Saint Mary Magdalene.
The Introit. Psalm cxlvi.
ERCIFUL Father, give us grace, that we never presume to sin through the example of any creature; but if it shall chance us at any time to offend thy divine majesty; that then we may truly repent, and lament the same, after the example of Mary Magdalene, and by lively faith obtain remission of all our sins; through the only merits of thy son our saviour Christ.
The Epistle. Prov. xxxi.
HOSOEVER findeth an honest faithful woman, she is much more worth than pearls. The heart of her husband may safely trust in her, so that he shall fall in no poverty. She will do him good and not evil, all the days of her life. She occupieth wool and flax, and laboureth gladly with her hands. She is like a merchant's ship that bringeth her vittles from afar. She is up in the night season to provide meat for her household, and food for her maidens. She considereth land and buyeth it, and with the fruits of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and courageth her arms. And if she perceive that her housewifery doeth good, and candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her fingers to the spindle; and her hand taketh hold of the distaff. She openeth her hand to the poor, yea she stretcheth further her hands to such as have need. She feareth not that the cold of winter shall hurt her house, for
all her household folks are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself fair ornaments, her clothing is white silk and purple. her husband is much set by in the gates, when he sitteth among the rulers of the land. She makes cloth of silk, and sells it, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor is her clothing, and in the latter day she shall rejoice. She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of grace. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not her bread with idleness. Her children shall arise, and call her blessed; and her husband shall make much of her. Many daughters there be that gather riches together; but thou goest above them all. As for favour it is deceitful, and beauty is a vain thing: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she is worthy to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
The Gospel. Luke vii.
ND one of the Pharisees desired Jesus that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisees house, and sat down to meat. And behold, a woman in that city (which was a sinner,) as soon as she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisees house, she brought an Alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee (which had bidden him) saw that, he spake within himself, saying; if this man were a prophet, he would surely know who and what manner of woman this is that touched him, for she is a sinner. Jesus answered and said unto him; Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he said; Master, say on. There was a certain lender which had two debtors, the one ought him five hundred pence, and the other fifty. When they had nothing to pay, he forgave
them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said; I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him; thou has truly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said to Symon; Seest thou this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but she since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint, but she hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, many sins are forgiven her; for she loved much. To whom less is forgiven, the same doth less love. And he said unto her; thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with him, began to say within themselves. Who is this which forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman. Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.