SATURDAY - WEEK 1
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 worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.
Antiphon: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.
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: Sing praise to the Lord; remember the wonders he has wrought.
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
tell all his wonderful works!
Be proud of his holy name,
let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, the judgments he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
O sons of the Jacob he chose,
he, the Lord, is our God;
his judgments prevail in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it for Jacob as a law,
for Israel as a covenant for ever.
He said: I am giving you a land,
Canaan, your appointed heritage."
When they were few in number,
a handful of strangers in the land,
when they wandered from country to country,
from one kingdom and nation to another,
he allowed no one to oppress them;
he admonished kings on their account:
"Do not touch those I have anointed;
do no harm to any of my prophets." Glory...
Antiphon 1 Sing praise to the Lord; remember the wonders he has wrought.
Antiphon 2 The Lord did not abandon the good man who was sold into slavery, but freed him from the power of sinners.
But he called down a famine on the land;
he broke the staff that supported them.
He had sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
His feet were put in chains,
his neck was bound with iron,
until what he said came to pass
and the word of the Lord proved him true.
Then the king sent and released him
the ruler of the people set him free,
making him master of his house
and ruler of all he possessed,
to instruct his princes as he pleased
and to teach his elders wisdom. Glory...
The Lord did not abandon the good man who was sold into slavery, but freed him from the power of sinners.
Antiphon 3 The Lord was true to his sacred promise; he led his people to freedom and joy.
So Israel came into Egypt;
Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
He gave his people increase;
he made them stronger than their foes,
whose hearts he turned to hate his people
and to deal deceitfully with his servants.
Then he sent Moses his servant
and Aaron the man he had chosen.
Through them he showed his marvels
and his wonders in the country of Ham.
He sent darkness, and dark was made
but Egypt resisted his words.
He turned the waters into blood
and caused their fish to die.
Their land was alive with frogs,
even to the halls of their kings.
He spoke; the dog-fly came
and gnats covered the land.
He sent hailstones in place of the rain
and flashing fire in their land.
He struck their vines and fig trees;
he shattered the trees through their land.
He spoke; the locusts came,
young locusts, too many to be counted.
They ate up every blade in the land;
they ate up all the fruit of their fields.
He struck all the first-born in their land,
the finest flower of their sons.
He led out Israel with silver and gold.
In his tribes were none who fell behind.
Egypt rejoiced when they left
for dread had fallen upon them.
He spread a cloud as a screen
and fire to give light in the darkness.
When they asked for food he sent quails;
he filled them with bread from heaven.
He pierced the rock to give them water;
it gushed forth in the desert like a river.
For he remembered his holy word,
which he gave to Abraham his servant.
So he brought out his people with joy,
his chosen ones with shouts of rejoicing.
And he gave them the land of the nations.
They took the fruit of other men's toil,
that thus they might keep his precepts,
that thus they might observe his laws. Glory...
The Israelites set out from Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting the children. A crowd of mixed ancestry also went up with them, besides their livestock, very numerous flocks and herds. Since the dough they had brought out of Egypt was not leavened, they baked it into unleavened loaves. They had been rushed out of Egypt and had no opportunity even to prepare food for the journey.
The time the Israelites had stayed in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. At the end of four hundred and thirty years, all the hosts of the Lord left the land of Egypt on this very date. This was a night of vigil for the Lord, as he led them out of the land of Egypt; so on this same night all the Israelites must keep a vigil for the Lord throughout their generations.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover. No foreigner may partake of it. However, any slave who has been bought for money may partake of it, provided you have first circumcised him. But no transient alien or hired servant may partake of it. It must be eaten in one and the same house; you may not take any of its flesh outside the house. You shall not break any of its bones. The whole community of Israel must keep this feast. If any aliens living among you wish to celebrate the Passover of the Lord, all the males among them must first be circumcised, and then they may join in its observance just like the natives. But no man who is uncircumcised may partake of it. The law shall be the same for the resident alien as for the native.
"When the Lord, your God, has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, which he swore to you and your fathers he would give you, you shall dedicate to the Lord every son that opens the womb; and all the male firstlings of your animals shall belong to the Lord. Every first-born of an ass you shall redeem with a sheep. If you do not redeem it, you shall break its neck. Every first-born son you must redeem.
"If your son should ask you later on, 'What does this mean?' you shall tell him, 'With a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, that place of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed every first-born in the land of Egypt, every first-born of man and of beast. That is why I sacrifice to the Lord everything of the male sex that opens the womb, and why I redeem every first-born of my sons.' Let this, then, be as a sign on your hand and as a pendant on your forehead: with a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt."
They offered to the Lord on his behalf
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
- Because the law of the Lord prescribed
that every firstborn male had to be consecrated to him.
From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council
(Gaudium et spes, No. 9-10)
Man's deeper questionings
The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.
The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.
Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them. and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.
Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.
Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed. Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.
There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.
But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?
The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfil his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved.
So too the Church believes that the centre and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.
The Church also affirms that underlying all changes there are many things that do not change; they have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.
RESPONSORY 1 Corinthians 15:55-56, 57; Lamentations 3:25
Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?
It is sin that gives death its sting.
- But thanks be to God,
who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
to all who search for him.
- But thanks be to God,
who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Turn our hearts to you, eternal Father,
and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary
and carrying out works of charity,
we may be dedicated to your worship.
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.