Lent

WEDNESDAY - WEEK V

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 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: I love you Lord; you are my strength.

                I
I love you, Lord, my strength,
my rock, my fortress, my savior.
My God is the rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.
The Lord is worthy of all praise,
when I call I am saved from my foes.

The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the snares of the grave entangled me;
the traps of death confronted me.

In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears. Glory...

Antiphon 1 I love you Lord; you are my strength.


Antiphon 2 The Lord has saved me; he wanted me for his own.

                II
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the mountains were shaken to their base:
they reeled at his terrible anger.
Smoke came forth from his nostrils
and scorching fire from his mouth:
coals were set ablaze by its heat.

He lowered the heavens and came down,
a black cloud under his feet.
He came enthroned on the cherubim,
he flew on the wings of the wind.

He made the darkness his covering,
the dark waters of the clouds, his tent.
A brightness shone out before him
with hailstones and flashes of fire.

The Lord thundered in the heavens;
The Most High let his voice be heard.
He shot his arrows, scattered the foe,
flashed his lightnings and put them to flight.

The bed of the ocean was revealed;
the foundations of the world were laid bare
at the thunder of your threat, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your anger.

From on high he reached down and seized me;
he drew me forth from the mighty waters.
he snatched me from my powerful foe,
from my enemies whose strength I could not match.

They assailed me in the day of my misfortune,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me forth into freedom,
he saved me because he loved me. Glory...

Antiphon 2 The Lord has saved me; he wanted me for his own.


Antiphon 3 Lord, kindle a light for my guidance and scatter my darkness.

               III
He rewarded me because I was just,
repaid me, for my hands were clean,
for I have kept the way of the Lord,
and have not fallen away from my God.

For his judgments are all before me:
I have never neglected his commands.
I have always been upright before him;
I have kept myself from guilt.

He repaid me because I was just
and my hands were clean in his eyes.
You are loving with those who love you:
you show yourself perfect with the perfect.

With the sincere you show yourself sincere,
but the cunning you outdo in cunning.
For you save a humble people
but humble the eyes that are proud.

You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.
With you I can break through any barrier,
with my God I can scale any wall. 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 Lord, kindle a light for my guidance and scatter my darkness.


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


FIRST READING

From the letter to the Hebrews       6:9-20

The fidelity of God is our hope

We are sure in your regard, beloved, of better things related to salvation, even though we speak in this way. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones. We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.    

When God made the promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, "he swore by himself," and said, "I will indeed bless you and multiply" you. And so, after patient waiting, he obtained the promise.   

Human beings swear by someone greater than themselves; for them an oath serves as a guarantee and puts an end to all argument. So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose, he intervened with an oath, so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.


RESPONSORY          Hebrews 6:19-20; 7:24-25
Jesus, our forerunner, has passed beyond the veil on our behalf;
he has become a high priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.
 - For all eternity he lives and intercedes for us.

Because he can never lose his priesthood,
there is no limit to his power to save all
who come to God through him.
 - For all eternity he lives and intercedes for us.


SECOND READING

From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ps. 85, 1: CCL 39, 1176-1177)

Jesus prays for us and in us and is the object of our prayers

God could give no greater gift to men than to make his Word, through whom he created all things, their head and to join them to him as his members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father, and one man with all men. The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from him, and when the body of the Son prays it does not separate its head from itself: it is the one Saviour of his body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our head, he is the object of our prayers as our God.

Let us then recognise both our voice in his, and his voice in ours. When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Christ that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite himself with us. Every creature is his servant, for it was through him that every creature came to be.

We contemplate his glory and divinity when we listen to these words: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made. Here we gaze on the divinity of the Son of God, something supremely great and surpassing all the greatness of his creatures. Yet in other parts of Scripture we hear him as one sighing, praying, giving praise and thanks.

We hesitate to attribute these words to him because our minds are slow to come down to his humble level when we have just been contemplating him in his divinity. It is as though we were doing him an injustice in acknowledging in a man the words of one with whom we spoke when we spoke when we prayed to God; we are usually at a loss and try to change the meaning. Yet our minds find nothing in Scripture that does not go back to him, nothing that will allow us to stray from him.

Our thoughts must then be awakened to keep their vigil of faith. We must realise that the one whom we were contemplating a short time before in his nature as God took to himself the nature of a servant; he was made in the likeness of men and found to be a man like others; he humbled himself by being obedient even to accepting death; as he hung on the cross he made the psalmist’s words his own: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We pray to him as God, he prays for us as a servant. In the first case he is the Creator, in the second a creature. Himself unchanged, he took to himself our created nature in order to change it, and made us one man with himself, head and body. We pray then to him, through him, in him, and we speak along with him and he along with us.


RESPONSORY          John 16:24,23
Until now you have asked for nothing in my name,
 - ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.

I promise you that the father will give you
anything in my name.
 - Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.


COLLECT
Grant us, we pray, O Lord,
perseverance in obeying your will,
that in our days the people dedicated to your service
may grow in both merit and number.
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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