TUESDAY BEFORE EPIPHANY
or January 3

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: Christ is born for us. Come let us adore him.





Office of Readings
God, come to my assistance.
- Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen. Alleluia.


HYMN
From Heaven high I come to you
Go tell it on the mountain
Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
Songs of praise the angels sang
Virgin-born, we bow before you
What Child is this
A Child is born in Bethlehem


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: The Lord is just, he will defend the poor.

Psalm 10
Prayer of thanksgiving
Blessed are the poor; the kingdom of heaven is theirs (Luke 6:20)

                    I
 

Lord, why do you stand afar off
and hide yourself in times of distress?
The poor man is devoured by the pride of the wicked:
he is caught in the schemes that others have made.

For the wicked man boasts of his heart's desires;
the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.
In his pride the wicked says: "He will not punish.
There is no God." Such are his thoughts.

His path is ever untroubled;
your judgment is far from his mind.
His enemies he regards with contempt.
He thinks: "Never shall I falter:
misfortune shall never be my lot."

His mouth is full of cursing, guile, oppression;
mischief and deceit are under his tongue.
He lies in wait among the reeds;
the innocent he murders in secret.

His eyes are on the watch for the helpless man.
He lurks in hiding like a lion in his lair;
he lurks in hiding to seize the poor;
he seizes the poor man and drags him away.

He crouches, preparing to spring,
and the helpless fall beneath such strength.
He thinks in his heart: "God forgets,
he hides his face, he does not see."

Glory...

Antiphon 1 The Lord is just, he will defend the poor.


Antiphon 2 Lord, you know the burden of my sorrow.

                     II

Arise then, Lord, lift up your hand!
O God, do not forget the poor!
Why should the wicked spurn the Lord
and think in his heart: "God will not punish"?

But you have seen the trouble and sorrow,
you note it, you take it in hand.
The helpless trusts himself to you;
for you are the helper of the orphan.

Break the power of the wicked and the sinner!
Punish their wickedness till nothing remains!
The Lord is king for ever and ever.
The heathen shall perish from the land he rules.

Lord, you hear the prayer of the poor;
you strengthen their hearts; you turn your ear
to protect the rights of the orphan and oppressed:
so that mortal man may strike terror no more. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Rise up, Lord, in defense of your people, do not hide your face from our troubles. Father of orphans, wealth of the poor, we rejoice in making you known; may we find comfort and security in times of pain and anxiety.

Antiphon 2 Lord, you know the burden of my sorrow.


Antiphon 3 The words of the Lord are true, like silver from the furnace.

Psalm 12
A cry for God's help against powerful opponents
The Father sent His Son into the world to defend the poor (St. Augustine)
Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished;
truth has gone from the sons of men.
Falsehood they speak one to another,
with lying lips, with a false heart.

May the Lord destroy all lying lips,
the tongue that speaks high-sounding words,
those who say: "Our tongue is our strength;
our lips are our own, who is our master?"

"For the poor who are oppressed and the needy who groan
I myself will arise," says the Lord,
"I will grant them the salvation for which they thirst."

The words of the Lord are words without alloy,
silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

It is you, O Lord, who will take us in your care
and protect us for ever from this generation.
See how the wicked prowl on every side,
while the worthless are prized highly by the sons of men. Glory....

Psalm Prayer: Your light is true light, Lord, and your truth shines like the day. Direct us to salvation through your life-giving words. May we be saved by always embracing your word.

Antiphon 3 The words of the Lord are true, like silver from the furnace.


The Son of God has come to give us understanding.
- That we might know the true God.


FIRST READING

From the letter of Paul to the Colossians          2:15-16

Life of a new man

Put to death the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. But now you must put them all away:  anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.

Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian,  slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.   


RESPONSORY
All of you who have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ
 - Now all of us are one in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No longer are we divided into Jew and Greek,
slave or free, man or woman.
 - Now all of us are one in Christ Jesus our Lord.


SECOND READING

From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract 17, 7-9, CCL 36, 174-175)

The double commandment of love

The Lord, the teacher of love, full of love, came in person with summary judgment on the world, as had been foretold of him, and showed that the law and the prophets are summed up in two commandments of love.

Call to mind, brethren, what these two commandments are. They ought to be very familiar to you; they should not only spring to mind when I mention them, but ought never to be absent from your hearts. Keep always in mind that we must love God and our neighbor: Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

These two commandments must be always in your thoughts and in your hearts, treasured, acted on, fulfilled. Love of God is the first to be commanded, but love of neighbor is the first to be put into practice. In giving two commandments of love Christ would not commend to you first your neighbor and then God but first God and then your neighbor.

Since you do not yet see God, you merit the vision of God by loving your neighbor. By loving your neighbor you prepare your eye to see God. Saint John says clearly: If you do not love your brother whom you see, how will you love God whom you do not see!

Consider what is said to you: Love God. If you say to me: Show me whom I am to love, what shall I say if not what Saint John says: No one has ever seen God! But in case you should think that you are completely cut off from the sight of God, he says: God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God. Love your neighbor, then, and see within yourself the power by which you love your neighbor; there you will see God, as far as you are able.

Begin, then, to love your neighbor. Break your bread to feed the hungry, and bring into your home the homeless poor; if you see someone naked, clothe him, and do not look down on your own flesh and blood.

What will you gain by doing this? Your light will then burst forth like the dawn. Your light is your God; he is your dawn, for he will come to you when the night of time is over. He does not rise or set but remains for ever.

In loving your neighbor and caring for him you are on a journey. Where are you traveling if not to the Lord God, to him whom we should love with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind? We have not yet reached his presence, but we have our neighbor at our side. Support, then, this companion of your pilgrimage if you want to come into the presence of the one with whom you desire to remain for ever.


RESPONSORY
God loved us first and sent his own Son to be the sacrifice that takes away our sin.
 - Since God has loved us so much surely we too should love one another.

We have come to know and to believe the love God has for us.
 - Since God has loved us so much surely we too should love one another.


COLLECT
O God, who in the blessed childbearing of the holy Virgin Mary
kept the flesh of your Son
free from the sentence incurred by the human race,
grant, we pray,
that we, who have been taken up into this new creation,
may be freed from the ancient taint of sin.
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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