WEEK 21 - TUESDAY
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 worship our mighty King and Lord.
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.
Who can tell the pleasure,
Who recount the treasure,
By Your word imparted
To the simple hearted?
Word of mercy giving
Succour to the living;
Word of Life supplying
Comfort to the dying.
O that we, discerning
Its most holy learning
Lord may love and fear You
Evermore be near you.
Text: Henry Williams Baker; Melody: Ravenshaw 66.66, M. Weisse, W.H. Monk; Midi: Cyberhymnal
The Lord is just, he will defend the poor.
Prayer of thanksgiving
Blessed are the poor; the kingdom of heaven is theirs (Luke 6:20)
Lord, why do you stand afar off
and hide yourself in times of distress?
The poor man is devoured by the pride of the wicked:
he is caught in the schemes that others have made.
For the wicked man boasts of his heart's desires;
the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.
In his pride the wicked says: "He will not punish.
There is no God." Such are his thoughts.
His path is ever untroubled;
your judgment is far from his mind.
His enemies he regards with contempt.
He thinks: "Never shall I falter:
misfortune shall never be my lot."
His mouth is full of cursing, guile, oppression;
mischief and deceit are under his tongue.
He lies in wait among the reeds;
the innocent he murders in secret.
His eyes are on the watch for the helpless man.
He lurks in hiding like a lion in his lair;
he lurks in hiding to seize the poor;
he seizes the poor man and drags him away.
He crouches, preparing to spring,
and the helpless fall beneath such strength.
He thinks in his heart: "God forgets,
he hides his face, he does not see."
Antiphon 1 The Lord is just, he will defend the poor.
Antiphon 2 Lord, you know the burden of my sorrow.
Arise then, Lord, lift up your hand!
O God, do not forget the poor!
Why should the wicked spurn the Lord
and think in his heart: "God will not punish"?
But you have seen the trouble and sorrow,
you note it, you take it in hand.
The helpless trusts himself to you;
for you are the helper of the orphan.
Break the power of the wicked and the sinner!
Punish their wickedness till nothing remains!
The Lord is king for ever and ever.
The heathen shall perish from the land he rules.
Lord, you hear the prayer of the poor;
you strengthen their hearts; you turn your ear
to protect the rights of the orphan and oppressed:
so that mortal man may strike terror no more. Glory...
Lord, you know the burden of my sorrow.
Antiphon 3 The words of the Lord are true, like silver from the furnace.
A cry for God's help against powerful opponents
The Father sent His Son into the world to defend the poor (St. Augustine)
Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished;
truth has gone from the sons of men.
Falsehood they speak one to another,
with lying lips, with a false heart.
May the Lord destroy all lying lips,
the tongue that speaks high-sounding words,
those who say: "Our tongue is our strength;
our lips are our own, who is our master?"
"For the poor who are oppressed and the needy who groan
I myself will arise," says the Lord,
"I will grant them the salvation for which they thirst."
The words of the Lord are words without alloy,
silver from the furnace, seven times refined.
It is you, O Lord, who will take us in your care
and protect us for ever from this generation.
See how the wicked prowl on every side,
while the worthless are prized highly by the sons of men. Glory....
The words of the Lord are true, like silver from the furnace.
The Lord teaches the humble His way
- He guides the gentle hearted along the right path.
From the beginning of the book of Jeremiah 1:1-19
The call of the prophet Jeremiah
The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, of a priestly family in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin. The word of the Lord first came to him in the days of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and continued through the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the downfall and exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, son of Josiah, king of Judah.
The word of the Lord came to me thus:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.
"Ah, Lord God!" I said,
"I know not how to speak; I am too young."
But the Lord answered me,
Say not, "I am too young."
To whomever I send you, you shall go;
whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Have no fear before them,
because I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
Then the Lord extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,
See, I place my words in your mouth!
This day I set you
over nations and over kingdoms,
To root up and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.
The word of the Lord came to me with the question: What do you see, Jeremiah? "I see a branch of the watching-tree," I replied.
Then the Lord said to me: Well have you seen, for I am watching to fulfill my word.
A second time the word of the Lord came to me with the question: What do you see? "I see a boiling cauldron," I replied, "that appears from the north."
And from the north, said the Lord to me, evil will boil over upon all who dwell in the land.
Lo, I am summoning
all the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord;
Each king shall come and set up his throne
at the gateways of Jerusalem,
Opposite her walls all around
and opposite all the cities of Judah.
I will pronounce my sentence against them
for all their wickedness in forsaking me,
And in burning incense to strange gods
and adoring their own handiwork.
But do you gird your loins;
stand up and tell them
all that I command you.
Be not crushed on their account,
as though I would leave you crushed before them;
For it is I this day
who have made you a fortified city,
A pillar of iron, a wall of brass,
against the whole land:
Against Judah's kings and princes,
against its priests and people.
They will fight against you, but not prevail over you,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
RESPONSORY Jeremiah 1:5,9; Isaiah 42:6
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I consecrated you;
- I put my words in your mouth.
I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of justice;
I have appointed you as a covenant to all peoples,
as a light to all the nations.
- I put my words in your mouth.
From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom , bishop
(Hom. De diabolo tentatore 2,6: PG 49, 263-264)
Five paths of repentance
Would you like me to list also the paths of repentance? They are numerous and quite varied, and all lead to heaven.
A first path of repentance is the condemnation of your own sins: Be the first to admit your sins and you will be justified. For this reason, too, the prophet wrote: I said: I will accuse myself of my sins to the Lord, and you forgave the wickedness of my heart. Therefore, you too should condemn your own sins; that will be enough reason for the Lord to forgive you, for a man who condemns his own sins is slower to commit them again. Rouse your conscience to accuse you within your own house, lest it become your accuser before the judgment seat of the Lord.
That, then, is one very good path of repentance. Another and no less valuable one is to put out of our minds the harm done us by our enemies, in order to master our anger, and to forgive our fellow servants' sins against us. Then our own sins against the Lord will be forgiven us. Thus you have another way to atone for sin: For if you forgive your debtors, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
Do you want to know of a third path? It consists of prayer that is fervent, careful and comes from the heart.
If you want to hear of a fourth, I will mention almsgiving, whose power is great and far-reaching.
If, moreover, a man lives a modest, humble life, that, no less than the other things I have mentioned, takes sin away. Proof of this is the tax-collector who had no good deeds to mention, but offered his humility instead and was relieved of a heavy burden of sins.
Thus I have shown you five paths of repentance; condemnation of your own sins, forgiveness of our neighbor's sins against us, prayer, almsgiving and humility.
Do not be idle, then, but walk daily in all these paths; they are easy, and you cannot plead your poverty. For, though you live out your life amid great need, you can always set aside your wrath, be humble, pray diligently and condemn your own sins; poverty is no hindrance. Poverty is not an obstacle to our carrying out the Lord's bidding, even when it comes to that path of repentance which involves giving money (almsgiving, I mean). The widow proved that when she put her two mites into the box!
Now that we have learned how to heal these wounds of ours, let us apply the cures. Then, when we have regained genuine health, we can approach the holy table with confidence, go gloriously to meet Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
RESPONSORY Tobit 12:8-9; Luke 6:37-38
Prayer accompanied by fasting and giving up to the poor is good;
it is better to give to the poor than to store up gold,
- for giving to the poor expiates every sin.
Forgive and you shall be forgiven;
give and it shall be given to you.
- For giving to the poor expiates every sin.
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.