WEEK 21 - 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 book of the prophet Jeremiah 4:5-8,13-28
The destroying enemy from the North
Thus says the Lord:
Proclaim it in Judah,
make it heard in Jerusalem;
Blow the trumpet through the land,
summon the recruits!
Say, "Fall in, let us march
to the fortified cities."
Bear the standard to Zion,
seek refuge without delay!
Evil I bring from the north,
and great destruction.
Up comes the lion from his lair,
the destroyer of nations has set out,
has left his place,
To turn your land into desolation,
till your cities lie waste and empty.
So gird yourselves with sackcloth,
mourn and wail:
"The blazing wrath of the Lord
is not turned away from us."
See! like storm clouds he advances,
like a hurricane his chariots;
Swifter than eagles are his steeds:
"Woe to us! we are ruined."
Cleanse your heart of evil, O Jerusalem,
that you may be saved.
How long must your pernicious thoughts
lodge within you?
Listen! They proclaim it from Dan,
from Mount Ephraim they announce destruction:
"Make this known to the nations,
announce it to Jerusalem:
The besiegers are coming from the distant land,
shouting their war cry against the cities of Judah."
Like watchmen of the fields they surround her,
for she has rebelled against me, says the Lord.
Your conduct, your misdeeds, have done this to you;
how bitter is this disaster of yours,
how it reaches to your very heart!
My breast! my breast! how I suffer!
The walls of my heart!
My heart beats wildly,
I cannot be still;
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet,
the alarm of war.
Ruin after ruin is reported;
the whole earth is laid waste.
In an instant my tents are ravaged;
in a flash, my shelters.
How long must I see that signal,
hear that trumpet sound!
Fools my people are,
they know me not;
Senseless children they are,
having no understanding;
They are wise in evil,
but know not how to do good.
I looked at the earth,
and it was waste and void;
at the heavens, and their light had gone out!
I looked at the mountains, and they were trembling,
and all the hills were crumbling!
I looked and behold, there was no man;
even the birds of the air had flown away!
I looked and behold, the garden land was a desert,
with all its cities destroyed
before the Lord, before his blazing wrath.
For thus says the Lord:
Waste shall the whole land be;
I will (not) wholly destroy it.
Because of this the earth shall mourn,
the heavens above shall darken;
I have spoken, I will not repent,
I have resolved, I will not turn back.
RESPONSORY See Jer. 4:24-26; 8:18; Ps 85:5
O God, before your blazing anger the whole earth shook with fear
Have mercy on us, O Lord;
- Do not destroy us.
Restore us again, O God, with you saving power, and do not be angry with us.
- Do not destroy us.
From a Commentary on Joel by Saint Jerome, priest
(PL 25, 967-968)
Return to me
Return to me with all your heart and show a spirit of repentance with fasting, weeping and mourning; so that while you fast now, later you may be satisfied, while you weep now, later you may laugh, while you mourn now, you may some day enjoy consolation. It is customary for those in sorrow or adversity to tear their garments. The gospel records that the high priest did this to exaggerate the charge against our Lord and Savior; and we read that Paul and Barnabas did so when they heard words of blasphemy. I bid you not to tear your garments but rather to rend your hearts which are laden with sin. Like wine skins, unless they have been cut open, they will burst of their own accord. After you have done this, return to the Lord your God, from whom you had been alienated by your sins. Do not despair of his mercy, no matter how great your sins, for great mercy will take away great sins.
For the Lord is gracious and merciful and prefers the conversion of a sinner rather than his death. Patient and generous in his mercy, he does not give in to human impatience but is willing to wait a long time for our repentance. So extraordinary is the Lord's mercy in the face of evil, that if we do penance for our sins, he regrets his own threat and does not carry out against us the sanctions he had threatened. So by the changing of our attitude, he himself is changed. But in this passage we should interpret "evil" to mean, not the opposite of virtue, but affliction, as we read in another place: Sufficient for the day are its own evils. And, again: If there is evil in the city, God did not create it.
In like manner, given all that we have said above - that God is kind and merciful, patient, generous with his forgiveness, and extraordinary in his mercy toward evil - lest the magnitude of his clemency make us lax and negligent, he adds this word through his prophet: Who knows whether he will not turn and repent and leave behind him a blessing? In other words, he says: "I exhort you to repentance, because it is my duty, and I know that God is inexhaustibly merciful, as David says: Have mercy on me, God, according to your great mercy, and in the depths of your compassion, blot out all my iniquities. But since we cannot know the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and knowledge of God, I will temper my statement, expressing a wish rather than taking anything for granted, and I will say: Who knows whether he will not turn and repent?" Since he says, Who, it must be understood that it is impossible or difficult to know for sure.
To these words the prophet adds: Offerings and libations for the Lord our God. What he is saying to us in other words is that, God having blessed us and forgiven us our sins, we will then be able to offer sacrifice to God.
RESPONSORY See Ps 24:4; 2 Cor 6:6; Col 2:14; Joel 2:13
Let everyone turn back to God, pure in heart and mind,
and love him without deceit,
- that the record of your sins may be blotted out.
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the Lord your God.
- That the record of your sins may be blotted out.
O God, who cause the minds of the faithful
to unite in a single purpose,
grant your people to love what you command
and to desire what you promise,
that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
our hearts may be fixed on that place
where true gladness is found.
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.