December 19

Office of Readings

The first part of the Office is from the current weekday of Advent:

Week 3

Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings

Week 4

Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings
Office of Readings

Readings of the 19th of December

Lord, show us your mercy and love.
- And grant us your salvation.


From the book of the prophet Isaiah           47:1, 3b-15

Lament for Babylon

Come down, sit in the dust,
  O virgin daughter Babylon;
Sit on the ground, dethroned,
  O daughter of the Chaldeans.
No longer shall you be called
  dainty and delicate.
I will take vengeance,
  I will yield to no entreaty,
  says our redeemer,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts,
  the Holy One of Israel.

Go into darkness and sit in silence,
  O daughter of the Chaldeans,
No longer shall you be called
  sovereign mistress of kingdoms.

Angry at my people,
  I profaned my inheritance,
And I gave them into your hand;
  but you showed them no mercy,
And upon old men
  you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, "I shall remain always,
  a sovereign mistress forever!"
But you did not lay these things to heart,
  you disregarded their outcome.

Now hear this, voluptuous one,
  enthroned securely,
Saying to yourself,
  "I, and no one else!
I shall never be a widow,
  or suffer the loss of my children"--
Both these things shall come to you
  suddenly, in a single day:
Complete bereavement and widowhood
  shall come upon you
For your many sorceries
  and the great number of your spells;
Because you felt secure in your wickedness,
  and said, "No one sees me."

Your wisdom and your knowledge
  led you astray,
And you said to yourself,
  "I, and no one else!"
But upon you shall come evil
  you will not know how to predict;
Disaster shall befall you
  which you cannot allay.
Suddenly there shall come upon you
  ruin which you will not expect.

Keep up, now, your spells
  and your many sorceries.
Perhaps you can make them avail,
  perhaps you can strike terror!
You wearied yourself with many consultations,
  at which you toiled from your youth;
Let the astrologers stand forth to save you,
  the stargazers who forecast at each new moon
  what would happen to you.

Lo, they are like stubble,
  fire consumes them;
They cannot save themselves
  from the spreading flames.
This is no warming ember,
  no fire to sit before.
Thus do your wizards serve you
  with whom you have toiled from your youth;
Each wanders his own way,
  with none to save you.

RESPONSORY           Isaiah 49:13; 47:4
Rejoice, you heavens, and celebrate, O earth;
cry out with praise, you mountains;
- for the Lord will have compassion of his poor.

Our Redeemer, the Lord God of power and might is his name, the Holy One of Israel.
- For the Lord will have compassion of his poor.


From a treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
(Lib. 3, 20,2-3: SC 34, 342-344)

The plan of redemption through the Incarnation

God is man's glory. Man is the vessel which receives God's action and all his wisdom and power.

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men. That is Paul's reason for saying: God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all. He was speaking of man, who was disobedient to God, and cast off from immortality, and then found mercy, receiving through the Son of God the adoption he brings.

If man, without being puffed up or boastful, has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in his power, and if man perseveres in God's love, and in obedience and gratitude to him, he will receive greater glory from him. It will be a glory which will grow ever brighter until he takes on the likeness of the one who died for him.

He it was who took on the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and rid the flesh of sin, as now condemned. He wanted to invite man to take on his likeness, appointing man an imitator of God, establishing man in a way of life in obedience to the Father that would lead to the vision of God, and endowing man with power to receive the Father. He is the Word of God who dwelt with man and became the Son of Man to open the way for man to receive God, for God to dwell with man, according to the will of the Father.

For this reason the Lord himself gave as the sign of our salvation, the one who was born of the Virgin, Emmanuel. It was the Lord himself who saved them, for of themselves they had no power to be saved. For this reason Paul speaks of the weakness of man, and says: I know that no good dwells in my flesh, meaning that the blessing of our salvation comes not from us but from God. Again, he says: I am a wretched man; who will free me from this body doomed to die? Then he speaks of a liberator, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah says the same: Hands that are feeble, grow strong! Knees that are weak, take courage! Hearts that are faint, grow strong! Fear not; see, our God is judgement and he will repay. He himself will come and save us. He means that we could not be saved of ourselves but only with God's help.

RESPONSORY           See Jeremiah 31:10;4-5
Listen to the word of the Lord, you peoples,
and proclaim it to the ends of the earth;
- say to the far-off islands: Our Savior is coming.

Proclaim the good news, let it be heard;
tell it to everyone, shout it aloud.
- Say to the far-off islands: Our Savior is coming.

O God, who through the child-bearing of the holy Virgin
graciously revealed the radiance of your glory to the world,
grant, we pray,
that we may venerate with integrity of faith
the mystery of so wondrous an Incarnation
and always celebrate it with due reverence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
- And give him thanks.

The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


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