Ordinary Time

WEEK 12 - THURSDAY

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 into the Lord's presence, singing for joy.





Office of Readings
Psalter, Thursday Week IV

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. (Alleluia.)


HYMN

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Beneath the shadow of your throne
Your saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is your arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting you are God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in your sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all our lives away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be now our guide while life shall last,
And our eternal home.
Text: Isaac Watts; Melody: St. Anne C. M.


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Their own strength could not save them; it was your strength and the light of your face.

Psalm 44
The misfortune of God's people
We triumph over all these things through him who loved us (Romans 8:37)

                    I
We heard with our own ears, O God,
our fathers have told us the story
of the things you did in their days,
you yourself, in days long ago.

To plant them you uprooted the nations;
to let them spread you laid peoples low.
No sword of their own won the land;
no arm of their own brought them victory.
It was your right hand, your arm
and the light of your face; for you loved them.

It is you, my king, my God,
who granted victories to Jacob.
Through you we beat down our foes;
in your name we trampled down our aggressors.

For it was not in my bow that I trusted
nor yet was I saved by my sword:
it was you who saved us from our foes,
it was you who put our foes to shame.
All day long our boast was in God
and we praised your name without ceasing. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Their own strength could not save them; it was your strength and the light of your face.


Antiphon 2 Turn back to the Lord; he will not hide his face.

                        II
Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced us;
you no longer go forth with our armies.
You make us retreat from the foe
and our enemies plunder us at will.

You make us like sheep for the slaughter
and scatter us among the nations.
You sell your own people for nothing
and make no profit by the sale.

You make us the taunt of our neighbors,
the laughing stock of all who are near.
Among the nations, you make us a byword,
among the peoples a thing of derision.

All day long my disgrace is before me;
my face is covered with shame
at the voice of the taunter, the scoffer,
at the sight of the foe and avenger. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Turn back to the Lord; he will not hide his face.


Antiphon 3 Arise, Lord, do not abandon us forever.

                       III
This befell us though we had not forgotten you,
though we had not been false to your covenant,
though we had not withdrawn our hearts;
though our feet had not strayed from your path.
Yet you have crushed us in a place of sorrows
and covered us with the shadow of death.

Had we forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to another god
would not God have found this out,
he who knows the secrets of the heart?
It is for you that we face death all day long
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep?
Arise, do not reject us for ever!
Why do you hide your face
and forget our oppression and misery?

For we are brought down low to the dust;
our body lies prostrate on the earth.
Stand up and come to our help!
Redeem us because of your love! Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord Jesus, you foretold that we would share in the persecutions that brought you to a violent death. The Church formed at the cost of your precious blood is even now conformed to your Passion; may it be transformed, now and eternally, by the power of your resurrection.

Antiphon 3 Arise, Lord, do not abandon us forever..


Let the light of your face shine on me, O Lord
- Teach me your way of holiness.


FIRST READING

From the first book of Samuel       21:2-10;22:1-5

The flight of David

David went to Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, who came trembling to meet him and asked, "Why are you alone? Is there no one with you?" David answered the priest: "The king gave me a commission and told me to let no one know anything about the business on which he sent me or the commission he gave me. For that reason I have arranged a meeting place with my men. Now what have you on hand? Give me five loaves, or whatever you can find."   But the priest replied to David, "I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that." David answered the priest: "We have indeed been segregated from women as on previous occasions. Whenever I go on a journey, all the young men are consecrated--even for a secular journey. All the more so today, when they are consecrated at arms!" So the priest gave him holy bread, for no other bread was on hand except the showbread which had been removed from the Lord'S presence and replaced by fresh bread when it was taken away. One of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; his name was Doeg the Edomite, and he was Saul's chief henchman.

David then asked Ahimelech: "Do you have a spear or a sword on hand? I brought along neither my sword nor my weapons, because the king's business was urgent."
  
The priest replied: "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Vale of the Terebinth, is here wrapped in a mantle  behind an ephod. If you wish to take that, take it; there is no sword here except that one." David said: "There is none to match it. Give it to me!"

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his family heard about it, they came down to him there. He was joined by all those who were in difficulties or in debt, or who were embittered, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.

From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Let my father and mother stay with you, until I learn what God will do for me."   He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David remained in the refuge.

But the prophet Gad said to David: "Do not remain in the refuge. Leave, and go to the land of Judah." And so David left and went to the forest of Hereth. in the refuge. Leave, and go to the land of Judah." And so David left and went to the forest of Hereth.


RESPONSORY          Romans 7:6; Mark 2:25,26
We have been set free from the law;
we are dead to that which held us bound.
 - Now we serve in the new way of the spirit
and not under the old bondage of the written law.

Have you not read what David did when he was hungry?
How he went into the house of God and ate the consecrated bread?
 - Now we serve in the new way of the spirit
and not under the old bondage of the written law.


SECOND READING

From a homily by St. Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
(Orat. 6 De beatitudinibus: PG 44, 1263-1266)

God is like an inaccessible rock

Consider the feelings of a man who looks down into the depths of the sea from the top of a mountain. This is similar to my own experience when the voice of the Lord from on high, as from a mountaintop, reached the unfathomable depths of my intellect. Along the seacoast, you may often see mountains facing the sea. It is as though they had been sliced in two, with a sheer drop from top to bottom. At the top a projection forms a ledge overhanging the depths below. If a man were to look down from that ledge, he would be overcome by dizziness. In this same way my soul grows dizzy when it hears the great voice of the Lord saying: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

The vision of God is offered to those who have purified their hearts. Yet, no man has seen God at any time. These are the words of the great Saint John and they are confirmed by Saint Paul's lofty thought, in the words: God is he whom no one has seen or can see. He is that smooth, steep and sheer rock, on which the mind can find no secure resting place to get a grip or lift ourselves up. In the view of Moses, he is inaccessible. In spite of every effort, our minds cannot approach him. We are cut off by the words: No man can see God and live. And yet, to see God is eternal life. But John, Paul and Moses, pillars of our faith, all testify that it is impossible to see God. Look at the dizziness that affects the soul drawn to contemplating the depths of these statements. If God is life, then he who does not see God does not see life. Yet God cannot be seen; the apostles and prophets, inspired by the Holy Spirit, have testified to this. Into what straits is man's hope driven!

Yet God does raise and sustain our flagging hopes. He rescued Peter from drowning and made the sea into a firm surface beneath his feet. He does the same for us; the hands of the Word of God are stretched out to us when we are out of our depth, buffeted and lost in speculation. Grasped firmly in his hands, we shall be without fear: Blessed are the pure of heart, he says, for they shall see God.


RESPONSORY          John 1:18; Psalm 145:3
No one has ever seen God;
 - the only Son of God, nearest to the Father's heart,
has made him known.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;
his greatness is beyond our understanding.
 - The only Son of God, nearest to the Father's heart,
has made him known.


COLLECT
Grant, O Lord,
that we may always revere and love your holy name,
for you never deprive of your guidance
those you set firm on the foundation of your love.
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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