Lent

WEDNESDAY - WEEK 2

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, Wednesday, Week II

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: We groan in pain as we await the redemption of our bodies.

             I
I said: I will be watchful of my ways
for fear I should sin with my tongue.
I will put a curb on my lips
when the wicked man stands before me."
I was dumb, silent and still.
His prosperity stirred my grief.

My heart was burning within me.
At the thought of it, the fire blazed up
and my tongue burst into speech:
O Lord, you have shown me my end,
how short is the length of my days.
Now I know how fleeting is my life.

You have given me a short span of days;
my life is as nothing in your sight.
A mere breath, the man who stood so firm,
a mere shadow, the man passing by;
a mere breath the riches he hoards,
not knowing who will have them." Glory...

Antiphon 1 We groan in pain as we await the redemption of our bodies.


Antiphon 2 Hear and answer my prayer, O Lord, let me not weep in vain.

                    II
And now, Lord, what is there to wait for?
In you rests all my hope.
Set me free from all my sins,
do not make me the taunt of the fool.
I was silent, not opening my lips,
because this was all your doing.

Take away your scourge from me.
I am crushed by the blows of your hand.
You punish man's sins and correct him;
like the moth you devour all he treasures.
Mortal man is no more than a breath;
O Lord, hear my prayer.

O Lord, turn your ear to my cry.
Do not be deaf to my tears.
In your house I am a passing guest,
a pilgrim, like all my fathers.
Look away that I may breathe again
before I depart to be no more. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Through your Son you taught us, Father, not to be fearful of tomorrow but to commit our lives to your care. Do not withhold your Spirit from us but help us find a life of peace after these days of trouble..

Antiphon 2 Hear and answer my prayer, O Lord, let me not weep in vain.




Antiphon 3 I have put all my trust in God's never-failing mercy.

Why do you boast of your wickedness,
you champion of evil,
planning ruin all day long,
your tongue like a sharpened razor,
you master of deceit?

You love evil more than good,
lies more than truth.
You love the destructive word,
you tongue of deceit.

For this God will destroy you
and remove you for ever.
He will snatch you from your tent and uproot you
from the land of the living.

The just shall see and fear.
They shall laugh and say:
So this is the man who refused
to take God as a stronghold,
but trusted in the greatness of his wealth
and grew powerful by his crimes."

But I am like a growing olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the goodness of God
for ever and ever.

I will thank you for evermore;
for this is your doing.
I will proclaim that your name is good,
in the presence of your friends. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Father, you cut down the unfruitful branch for burning and prune the fertile to make it bear more fruit. Make us grow like laden olive trees in your domain, firmly rooted in the power and mercy of your Son, so that you may gather from us fruit worthy of eternal life.

Antiphon 3 I have put all my trust in God's never-failing mercy.


Turn back to the Lord and do penance.
- Be renewed in heart and spirit.


FIRST READING

From the book of Exodus       17:1-16

The water from the rock. The war against Amalek

From the desert of Sin the whole Israelite community journeyed by stages, as the Lord directed, and encamped at Rephidim.

Here there was no water for the people to drink. They quarreled, therefore, with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses replied, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to a test?" Here, then, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?"

So Moses cried out to the Lord, "What shall I do with this people? A little more and they will stone me!" The Lord answered Moses, "Go over there in front of the people, along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink." This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.   The place was called Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled there and tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord in our midst or not?"   

At Rephidim, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, "Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."

So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses' hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write this down in a document as something to be remembered, and recite it in the ears of Joshua: I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens."   Moses also built an altar there, which he called Yahweh-nissi; for he said, "The Lord takes in hand his banner; the Lord will war against Amalek through the centuries."


RESPONSORY          Isaiah 12:3, 4; see John 4:14
With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation,
 - and on that day you will say:
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name.

The water I shall give you will become in you
a spring welling up to eternal life.
 - and on that day you will say:
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name.


SECOND READING

From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
(Lib 4, 14, 2-3; 15, 1: SC 100, 542, 548)

Through foreshadowing of the future, Israel was learning reverence for God and perseverance in his service

From the beginning God created man out of his own generosity. He chose the patriarchs to give them salvation. He took his people in hand, teaching them, unteachable as they were, to follow him. He gave them prophets, accustoming man to bear his Spirit and to have communion with God on earth. He who stands in need of no one gave communion with himself to those who need him. Like an architect he outlined the plan of salvation to those who sought to please him. By his own hand he gave food in Egypt to those who did not see him. To those who were restless in the desert he gave a law perfectly suited to them. To those who entered the land of prosperity he gave a worthy inheritance. He killed the fatted calf for those who turned to him as Father, and clothed them with the finest garment. In so many ways he was training the human race to take part in the harmonious song of salvation.

For this reason John in the book of Revelation says: His voice was as the voice of many waters. The Spirit of God is indeed a multitude of waters, for the Father is rich and great. As the Word passed among all these people he provided help in generous measure for those who were obedient to him, by drawing up a law that was suitable and fitting for every circumstance.

He established a law for the people governing the construction of the tabernacle and the building of the temple, the choice of Levites, the sacrifices, the offerings, the rites of purification and the rest of what belonged to worship.

He himself needs none of these things. He is always filled with all that is good. Even before Moses existed he had within himself every fragrance of all that is pleasing. Yet he sought to teach his people, always ready though they were to return to their idols. Through many acts of indulgence he tried to prepare them for perseverance in his service. He kept calling them to what was primary by means of what was secondary, that is, through foreshadowings to the reality, through things of time to the things of eternity, through things of the flesh to the things of the spirit, through earthly things to the heavenly things. As he said to Moses: You will fashion all things according to the pattern that you saw on the mountain.

For forty days Moses was engaged in remembering the words of God, the heavenly patterns, the spiritual images, the foreshadowings of what was to come. Saint Paul says: They drank from the rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. After speaking of the things that are in the law he continues: All these things happened to them as symbols: they were written to instruct us, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Through foreshadowings of the future they were learning reverence for God and perseverance in his service. The law was therefore a school of instruction for them, and a prophecy of what was to come.


RESPONSORY          Galatians 3:24-25,23
The law was our guardian till Christ came
and made it possible for us to be reconciled to God by faith.
 - And now that the time of faith has come,
we are under that guardian no longer.

Before the time of faith came,
the law kept us strictly in check,
watching us closely until faith should be revealed.
 - And now that the time of faith has come,
we are under that guardian no longer.


COLLECT
Keep your family, O Lord,
schooled always in good works,
and so comfort them with your protection here
as to lead them graciously to gifts on high.
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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