Lent

THURSDAY - WEEK 1

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: Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

or:

Antiphon: Today if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.





Office of Readings
Psalter, Thursday, Week I

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
Lenten Hymns:
Now Let Us All With One Accord
Creator of the Earth and Skies


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.

               I
As for God, his ways are perfect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield
of all who make him their refuge.

For who is God but the Lord?
Who is a rock but our God?
the God who girds me with strength
and makes the path safe before me.

My feet you make swift as the deer's;
you have made me stand firm on the heights.
You have trained my hands for battle
and my hands to bend the heavy bow. Glory...

Antiphon 1 The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.


Antiphon 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord .

             II
You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me, trained me with care.
You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.

I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.
I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

You girded me with strength for battle;
you made my enemies fall beneath me,
you made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.

You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.
People unknown to me served me:
when they heard of me they obeyed me.

Foreign nations came to me cringing:
foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord .


Antiphon 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.

              III
Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,
the God who gives me redress
and subdues people under me.

You saved me from my furious foes.
You set me above my assailants.
You saved me from violent men,
so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
I will sing a psalm to your name.

He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord God, our strength and salvation, put in us the flame of your love and make our love for you grow to a perfect love which reaches to our neighbor.

Antiphon 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.


Whoever meditates on the law on the Lord
- will bring forth much fruit at harvest time.


FIRST READING

From the book of Exodus       12:1-20

The Passover and unleavened bread

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,  "This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel:

"On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.  If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole, with its head and shanks and inner organs. None of it must be kept beyond the next morning; whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.  

"This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the Lord.

"For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first--born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt-I, the Lord! But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. From the very first day you shall have your houses clear of all leaven. Whoever eats leavened bread from the first day to the seventh shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a sacred assembly, and likewise on the seventh. On these days you shall not do any sort of work, except to prepare the food that everyone needs.

"Keep, then, this custom of the unleavened bread. Since it was on this very day that I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt, you must celebrate this day throughout your generations as a perpetual institution. From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of this month you shall eat unleavened bread. For seven days no leaven may be found in your houses. Anyone, be he a resident alien or a native, who eats leavened food shall be cut off from the community of Israel. Nothing leavened may you eat; wherever you dwell you may eat only unleavened bread."


RESPONSORY          Revelation 5:8,9; see 1 Peter 1:18,19
The elders fell prostrate before the Lamb
and sang this new song:
 - by your blood, O Lord, you have ransomed us for God.

We have been redeemed not by perishable goods like gold and silver
but by the precious blood of Christ,
the lamb without spot or blemish.
 - by your blood, O Lord, you have ransomed us for God.


SECOND READING

From a homily by Saint Asterius of Amasea, bishop
(Hom. 13: PG 40, 355-358, 362)

Be shepherds like the Lord

You were made in the image of God. If then you wish to resemble him, follow his example. Since the very name you bear as Christians is a profession of love for men, imitate the love of Christ.

Reflect for a moment on the wealth of his kindness. Before he came as a man to be among men, he sent John the Baptist to preach repentance and lead men to practice it. John himself was preceded by the prophets, who were to teach the people to repent, to return to God and to amend their lives. Then Christ came himself, and with his own lips cried out: Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. How did he receive those who listened to his call? He readily forgave them their sins; he freed them instantly from all that troubled them. The Word made them holy; the Spirit set his seal on them. The old Adam was buried in the waters of baptism; the new man was reborn to the vigour of grace.

What was the result? Those who had been God’s enemies became his friends, those estranged from him became his sons, those who did not know him came to worship and love him.

Let us then be shepherds like the Lord. We must meditate on the Gospel, and as we see in this mirror the example of zeal and loving kindness, we should become thoroughly schooled in these virtues.

For there, obscurely, in the form of a parable, we see a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. When one of them was separated from the flock and lost its way, that shepherd did not remain with the sheep who kept together at pasture. No, he went off to look for the stray. He crossed many valleys and thickets, he climbed great and towering mountains, he spent much time and labour in wandering through solitary places until at last he found his sheep.

When he found it, he did not chastize it; he did not use rough blows to drive it back, but gently placed it on his own shoulders and carried it back to the flock. He took greater joy in this one sheep, lost and found, than in all the others.

Let us look more closely at the hidden meaning of this parable. The sheep is more than a sheep, the shepherd more than a shepherd. They are examples enshrining holy truths. They teach us that we should not look on men as lost or beyond hope; we should not abandon them when they are in danger or be slow to come to their help. When they turn away from the right path and wander, we must lead them back, and rejoice at their return, welcoming them back into the company of those who lead good and holy lives.


RESPONSORY          Zechariah 7:9; Matthew 6:14
Judge with true judgment,
 - and let each one be merciful and forgiving to his brother.

If you forgive the sins of others,
your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.
 - And let each one be merciful and forgiving to his brother.


COLLECT
Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord,
a spirit of always pondering on what is right
and of hastening to carry it out,
and, since without you we cannot exist,
may we be enabled to live according to your will.
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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