First Lesson: Amos 1:1 – 5, 13 – 2:3
The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
And he said, The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.
I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the Lord.
Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the Lord.
Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord.
Canticle: Magnificat. St. Luke 1:46-55
Antiphon: But the householder said.
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.
Antiphon: But the householder said: Friend I do thee no wrong; did not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way.
Second Lesson: Galatians 1:11 – End
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
And they glorified God in me.
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.
A reading from the Conferences of St John Cassian
Our Lord and Saviour instructed us thoroughly in the virtue of patience and mildness when he gave us this formula for gospel perfec tion: If anyone strikes you on your right cheek, offer him the other as well. In doing this he did not want us to follow it by mere lip service but to remove completely the dregs of wrath from the inmost depths of the soul. Thus, if your outer right cheek has received a blow, the inner man should also humbly offer his right cheek to be struck, suffer ing along with the outer man. The inner man therefore submits its own body to the injustice of the striker, so that he may not be disturbed even silently within himself at the blow dealt to the outer man.
Thus we shall conquer the attacker’s rage with our mildness, and thus we shall also fulfil the apostolic words: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This can by no means be fulfilled by those who utter words of mildness and humility in a proud spirit. They not only do not calm the fiery rage that has been conceived; on the con trary, they cause it to flare up more in their own mind than in that of their enraged brother. Yet, even if in some way they could remain gentle and calm, they would never receive any fruits of righteousness thereby because they are claiming the glory of patience for themselves by way of their neighbour’s loss. Thus they are very far indeed from that apostolic love which does not seek what is its own but rather what belongs to others. For it does not want riches in such a way as to make a profit for itself at its neighbour’s expense, nor does it desire to acquire anything to someone else’s impoverishment.
It should certainly be known that, as a rule, he who submits his own will to his brother’s will acts a stronger part than he who is more obstinate in defending and holding on to his own opinions. For the former, in putting up with and tolerating his neighbour, obtains the status of one who is healthy and strong; whereas the latter has the status of one who is somehow weak and sickly, who must be so flattered and coaxed that even essential things must be changed for the sake of his calm and peace. In this, to be sure, the strong man should not believe that his perfection is at all diminished, although by giving in he has somewhat mitigated his intended strictness. On the contrary he should realise that he has gained much more by his tolerance and patience. For the apostolic precept has it: You who are strong should bear with the infirmities of the weak, and: Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfil the Law of Christ. For one weak man never puts up with another weak person, nor will someone who is sick be able to endure or heal someone else who is ailing in the same way. Rather, it is he who is himself not subject to infirmity who bestows healing on the infirm. Rightly is it said to him: Physician, heal yourself.
St John Cassian, Conference 16.22-23; ACW 57 (1997) tr. Ramesy.
And the Apostles Creed and the rest of the office.
O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.