THURSDAY - WEEK IV

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: The Lord is risen, alleluia.






Office of Readings
Psalter, Thursday, Week IV

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.

HYMN

Christ the Lord is Risen Today
The Day of Resurrection

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: Their own strength could not save them; it was your strength and the light of your face, alleluia.

                    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 Their own strength could not save them; it was your strength and the light of your face, alleluia.


Antiphon 2 Turn back to the Lord; he will not hide his face, alleluia.

                        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 Turn back to the Lord; he will not hide his face, alleluia.


Antiphon 3 Arise, Lord, do not abandon us for ever, alleluia.

                       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 Jesus, you foretold that we would share in the persecutions that brought you to a violent death. The Church formed at the cost of your precious blood is even now conformed to your Passion; may it be transformed, now and eternally, by the power of your resurrection.

Antiphon 3 Arise, Lord, do not abandon us forevver, alleluia.


God raised the Lord to life, alleluia,
- Through his power he will also raise us up, alleluia.


FIRST READING

From the book of Revelation       15:5-16:21

The seven bowls of God's wrath

After this I had another vision. The temple that is the heavenly tent of testimony opened, and the seven angels with the seven plagues came out of the temple. They were dressed in clean white linen, with a gold sash around their chests. One of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls filled with the fury of God, who lives forever and ever. Then the temple became so filled with the smoke from God's glory and might that no one could enter it until the seven plagues of the seven angels had been accomplished.

 I heard a loud voice speaking from the temple to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of God's fury upon the earth." The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth. Festering and ugly sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast or worshiped its image.  The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea. The sea turned to blood like that from a corpse; every creature living in the sea died. The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water. These also turned to blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just, O Holy One, who are and who were, in passing this sentence. For they have shed the blood of the holy ones and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink; it is what they deserve."

Then I heard the altar cry out, "Yes, Lord God almighty, your judgments are true and just." The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun. It was given the power to burn people with fire. People were burned by the scorching heat and blasphemed the name of God who had power over these plagues, but they did not repent or give him glory. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast. Its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and people bit their tongues in pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their works. The sixth angel emptied his bowl on the great river Euphrates. Its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East.  

I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. These were demonic spirits who performed signs. They went out to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle on the great day of God the almighty.

"Behold, I am coming like a thief." Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his clothes ready, so that he may not go naked and people see him exposed. They then assembled the kings in the place that is named Armageddon in Hebrew. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done."

Then there were lightning flashes, rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake. It was such a violent earthquake that there has never been one like it since the human race began on earth. The great city was split into three parts, and the gentile cities fell. But God remembered great Babylon, giving it the cup filled with the wine of his fury and wrath. Every island fled, and mountains disappeared. Large hailstones like huge weights came down from the sky on people, and they blasphemed God for the plague of hail because this plague was so severe.


RESPONSORY          Mt. 24:43; Rv. 16:15; 1 Thess. 5:3
If the head of the household knew when the thief was coming,
surely he would keep watch.
 - See, I come like a thief, says the Lord;
blessed is he who keeps watch, alleluia.

Just when people are saying:
Now peace and security are ours,
suddenly ruin will come upon them.
 - See, I come like a thief, says the Lord;
blessed is he who keeps watch, alleluia.


SECOND READING

From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract. 65, 1-3: CCL 36, 490-492)

The new commandment

A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.  This commandment that he is giving them is a new one, the Lord Jesus tells his disciples. Yet was it not contained in the Old Law, where it is written: You shall love your neighbor as yourself? Why does the Lord call it new when it is clearly so old? Or is the commandment new because it divests us of our former selves and clothes us with the new man? Love does indeed renew the man who hears, or rather obeys its command; but only that love which Jesus distinguished from a natural love by the qualification: As I have loved you.

This is the kind of love that renews us. When we love as he loved us we become new men, heirs of the new covenant and singers of the new song. My brothers, this was the love that even in bygone days renewed the holy men, the patriarchs and prophets of old. In later times it renewed the blessed apostles, and now it is the turn of the Gentiles. From the entire human race throughout the world this love gathers together into one body a new people, to be the bride of God's only Son. She is the bride of whom it is asked in the Song of Songs: Who is this who comes clothed in white? White indeed are her garments, for she has been made new; and the source of her renewal is none other than this new commandment.

And so all her members make each other's welfare their common care. When one member suffers, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is glorified all the rest rejoice. They hear and obey the Lord's words: A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; not as men love one another for their own selfish ends, nor merely on account of their common humanity, but because they are all gods and sons of the Most High. They love one another as God loves them so that they may be brothers of his only Son. He will lead them to the goal that alone will satisfy them, where all their desires will be fulfilled. For when God is all in all, there will be nothing left to desire.

This love is the gift of the Lord who said: As I have loved you, you also must love one another. His object in loving us, then, was to enable us to love each other. By loving us himself, our mighty head has linked us all together as members of his own body, bound to one another by the tender bond of love.


RESPONSORY          1 John 4:21; Matthew 22:40
God has given us this commandment:
 - whoever loves God must also love his brother, alleluia.

On these two commandments rest the whole law and the prophets,
 - Whoever loves God must also love his brother, alleluia.


COLLECT
O God, who restore human nature
to yet greater dignity than at its beginnings,
look upon the amazing mystery of your loving kindness,
and in those you have chosen to make new
through the wonder of rebirth
may you preserve the gifts
of your enduring grace and blessing.
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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