WEEK 17 - FRIDAY
Office of Readings
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 give thanks to the Lord, for his great love is without end.
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.
Rise up Lord, and come to my aid.
The Lord as Savior in time of persecution
They came together...and laid their plans to capture Jesus by treachury adn put him to death (Matthew 26:3-4)
O Lord, plead my cause against my foes;
fight those who fight me.
Take up your buckler and shield;
arise to help me.
O Lord, say to my soul:
I am your salvation.
But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord
and rejoice in his salvation.
My whole being will say:
Lord, who is like you?
Lying witnesses arise
and accuse me unjustly.
They repay me evil for good;
my soul is forlorn. Glory...
Antiphon 1 Rise up Lord, and come to my aid.
Antiphon 2 All powerful Lord, stand by me and defend me.
When they were sick I went into mourning,
afflicted with fasting.
My prayer was ever on my lips,
as for a brother, a friend.
I went as though mourning a mother,
bowed down with grief.
Now that I am in trouble they gather,
they gather and mock me.
They take me by surprise and strike me
and tear me to pieces.
They provoke me with mockery on mockery
and gnash their teeth. Glory..
All powerful Lord, stand by me and defend me.
Antiphon 3 My tongue will speak of your goodness all the day long.
O Lord, how long will you look on?
Come to my rescue!
Save my life from these raging beasts,
my soul from these lions.
I will thank you in the great assembly,
amid the throng I will praise you.
Do not let my lying foes
rejoice over me.
Do not let those who hate me unjustly
wink eyes at each other.
O Lord, you have seen, do not be silent,
do not stand afar off!
Awake, stir to my defense,
to my cause, O God!
Let there be joy for those who love my cause.
Let them say without end:
Great is the Lord who delights
Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,
and all day long of your praise. Glory..
My tongue will speak of your goodness all the day long.
My son, take my words to heart.
- Do as I say and you will live.
From the second letter of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians 11:30-12:13
Paul boasts of his weakness
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus knows, he who is blessed forever, that I do not lie. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus, in order to seize me, but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
I must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter. About this person I will boast, but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations.
Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
I have been foolish. You compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I am in no way inferior to these "superapostles," even though I am nothing. The signs of an apostle were performed among you with all endurance, signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. In what way were you less privileged than the rest of the churches, except that on my part I did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
RESPONSORY 2 Corinthians 12:9;4-7
Willingly I boast of my weakness,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me,
- for my power is made perfect in weakness.
We possess this treasure in earthen vessels
to show that this surpassing power comes from God.
- For my power is made perfect in weakness.
From the beginning of a letter to Polycarp by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr
(1,1-4,3: Funk 1, 247-249)
We must bear with everything for God, so that he in turn may bear with us
Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, who is bishop of the Church of Smyrna, or rather who has for his bishop God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, greetings and all good wishes.
Recognizing your devotion to God, firmly built as if upon a solid rock, I am full of thanksgiving to him for allowing me to see your blessed countenance - may I ever enjoy the sight of it in God! I beseech you by the grace with which you are endowed to press forward on your course and to exhort all men to salvation. Justify your episcopal dignity by your unceasing concern for the spiritual and temporal welfare of your flock; let unity, the greatest of all goods, be your preoccupation. Carry the burdens of all men as the Lord carries yours; have patience with all in charity, as indeed you do. Give yourself to prayer continually, ask for wisdom greater than you now have, keep alert with an unflagging spirit. Speak to each man individually, following God's example; bear the infirmities of all, like a perfect athlete of God. The greater the toil, the richer the reward.
If you love only your good disciples, you gain no merit; rather you must win over the more troublesome of them by kindness. The same salve does not heal all wounds; convulsions should be allayed with poultices. Be prudent as the serpent in all things, and innocent as the dove always. You are both body and soul; treat gently the manifestations of human fault, even as you pray for the knowledge of things invisible, and then you will lack nothing but abound in every blessing. Do as the circumstances require, like the pilot looking to the wind and the storm-tossed sailor to the harbor, that you may win your way to God with your people. Exercise self-discipline, for you are God's athlete; the prize is immortality and eternal life, as you know full well. In everything I am your devoted friend - I and my chains, which you have kissed.
Do not be overwhelmed by those who seem trustworthy and yet teach heresy. Remain firm, like the anvil under the hammer. The good athlete must take punishment in order to win. And above all we must bear with everything for God, so that he in turn may bear with us. Increase your zeal. Read the signs of the times. Look for him who is outside time, the eternal one, the unseen, who became visible for us; he cannot be touched and cannot suffer, yet he became subject to suffering and endured so much for our sake.
Do not neglect windows; after the Lord, it is you who must be their guardian. Nothing must be done without your approval, and you must do nothing without God's approval, as indeed is the case; stand firm. Services should be held often; seek out everyone by name. Do not look down upon slaves, whether men or women; yet they too should not be arrogant, but should give better service for the glory of God so as to gain from him a better freedom. They should not be anxious for their freedom to be bought at the community's expense, for they might then prove to be the slaves of their own desires.
RESPONSORY 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:10
Seek after integrity and holiness, faith and love, patience and gentleness;
- fight the good fight of faith
and take hold of eternal life.
I will bear all things for the sake of God's chosen,
that they may obtain salvation.
- Fight the good fight of faith
and take hold of eternal life.
O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.
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.