Advent

WEEK II - THURSDAY

Office of Readings



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If Morning Prayer is the first Office of the day, begin below.

Lord, open my lips.
 - And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 95 is the traditional Invitatory Psalm. Psalm 24, 67, or 100 may be substituted.

Antiphon: Come let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.





Office of Readings

God, come to my assistance.
 - Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 -  as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Amen. (Alleluia.)


HYMN

On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry

Or:

-
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Beneath the shadow of your throne
Your saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is your arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting you are God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in your sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all our lives away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be now our guide while life shall last,
And our eternal home.
Text: Isaac Watts; Melody: St. Anne C. M.


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Lord, you are our Savior; we will praise you for ever.

                    I
We heard with our own ears, O God,
our fathers have told us the story
of the things you did in their days,
you yourself, in days long ago.

To plant them you uprooted the nations;
to let them spread you laid peoples low.
No sword of their own won the land;
no arm of their own brought them victory.
It was your right hand, your arm
and the light of your face; for you loved them.

It is you, my king, my God,
who granted victories to Jacob.
Through you we beat down our foes;
in your name we trampled down our aggressors.

For it was not in my bow that I trusted
nor yet was I saved by my sword:
it was you who saved us from our foes,
it was you who put our foes to shame.
All day long our boast was in God
and we praised your name without ceasing. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Lord, you are our Savior; we will praise you for ever.


Antiphon 2 Spare us, O Lord; do not bring your own people into contempt.

                        II
Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced us;
you no longer go forth with our armies.
You make us retreat from the foe
and our enemies plunder us at will.

You make us like sheep for the slaughter
and scatter us among the nations.
You sell your own people for nothing
and make no profit by the sale.

You make us the taunt of our neighbors,
the laughing stock of all who are near.
Among the nations, you make us a byword,
among the peoples a thing of derision.

All day long my disgrace is before me;
my face is covered with shame
at the voice of the taunter, the scoffer,
at the sight of the foe and avenger. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Spare us, O Lord; do not bring your own people into contempt.


Antiphon 3 Rise up, O Lord, and save us, for you are merciful.

                       III
This befell us though we had not forgotten you,
though we had not been false to your covenant,
though we had not withdrawn our hearts;
though our feet had not strayed from your path.
Yet you have crushed us in a place of sorrows
and covered us with the shadow of death.

Had we forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to another god
would not God have found this out,
he who knows the secrets of the heart?
It is for you that we face death all day long
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep?
Arise, do not reject us for ever!
Why do you hide your face
and forget our oppression and misery?

For we are brought down low to the dust;
our body lies prostrate on the earth.
Stand up and come to our help!
Redeem us because of your love! Glory...

Psalm Prayer:Lord, rise up and come to our aid; with your strong arm lead us to freedom, as you mightily delivered our forefathers. Since you are the king who knows the secrets of our hearts, fill them with the light of truth.

Antiphon 3 Rise up, O Lord, and save us, for you are merciful.


Hear the word of the Lord, all you nations.
- Proclaim it to the ends of the earth.


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah           26:7-21

The way of the just is smooth;
  the path of the just you make level.
Yes, for your way and your judgments, O Lord,
  we look to you;
Your name and your title
  are the desire of our souls.

My soul yearns for you in the night,
  yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you;
When your judgment dawns upon the earth,
  the world's inhabitants learn justice.

The wicked man, spared, does not learn justice;
  in an upright land he acts perversely,
  and sees not the majesty of the Lord.

O Lord, your hand is uplifted,
  but they behold it not;
Let them be shamed when they see your zeal for your people:
  let the fire prepared for your enemies consume them.

O Lord, you mete out peace to us,
  for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.
O Lord, our God, other lords than you have ruled us;
  it is from you only that we can call upon your name.

Dead they are, they have no life,
  shades that cannot rise;
For you have punished and destroyed them,
  and wiped out all memory of them.

You have increased the nation, O Lord,
  increased the nation to your own glory,
  and extended far all the borders of the land.

O Lord, oppressed by your punishment,
  we cried out in anguish under your chastising.
As a woman about to give birth
  writhes and cries out in her pains,
  so were we in your presence, O Lord.

We conceived and writhed in pain,
  giving birth to wind;
Salvation we have not achieved for the earth,
  the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth.

But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise;
  awake and sing, you who lie in the dust.
For your dew is a dew of light,
  and the land of shades gives birth.

Go, my people, enter your chambers,
  and close your doors behind you;
Hide yourselves for a brief moment,
  until the wrath is past.

See, the Lord goes forth from his place,
  to punish the wickedness of the earth's inhabitants;
The earth will reveal the blood upon her,
  and no longer conceal her slain.


RESPONSORY           Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2
Awake and sing, you who sleep in the earth,
- for the dew of the Lord is a dew of light.

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken.
- For the dew of the Lord is a dew of light.


SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop
(Sermo 147: PL 52, 594-595)

Love desires to see God

When God saw the world falling to ruin because of fear, he immediately acted to call it back to himself with love. He invited it by his grace, preserved it by his love, and embraced it with compassion. When the earth had become hardened in evil, God sent the flood both to punish and to release it. He called Noah to be the father of a new era, urged him with kind words, and showed that he trusted him; he gave him fatherly instruction about the present calamity, and through his grace consoled him with hope for the future. But God did not merely issue commands; rather with Noah sharing the work, he filled the ark with the future seed of the whole world. The sense of loving fellowship thus engendered removed servile fear, and a mutual love could continue to preserve what shared labor had effected.

God called Abraham out of the heathen world, symbolically lengthened his name, and made him the father of all believers. God walked with him on his journeys, protected him in foreign lands, enriched him with earthly possessions, and honored him with victories. He made a covenant with him, saved him from harm, accepted his hospitality, and astonished him by giving him the offspring he had despaired of. Favored with so many graces and drawn by such great sweetness of divine love, Abraham was to learn to love God rather that fear him, and love rather than fear was to inspire his worship.

God comforted Jacob by a dream during his flight, roused him to combat upon his return, and encircled him with a wrestler's embrace to teach him not to be afraid of the author of the conflict, but to love him. God called Moses as a father would, and with fatherly affection invited him to become the liberator of his people.

In all the events we have recalled, the flame of divine love enkindled human hearts and its intoxication overflowed into men's senses. Wounded by love, they longed to look upon God with their bodily eyes. Yet how could our narrow human vision apprehend God, whom the whole world cannot contain? But the law of love is not concerned with what will be, what ought to be, what can be. Love does not reflect; it is unreasonable and knows no moderation. Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, despises all hindrances to the attainment of its object. Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves; love follows its own promptings, and does not think of right and wrong. Love inflames desire which impels it toward things that are forbidden. But why continue?

It is intolerable for love not to see the object of its longing. That is why whatever reward they merited was nothing to the saints if they could not see the Lord. A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: If I have found favor in your eyes, show me your face. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: Show me your face. Even the pagans made their images for this purpose: they wanted actually to see what they mistakenly revered.


RESPONSORY          See Is. 66:13; 1 Kgs 11:36; Is. 66:14; 46:13
As a mother comforts her sons
so will I comfort you, says the Lord;
help will come to you from the city of Jerusalem
which I have chosen.
 - You shall see this, and your heart will rejoice.

I will give salvation in Zion
and my glory in Jerusalem.
 - You shall see this, and your heart will rejoice.


COLLECT
Stir up our hearts, O Lord,
to make ready the paths
of your Only Begotten Son,
that through his coming,
we may be found worthy to serve you
with minds made pure.
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.


May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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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