Lent

THURSDAY - WEEK III

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 III

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: Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.

Psalm 89:39-53
Lament for the fall of David's dynasty
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of David his servant. (Luke 1:69)

                      I
And yet you have spurned, rejected,
you are angry with the one you have anointed.
You have broken your covenant with your servant
and dishonored his crown in the dust.

You have broken down all his walls
and reduced his fortresses to ruins.
He is despoiled by all who pass by;
he has become the taunt of his neighbors.

You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have made his sword give way,
you have not upheld him in battle.

You have brought his glory to an end;
you have hurled his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the years of his youth;
you have heaped disgrace upon him. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.


Antiphon 2 I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star .


                           II
How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself for ever?

How long will your anger burn like a fire?
Remember, Lord, the shortness of my life
and how frail you have made the sons of men.
What man can live and never see death?
Who can save himself from the grasp of the grave?

Where are the mercies of the past, O Lord,
which you have sworn in your faithfulness to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant is taunted,
how I have to bear all the insults of the peoples.
Thus your enemies taunt me, O Lord,
mocking your anointed at every step.

Blessed be the Lord for ever.
Amen, amen! Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord, God of mercy and fidelity, you made a new and lasting pact with men and sealed it in the blood of your Son. Forgive the folly of our disloyalty and make us keep your commandments, so that in our new covenant we may be witnesses and heralds of your faithfulness and love on earth, and sharers of your glory in heaven.

Antiphon 2 I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star .


Antiphon 3 Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.

Psalm 90
May we live in the radiance of God
There is no time with God; a thousand years, a single day: it is all one. (2 Peter 3:8)

                    
O Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to the next.
Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth,
you are God, without beginning or end.

You turn men back to dust
and say: Go back, sons of men.
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
no more than a watch in the night.

You sweep men away like a dream,
like the grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers:
by evening it withers and fades.

So we are destroyed in your anger,
struck with terror in your fury.
Our guilt lies open before you;
our secrets in the light of your face.

All our days pass away in your anger.
Our life is over like a sigh.
Our span is seventy years,
or eighty for those who are strong.

And most of these are emptiness and pain.
They pass swiftly and we are gone.
Who understands the power of your anger
and fears the strength of your fury?

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity to your servants.

In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction
for the years when we knew misfortune.

Show forth your work to your servants;
let your glory shine on their children.
Let the favor of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands.
give success to the work of our hands. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Eternal Father, you give us life despite our guilt and even add days and years to our lives in order to bring us wisdom. Make us love and obey you, that the work of our hands may always display what your hands have done, until the day we gaze upon the beauty of your face.

Antiphon 3 Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.


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


FIRST READING

From the book of Exodus       34: 10-28

The second version of the Book of the Covenant

The Lord said to Moses, "Here is the covenant I will make. Before the eyes of all your people I will work such marvels as have never been wrought in any nation anywhere on earth, so that this people among whom you live may see how awe-inspiring are the deeds which I, the Lord, will do at your side. But you, on your part, must keep the commandments I am giving you today.

"I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Take care, therefore, not to make a covenant with these inhabitants of the land that you are to enter; else they will become a snare among you.  Tear down their altars; smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their sacred poles.  

"You shall not worship any other god, for the Lord is 'the Jealous One'; a jealous God is he. Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of that land; else, when they render their wanton worship to their gods and sacrifice to them, one of them may invite you and you may partake of his sacrifice. Neither shall you take their daughters as wives for your sons; otherwise, when their daughters render their wanton worship to their gods, they will make your sons do the same.

"You shall not make for yourselves molten gods.

"You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days at the prescribed time in the month of Abib you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you; for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.

"To me belongs every first-born male that opens the womb among all your livestock, whether in the herd or in the flock. The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with one of the flock; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. The first-born among your sons you shall redeem.

"No one shall appear before me empty-handed.

"For six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; on that day you must rest even during the seasons of plowing and harvesting.  

"You shall keep the feast of Weeks with the first of the wheat harvest; likewise, the feast at the fruit harvest at the close of the year.

"Three times a year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. Since I will drive out the nations before you to give you a large territory, there will be no one to covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the Lord, your God.

""You shall not offer me the blood of sacrifice with leavened bread, nor shall the sacrifice of the Passover feast be kept overnight for the next day.

"The choicest first fruits of your soil you shall bring to the house of the Lord, your God.

"You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk."

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with them I have made a covenant with you and with Israel."

So Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.


RESPONSORY          John 1:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 3:18
The law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
 - No one has ever seen God.
It is the only Son who is closest to the Father's heart who has made him known to us.

Reflecting the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces,
we grow ever more radiant
as we are transformed into his likeness.
 - No one has ever seen God.
It is the only Son who is closest to the Father's heart who has made him known to us.


SECOND READING

From the treatise On Prayer by Tertullian, priest
(Cap. 28-29; CCL 1, 273-274)

The spiritual offering of prayer

Prayer is the offering in spirit that has done away with the sacrifices of old. What good do I receive from the multiplicity of your sacrifices? asks God. I have enough of burnt offerings of rams, and I do not want the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and goats. Who has asked for these from your hands?

What God has asked for we learn from the Gospel. The hour will come, he says, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.  God is a spirit and so he looks for worshipers who are like himself.

We are true worshipers and true priests. We pray in spirit, and so offer in spirit the sacrifice of prayer. Prayer is an offering that belongs to God and is acceptable to him: it is the offering he has asked for, the offering he planned as his own.

We must dedicate this offering with our whole heart, we must fatten it on faith, tend it by truth, keep it unblemished through innocence and clean through chastity, and crown it with love. We must escort it to the altar of God in a procession of good works to the sound of psalms and hymns. Then it will gain for us all that we ask of God.

Since God asks for prayer offered in spirit and in truth, how can he deny anything to this kind of prayer? How great is the evidence of its power, as we read and hear, and believe.

Of old, prayer was able to rescue from fire and beasts and hunger, even before it received its perfection from Christ. How much greater then is the power of Christian prayer. No longer does prayer bring an angel of comfort to the heart of a fiery furnace, or close up the mouths of lions, or transport to the hungry food from the fields. No longer does it remove all sense of pain by the grace it wins for others. But it gives the armor of patience to those who suffer, who feel pain, who are distressed. It strengthens the power of grace, so that faith may know what it is gaining from the Lord, and understand what it is suffering for the name of God.

In the past, prayer was able to bring down punishment, rout armies, withhold the blessing of rain. Now, however, the prayer of the just turns aside the whole anger of God, keeps vigil for its enemies, pleads for persecutors. Is it any wonder that it can call down water from heaven when it could obtain fire from heaven as well? Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God. But Christ has willed that it should work no evil, and has given it all power over good.

Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent from their chains. Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travelers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.

All the angels pray. Every creature prays. Cattle and wild beasts pray and bend the knee. As they come from their barns and caves they look up to heaven and call out, lifting up their spirit in their own fashion. The birds too rise and lift themselves up to heaven: they open out their wings, instead of hands, in the form of a cross and give voice to what seems to be a prayer.

What more need be said on this duty of prayer? Even the Lord himself prayed. To him be honor and power for ever and ever. Amen.


RESPONSORY          John 4:23-24
Those who worship the Father
will worship him in spirit and in truth.
 - The Father seeks such worshippers as these.

God is spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in spirit and truth.
 - The Father seeks such worshippers as these.


COLLECT
We implore your majesty most humbly, O Lord,
that, as the feast of our salvation draws ever closer,
so we may press forward all the more eagerly
towards the worthy celebration of the Paschal Mystery.
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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