, twelve in all, of one father; and they say that one of them is no more (since it was he to whom they telling this), while the youngest is at home with their father.

On hearing mention of his younger brother, Joseph, ardently longing for him, says, I will test your claim not to be spies by seeing whether your younger brother will come with you. And he took Simeon apart from them, had him fettered in their presence, and put him under guard. Surely our latter day Benjamin and youngest brother, sought after by the Joseph who is Christ our Lord, is none other than Paul, formerly Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, as he himself says, calling himself the least of the Apostles. Simeon, bound by the three bonds of his denial, he whom fear held bound and love released, this Simeon we may take as Peter. That said, we had better acknowledge that it is by him that sins are bound and loosed; him indeed to whom it was said that What you hold bound on earth will be bound in heaven; and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Quodvultdeus of Carthage, Liber Promissionum, 1.30, 42 (SC 101:242-246); Word in Season VII.

And the Apostles Creed and the rest of the office.

Collect:

O LORD, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour who liveth and reigneth with THee in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.