WEEK 24 - 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 praise the Lord; in him is all our delight.
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.
Praise the Holy Trinity,
Holy God, Mighty God,
God Immortal, be adored.
To Jesus Christ give glory,
God’s co-eternal Son;
As members of His Body
we live in Him as one.
Now praise the Holy Spirit,
poured forth upon the earth;
Who sanctifies and guides us,
Confirmed in our rebirth.
Melody: Mainz 76.76 with Refrain
Text: Omer Westendorf, 1961
My God, do not reject my cry for help, assailed as I am by the wicked.
Against a false friend.
Jesus was filled with fear and great distress. (Mark 14:33)
O God, listen to my prayer,
do not hide from my pleading,
attend to me and reply;
with my cares, I cannot rest.
I tremble at the shouts of the foe,
at the cries of the wicked;
for they bring down evil upon me.
They assail me with fury.
My heart is stricken within me,
death's terror is on me,
trembling and fear fall upon me
and horror overwhelms me.
O that I had wings like a dove
to fly away and be at rest.
So I would escape far away
and take refuge in the desert.
I would hasten to find a shelter
from the raging wind,
from the destructive storm, O Lord,
and from their plotting tongues. Glory...
My God, do not reject my cry for help, assailed as I am by the wicked.
Antiphon 2 The Lord himself will free us from hostile and treacherous hands.
For I can see nothing
but violence and strife in the city.
Night and day they patrol
high on the city walls.
It is full of wickedness and evil;
it is full of sin.
Its streets are never free
from tyranny and deceit.
If this had been done by an enemy
I could bear his taunts.
If a rival had risen against me,
I could hide from him.
But it is you, my own companion,
my intimate friend!
How close was the friendship between us.
We talked together in harmony
in the house of God. Glory...
The Lord himself will free us from hostile and treacherous hands.
Antiphon 3 Entrust your cares to the Lord; he will sustain you.
As for me, I will cry to God
and the Lord will save me.
Evening, morning and at noon
I will cry and lament.
He will deliver my soul in peace
in the attack against me;
for those who fight me are many,
c but he hears my voice.
God will hear and will humble them,
the eternal judge;
for they will not amend their ways.
They have no fear of God.
The traitor has turned against his friends;
he has broken his word.
His speech is softer than butter,
but war is in his heart,
His words are smoother than oil,
but they are naked swords.
Entrust your cares to the Lord
and he will support you.
He will never allow
the just man to stumble.
But you, O God, will bring them down
to the pit of death.
Deceitful and bloodthirsty men
shall not live half their days.
O Lord, I will trust in you. Glory...
Entrust your cares to the Lord; he will sustain you.
Children, listen to my words of wisdom.
- Pay attention to my counsels.
From the book of the prophet Ezekiel 16:3,5b-7a,8-15,35,37a,40-43,59-63
Jerusalem, the adulterous spouse of the Lord
Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. You were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome, the day you were born.
Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood. I said to you: Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field. You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty. Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love. So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness; I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you; you became mine, says the Lord God. Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil. I clothed you with an embroidered gown, put sandals of fine leather on your feet; I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms, a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose, pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver; your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food. You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen. You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was, because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God.
But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by, whose own you became.
Therefore, harlot, hear the word of the Lord! I will now gather together all your lovers whom you tried to please, whether you loved them or loved them not; They shall lead an assembly against you to stone you and hack you with their swords. They shall burn your apartments with fire and inflict punishments on you while many women look on. Thus I will put an end to your harlotry, and you shall never again give payment. When I have wreaked my fury upon you I will cease to be jealous of you, I will be quiet and no longer vexed. Because you did not remember what happened when you were a girl, but enraged me with all these things, therefore in return I am bringing down your conduct upon your head, says the Lord God. For did you not add lewdness to the rest of your abominable deeds?
For thus speaks the Lord God: I will deal with you according to what you have done, you who despised your oath, breaking a covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you. Then you shall remember your conduct and be ashamed when I take your sisters, those older and younger than you, and give them to you as daughters, even though I am not bound by my covenant with you. For I will re-establish my covenant with you, that you may know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be covered with confusion, and that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord God.
RESPONSORY See Isaiah 54:6,8; Ezekiel 16:60
I have called you back, like a forsaken wife;
for a brief moment of anger, I hid my face from you;
- with an everlasting love I have had compassion on you,
says the Lord your redeemer.
I will remember the covenant I made with you
when you were a young woman,
and I will make a covenant with you
that will last for ever.
- With an everlasting love I have had compassion on you,
says the Lord your redeemer.
From a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 46,10-11: CCL 41, 536-538)
Prepare your soul for temptation
You have already been told about the wicked things shepherds desire. Let us now consider what they neglect. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick and to bind up what was injured, that is, what was broken. You did not call back the straying sheep, nor seek out the lost. What was strong you have destroyed. Yes, you have cut it down and killed it. The sheep is weak, and so, incautious and unprepared, it may give in to temptations.
The negligent shepherd fails to say to the believer: My son, come to the service of God, stand fast in fear and in righteousness, and prepare your soul for temptation. A shepherd who does say this strengthens the one who is weak and makes him strong. Such a believer will then not hope for the prosperity of this world. For if he has been taught to hope for worldly gain, he will be corrupted by prosperity. When adversity comes, he will be wounded or perhaps destroyed.
The builder who builds in such manner is not building the believer on a rock but upon sand. But the rock was Christ. Christians must imitate Christ's sufferings, not set their hearts on pleasures. He who is weak will be strengthened when told: "Yes, expect the temptations of this world, but the Lord will deliver you from them all if your heart has not abandoned him. For it was to strengthen your heart that he came to suffer and die, came to be spit upon and crowned with thorns, came to be accused of shameful things, yes, came to be fastened to the wood of the cross. All these things he did for you, and you did nothing. He did them not for himself, but for you."
But what sort of shepherds are they who for rear of giving offense not only fait to prepare the sheep for the temptations that threaten, but even promise them worldly happiness? God himself made no such promise to this world. On the contrary, God foretold hardship upon hardship in this world until the end of time. And you want the Christian to be exempt from these troubles? Precisely because he is a Christian, he is destined to suffer more in this world.
For the Apostle says: All who desire to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. But you, shepherd, seek what is yours and not what is Christ's, you disregard what the Apostle says: All who want to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. You say instead: "If you live a holy life in Christ, all good things will be yours in abundance. If you do not have children, you will embrace and nourish all men, and none of them shall die." Is this the way you build up the believer? Take note of what you are doing and where you are placing him. you have built him on sand. The rains will come, the river will overflow and rush in, the winds will blow, and the elements will dash against that house of yours. It will fall, and its ruin will be great.
Lift him up from the sand and put him on the rock. Let him be in Christ, if you wish him to be a Christian. Let him turn his thoughts to sufferings, however unworthy they may be in comparison to Christ's. Let him center his attention on Christ, who was without sin, and yet made restitution for what he had not done. Let him consider Scripture, which says to him: He chastises every son whom he acknowledges. Let him prepare to be chastised, or else not seek to be acknowledged as a son.
RESPONSORY 1 Thessalonians 2:4,3
God has found us worthy to be ministers of his Gospel,
and so when we speak,
- we strive to please God and not men.
Our preaching does not spring from error, or impure motives,
or a desire to deceive.
- We strive to please God and not men.
Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
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.