SUNDAY - 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: See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.
Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.
He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.
Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand,
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom. Glory...
See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.
Antiphon 2 Here is a king of my own choosing who will rule on Mount Zion.
Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
"Come, let us break their fetters,
come, let us cast off their yoke."
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger,
his rage will strike them with terror.
"It is I who have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain."
I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me: "You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I will bequeath you the nations,
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them,
shatter them like a potter's jar."
Now, O kings, understand,
take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish;
for suddenly his anger will blaze.
Blessed are they who put their trust in God. Glory...Psalm Prayer: Lord God, you gave the peoples of the world to be the inheritance of your only Son; you crowned him as king of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your Church as his bride. As he proclaims the law of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so share his royal power forever.
Here is a king of my own choosing who will rule on Mount Zion.
Antiphon 3 Lord, you are my protector; you have raised me up in glory.
How many are my foes, O Lord!
How many are rising up against me!
How many are saying about me:
There is no help for him in God.
But you, Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, who lift up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord.
He answers from his holy mountain.
I lie down to rest, and I sleep.
I wake, for the Lord upholds me.
I will not fear even thousands of people
who are ranged on every side against me.
Arise, Lord; save me, my God,
you who strike my foes on the mouth,
you who break the teeth of the wicked!
O Lord of salvation, bless your people! Glory....
After that, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Let my people go, that they may celebrate a feast to me in the desert." Pharaoh answered, "Who is the Lord, that I should heed his plea to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord; even if I did, I would not let Israel go." They replied, "The God of the Hebrews has sent us word. Let us go a three days' journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the Lord, our God; otherwise he will punish us with pestilence or the sword."
The king of Egypt answered them, "What do you mean, Moses and Aaron, by taking the people away from their work? Off to your labor! Look how numerous the people of the land are already," continued Pharaoh, "and yet you would give them rest from their labor!"
That very day Pharaoh gave the taskmasters and foremen of the people this order: "You shall no longer supply the people with straw for their brickmaking as you have previously done. Let them go and gather straw themselves! Yet you shall levy upon them the same quota of bricks as they have previously made. Do not reduce it. They are lazy; that is why they are crying, 'Let us go to offer sacrifice to our God.' Increase the work for the men, so that they keep their mind on it and pay no attention to lying words."
So the taskmasters and foremen of the people went out and told them, "Thus says Pharaoh: I will not provide you with straw. Go and gather the straw yourselves, wherever you can find it. Yet there must not be the slightest reduction in your work." The people, then, scattered throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw, while the taskmasters kept driving them on, saying, "Finish your work, the same daily amount as when your straw was supplied."
The foremen of the Israelites, whom the taskmasters of Pharaoh had placed over them, were beaten, and were asked, "Why have you not completed your prescribed amount of bricks yesterday and today, as before?"
Then the Israelite foremen came and made this appeal to Pharaoh: "Why do you treat your servants in this manner? No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told to make bricks. Look how your servants are beaten! It is you who are at fault." Pharaoh answered, "It is just because you are lazy that you keep saying, 'Let us go and offer sacrifice to the Lord.' Off to work, then! Straw shall not be provided for you, but you must still deliver your quota of bricks."
The Israelite foremen knew they were in a sorry plight, having been told not to reduce the daily amount of bricks. When, therefore, they left Pharaoh and came upon Moses and Aaron, who were waiting to meet them, they said to them, "The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his servants and have put a sword in their hands to slay us."
Moses again had recourse to the Lord and said, "Lord, why do you treat this people so badly? And why did you send me on such a mission? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has maltreated this people of yours, and you have done nothing to rescue them."
Then the Lord answered Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. Forced by my mighty hand, he will send them away; compelled by my outstretched arm, he will drive them from his land."
RESPONSORY Exodus 5:1,3
Moses stood before the Pharoah and said:
These are the words of the Lord God of Israel:
- Let my people go
so that they may keep a feast in my honor in the wilderness.
The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you with this message:
- Let my people go
so that they may keep a feast in my honor in the wilderness.
From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ps. 60, 2-3: CCL 39, 766)
In Christ we suffered temptation, and in him we overcame the devil
Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer. Who is speaking? An individual, it seems. See if it is an individual: I cried out to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish. Now it is no longer one person; rather, it is one in the sense that Christ is one, and we are all his members. What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth? The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance. It was said to him: Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as your possession. This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth. What does it cry? What I said before: Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer; I cried out to you from the ends of the earth.’ That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth; that is, on all sides.
Why did I make this cry? While my heart was in anguish. The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.
Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.
The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.
He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan. We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained salvation for you; he suffered death in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.
If in Christ we have been tempted, in him we overcome the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. He could have kept the devil from himself; but if he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation.
RESPONSORY Jeremiah 1:19, 39:18
They will fight against you, but shall not defeat you,
- for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
You shall not fall by the sword;
I will keep you safe.
- for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord
Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding
of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
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.