SATURDAY AFTER ASCENSION
Office of Readings
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 adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.
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.
Antiphon 1: Remember us, O Lord; come with your saving help, alleluia.
O give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever.
Who can tell the Lord's mighty deeds?
Who can recount all his praise?
They are happy who do what is right,
who at all times do what is just.
O Lord, remember me
out of the love you have for your people.
Come to me, Lord, with your help
that I may see the joy of your chosen ones
and may rejoice in the gladness of your nation
and share the glory of your people.
Our sin is the sin of our fathers;
we have done wrong, our deeds have been evil.
Our fathers when they were in Egypt
paid no heed to your wonderful deeds.
They forgot the greatness of your love,
at the Red Sea defied the Most High.
Yet he saved them for the sake of his name,
in order to make known his power.
He threatened the Red Sea; it dried up
and he led them through the deep as through the desert.
He saved them from the hand of the foe;
he saved them from the grip of the enemy.
The waters covered their oppressors;
not one of them was left alive.
Then they believed in his words:
then they sang his praises.
But they soon forgot his deeds
and would not wait upon his will.
They yielded to their cravings in the desert
and put God to the test in the wilderness.
He granted them the favor they asked
and sent disease among them.
Then they rebelled, envious of Moses and
of Aaron, who was holy to the Lord.
The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan
and buried the clan of Abiram.
Fire blazed up against their clan
and flames devoured the rebels. Glory...
Remember us, O Lord; come with your saving help, alleluia.
Antiphon 2 Keep it carefully in mind; the Lord our God has made a covenant with you, alleluia.
They forgot the God who was their savior,
who had done such great things in Egypt,
such portents in the land of Ham,
such marvels at the Red Sea.
For this he said he would destroy them,
but Moses, the man he had chosen,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn back his anger from destruction.
Then they scorned the land of promise;
they had no faith in his word.
They complained inside their tents
and would not listen to the voice of the Lord.
So he raised his hand to swear an oath
that he would lay them low in the desert;
would scatter their sons among the nations
and disperse them throughout the lands.
They bowed before the Baal of Peor;
ate offerings made to lifeless gods.
They roused him to anger with their deeds
and plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened.
Thus the plague was ended
and this was counted in his favor
from age to age for ever.
They provoked him at the waters of Meribah.
Through their fault it went ill with Moses;
for they made his heart grow bitter
and he uttered words that were rash. Glory...
Keep it carefully in mind; the Lord our God has made a covenant with you, alleluia.
Antiphon 3 Save your people, Lord; bring us together from among the nations, alleluia.
They failed to destroy the peoples
as the Lord had given command,
but instead they mingled with the nations
and learned to act as they did.
They worshipped the idols of the nations
and these became a snare to entrap them.
They even offered their own sons
and their daughters in sacrifice to demons.
They shed the blood of the innocent,
the blood of their sons and daughters
whom they offered to the idols of Canaan.
The land was polluted with blood.
So they defiled themselves by their deeds
and broke their marriage bond with the Lord
till his anger blazed against his people;
he was filled with horror at his chosen ones.
So he gave them into the hand of the nations
and their foes became their rulers.
Their enemies became their oppressors;
they were subdued beneath their hand.
Time after time God rescued them,
but in their malice they dared to defy him
and sank low through their guilt.
In spite of this he paid heed to their distress,
so often as he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant.
In the greatness of his love he relented
and he let them be treated with mercy
by all who held them captive.
O Lord, our God, save us!
Bring us together from among the nations
that we may thank your holy name
and make it our glory to praise you.
Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel,
for ever, from age to age.
Let all the people cry out:
Amen! Amen! Glory...
Save your people, Lord; bring us together from among the nations, alleluia.
God has given us a new birth into living hope, alleluia.
- By raising Jesus Christ from the dead, alleluia.
From the first letter of the apostle John 3:11-17
Love one another
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous.
Do not be amazed, then, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?
RESPONSORY 1 John 3:16,14
By this we have come to know the meaning of God's love:
Christ laid down his life for us,
- and we should lay down our lives for our brothers, alleluia.
We know that we have passed from death to life,
because we love our brothers.
- And we should lay down our lives for our brothers, alleluia.
From the treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract. 124, 5, 7: CCL 36, 685-687)
Two kinds of life
The Church recognizes two kinds of life as having been commended to her by God. One is a life of faith, the other a life of vision; one is a life passed on pilgrimage in time, the other in a dwelling place in eternity; one is a life of toil, the other of repose; one is spent on the road, the other in our homeland; one is active, involving labor, the other contemplative, the reward of labor.
The first kind of life is symbolized by the apostle Peter, the second by John. All of the first life is lived in this world, and it will come to an end with this world. The second life will be imperfect till the end of this world, but it will have no end in the next world. And so Christ says to Peter: Follow me; but of John he says: If I wish him to remain until I come, what is that to you? Your duty is to follow me.
You are to follow me by imitating my endurance of transient evils; John is to remain until my coming, when I will bring eternal blessings. A way of saying this more clearly might be: Your active life will be perfect if you follow the example of my passion, but to attain its full perfection John's life of contemplation must wait until I come.
Perfect patience is to follow Christ faithfully, even to death, but for perfect knowledge we must await his coming. Here, in the land of the dying, the sufferings of the world must be endured; there, in the land of the living, shall be seen the good things of the Lord.
Christ's words, I wish him to remain until I come, should not be taken to imply that John was to remain on earth until Christ's coming, but rather that he was to wait because it is not now but only when Christ comes that the life he symbolizes will find fulfillment. On the other hand, Christ says to Peter: Your duty is to follow me, because the life Peter symbolizes can attain its goal only by action here and now.
Yet we should make no mental separation between these great apostles. Both lived the life symbolized by Peter; both were to attain the life symbolized by John. Symbolically, one followed, the other remained, but living by faith they both endured the sufferings of this present life of sorrow and they both longed for the joys of the future life of happiness.
Nor were they alone in this. They were one with the whole Church, the bride of Christ, which will in time be delivered from the trials of this life and live for ever in the joy of the next. These two kinds of life were represented respectively by Peter and John, yet both apostles lived by faith in this present, passing life and in eternal life both have the joy of vision.
And so for the sake of all the saints inseparably united to the body of Christ, to guide them through the storms of this life, Peter, the chief of the apostles, received the keys of the kingdom of heaven with the power to bind and loose sins; and for the sake of those same saints, to plumb the depths of that other, hidden life, John the evangelist reclined on the breast of Christ.
For it is not only Peter but the whole Church that binds and looses from sin; and as for the sublime teaching of John about the Word, who in the beginning was God with God, and everything else he told us about Christ's divinity, and about the trinity and unity of the Godhead, which now, until the Lord comes, is all like a faint reflection in a mirror, but which will be seen face to face in the kingdom of heaven - it was not only John who drank in this teaching that came forth from the Lord's breast as from a fountain. All who belong to the Lord are to drink it in, each according to his capacity, and this is why the Lord himself has spread John's gospel throughout the world.
RESPONSORY 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Corinthians 4:14
The God of all grace has called us to glory in Christ Jesus.
- He will restore, support and strengthen us
after we have suffered for a little while, alleluia.
He who raised Jesus from the dead
will also raise us up with Jesus.
- He will restore, support and strengthen us
after we have suffered for a little while, alleluia.
O God, whose Son, at his Ascension to the heavens,
was pleased to promise the Holy Spirit to the Apostles,
grant, we pray,
that, just as they received manifold gifts of heavenly teaching,
so on us, too, you may bestow spiritual gifts.
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.