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Homily 59, Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity


1 Twenty-fourth Sunday [after Trinity] according to John. In that time

2 Latin rubric (John 6:5-15): When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh [to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many? Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.]


This is the final item in the chronological sequence of Gospel pericopes; the poet has included only the beginning lines because, as indicated in the concluding couplet, the text is the same as that for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. A miscellaneous set of texts follows these words, between fols. 232r–257v (the last page of the manuscript). These items (Purification, Vigil and Birth of John the Baptist, Legend of Saint Alexis, Peter and Paul, Simon Magus) are not tied to the liturgical year (except for Purification which appears outside its normal calendrial position on February 2), but are evidently considered to be part of the overall collection, since the following words appear at their conclusion: Expliciunt evangelia dominicalia totius anni in vulgari lingua exposita (“[Here] end the Sunday Gospels for the whole year, related in everyday speech”). Immediately preceding these words are written the initials “W. S.” The Catalogue of Ashmolean manuscripts says the following: “Whether this W. S. were the author or only the transcriber is uncertain” (Black, Catalogue, p. 64).

Gospel Pericope: John 6:5–15 (Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes).

NIMEV 1849. Manuscripts: A: fol. 231v (first 10 lines only); G: fol. 154v (first 8 lines only); D: fols. 215v–219r (said to be text for the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity, but identical to other manuscripts for the Twenty-fourth. Unlike the others, however, D prints this text in full because it does not appear in its expected position, the Fourth Sunday in Lent. This must be related to the calendrial order for the year in which D was first compiled; because Easter is a moveable feast, there are some years which do not have a Fourth Sunday in Lent.) D’s text for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Lent (fols. 212r–215v) begins with Matthew 9:18–26 (Healing of the dead girl, and the woman with a flux of blood), and follows this with the exemplum of the Wise Son. A further curiosity with regard to D, is its inclusion, following the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity, with the text for Palm Sunday, which is also missing (or lost) in its expected position in the manuscript. After this comes the narrative exemplum of “Piers Toller,” followed, on fol. 225v, by words similar to those in the other manuscripts quoted above, indicating the end of the collection and, in this case, its author or transcriber: Staundone R. L: fol. 63v (first 12 lines only).
Dominica xxiiii secundum Johannem. In illo tempore:1

Cum sublevasset oculos Jhesu et vidisset quia multitudo maxima venit etc.2


   Saynte Jone the gode Gospellere,
Tellis als I sall saie you here
In the Gospell of todaie;
I rede ye bere it wele awaie.
He saise how that it befell ones,
Criste lokid aboute for the nones,
And sone he saide when he sawe
That mikil folk to him gon drawe.
He askid Sainte Philipe in hye,
“Whare maie we mete to this folk bye?”
et cetera.



The remnande of this Gospell thou maye
Finde on the ferde Lentene Sonondaie.


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