First Lesson: Amos 5:1 – 13
Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.
The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
For thus saith the Lord God; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name:
That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
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.
Second Lesson: Galatians 3:10 – 18
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
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.
The Lesson is taken from the book Concerning Noah and the Ark by St. Ambrose the Bishop
We read that the Lord was angry. However, God did bear in mind (that is, he knew) that man was hard put to remain sinless, placed, as he was, in flesh on earth ; for earth is the home of temptations, and the flesh is the enticement of corruption. Yet man had a reasonable soul, and his soul had power to control his body ; and, being so made, he nevertheless struggled but little to keep himself from falling into that from whence he would not desire to return. God’s thoughts are not as man’s thoughts ; in him there is no such thing as change of mind, no such thing as to be angry and then cool down again. Therefore, anything said concerning God’s anger is to be understood as setting forth the grievous nature of our sins, whereby we have (so to speak) merited the divine wrath. For iniquity had grown to such a degree that God, who by his nature cannot be moved by anger, or hatred, or any passion whatsoever, is represented as provoked to anger.
And God threatened that he would destroy man. He said : I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth ; both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air. Wherein had the brute beasts offended? They had been created for man’s use ; and, when man was destroyed it followed that they must share the same fate because they were no longer of any use. And there is a higher reason : Man is a living soul, capable of reason. For man may be described as an animal, alive whilst subject to death, and endowed with reason. When therefore the highest is gone, why should the lower branches remain? How can the worth of any creature remain if virtue itself (the basis of well-being) be lost?
But in condemnation of the rest of men, and to manifest the goodness of God, it is written that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. From these words we learn that the sin of others doth not cast its shadow on the righteous man, since Noah himself is preserved, to be the ancestor of the whole human race. He is praised, not because he was of a noble race, but because he was a just man and perfect. For the lineage of the upright man is to be traced in the pedigree of virtue which doth come forth from him. Even as blood maketh the lineage of man, so doth virtue form the lineage of souls. As the kindreds of men are made great by the grandeur of their lineage, so is the honour of souls made manifest by the grandeur of their virtues.
Take from the Roman Breviary for the Day.
And the Apostles Creed and the rest of the office.
O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do: mercifully grant that by thy powere, we may be defended against all adversity. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.