WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An Homily by Gregory the Great - Pope [ca 600]
DEARLY beloved brethren, consider the gentleness of God. He came to take away sin, and he saith: Which of you convinceth me of sin? He, who in virtue of his Godhead was able to justify sinners, did not disdain to shew by an appeal to reason that he was not himself a sinner. But verily the words which he addeth are exceeding awesome: He that is of God heareth God's words; ye, therefore, hear them not, because ye are not of God. Wherefore, if he that is of God, heareth God's words, and if one who is not of God, is not able to hear God's words, let each one ask himself: Do I, in the ear of my heart, hear God's words, and understand whose words they are? The Truth commandeth us to long for a fatherland in heaven, to bridle the lusts of the flesh, to turn away from the glory of the world, to covet no man's goods, and to bestow freely of our own.
LET each of you, therefore, think within himself if this voice of God soundeth loud in the ear of his heart for thereby will he know whether he be of God. Some there be, whom it pleaseth not to hear the commandments of God, even with their bodily ears. And some there be, who receive the same with their bodily ears, but whose heart is far from them. And some also there be, who hear the words of God with joy, so that they are moved thereby even to tears. But when their fit of weeping is past they turn again to iniquity. They who despise to do the words of God certainly cannot be said to hear them. Wherefore, dearly beloved brethren, call up your own life before your mind's eye, and then ponder with trembling those awful words which the mouth of the Truth spake: Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
THE Truth speaketh these words concerning the reprobate. But the reprobate make manifest the same thing concerning themselves, by their evil deeds. Thus immediately followeth: Then answered the Jews, and said unto him: Say we not well that thou are a Samaritan and has a devil? Hear now what the Lord saith to so great an insult: I have not a devil, but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. The Lord said: I have not a devil. But he did not say: I am not a Samaritan. For in a sense a Samaritan he was indeed, since the word Samaritan is by interpretation a Watcher, and the Lord is that Watcher, of whom the Psalmist saith, that except he keep the city, any other watchman waketh but in vain. He also is that Watchman unto who crieth Isaiah: Watchman, what of the night, Watchman, what of the night? Wherefore the Lord did not say: I am not a Samaritan. But: I have not a devil. Two charges were brought against him. One he denied. To the other his silence gave assent.Homily: Anglican Breviary for Passion Sunday