WEEK 25 - 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 Ezekiel 40:1-4; 43:1-12; 44:6-9
The vision of the restoration of Israel and the temple
On the tenth day of the month beginning the twenty-fifth year of our exile, fourteen years after the city was taken, that very day the hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me in divine visions to the land of Israel, where he set me down on a very high mountain. On it there seemed to be a city being built before me.
When he had brought me there, all at once I saw a man whose appearance was that of bronze; he was standing in the gate, holding a linen cord and a measuring rod. The man said to me, "Son of man, look carefully and listen intently, and pay strict attention to all that I will show you, for you have been brought here so that I might show it to you. Tell the house of Israel all that you see."
Then he led me to the gate which faces the east, and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision was like that which I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar. I fell prone as the glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate which faces the east, but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court. And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the Lord.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man stood beside me. The voice said to me: Son of man, this is where my throne shall be, this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will dwell among the Israelites forever. Never again shall they and their kings profane my holy name with their harlotries and with the corpses of their kings (their high places). When they placed their threshold against my threshold and their doorpost next to mine, so that only a wall was between us, they profaned my holy name by their abominable deeds; therefore I consumed them in my wrath. From now on they shall put far from me their harlotry and the corpses of their kings, and I will dwell in their midst forever.
As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel (that they may be ashamed of their sins), both its measurements and its design; (and if they are ashamed of all that they have done,) make known to them the form and design of the temple, its exits and entrances, all its statutes and laws; write these down for them to see, that they may carefully observe all its laws and statutes. This is the law of the temple: its whole surrounding area on the mountain top shall be most sacred.
Say to that rebellious house, the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord God: Enough of all these abominations of yours, O house of Israel! You have admitted foreigners, uncircumcised both in heart and flesh, to my sanctuary to profane it when you offered me food, fat, and blood; thus you have broken my covenant by all your abominations. Instead of caring for the service of my temple, you have appointed such as these to serve me in my sanctuary in your stead. Thus says the Lord God: No foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, shall ever enter my sanctuary; none of the foreigners who live among the Israelites.
RESPONSORY Ezekiel 43:4-5; see Luke 2:27
The glory of the Lord entered the temple by the eastward gate,
- and the house of God was filled with his splendor.
His parents took the Child Jesus into the temple.
- And the house of God was filled with his splendor.
From a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 46, 29-30: CCL 41, 555-557)
All good shepherds are one in the one shepherd
Christ is your shepherd and judge; he judges between his own sheep and other sheep. My sheep, he says, hear my voice and follow me.
In this statement I find that all good shepherds are one in the one shepherd. It is not that good shepherds are lacking; they are there in the one shepherd. When we speak of "many" we refer to those who are divided from each other. Here only one is spoken of, because in this passage unity is commended. The reason why shepherds are not mentioned here, but only one shepherd, is not because the Lord has failed to find anyone to whom to entrust his sheep; he entrusted the sheep to Peter because he had found Peter. Indeed, in the case of Peter he also commended the unity of the flock. there were many apostles, and yet to one only did he say: Feed my sheep. Do not imagine that there will be no more good shepherds, or that we shall find them lacking, or that the Lord's mercy will not produce and establish them.
Certainly, if there are good sheep there are also good shepherds; good sheep give rise to good shepherds. But all good shepherds are one in the one good shepherd; they form a unity. If only they feed the sheep, Christ is feeding the sheep. The friends of the bridegroom do not speak with their own voice, but they take great joy in listening to the bridegroom's voice. Christ himself is the shepherd when they act as shepherds. "I feed them," he says, because his voice is in their voice, his love in their love.
When he entrusted his sheep to Peter as one person to another, Christ chose to make Peter one with himself. He wanted to entrust him with the sheep in such a way that he himself might be the head and Peter might represent the body, that is, the Church. As bridegroom and bride, Christ and the Church were to be two in one flesh.
Accordingly, what does he say before he entrusts the sheep to Peter as to someone who is not separate from himself? Peter, do you love me? He answered: I love you. And again: Do you love me? He answered: I love you. And a third time: Do you love me? He answered: I love you. He receives an assurance of love in order to establish unity. Christ is the one shepherd who is one with the other shepherds, and in whom they themselves are one.
Shepherds are not mentioned, but they are not passed over. Shepherds have cause for pride, but if anyone boasts it should be in the Lord. This means that Christ should be the shepherd, that they should be shepherds for Christ, shepherds in Christ, not shepherds for themselves, apart from Christ. When the prophet said: I will feed my sheep, it was not because of a lack of shepherds, as though he were foretelling those evil times to come and saying: "I have no one to whom I can entrust my sheep." At a time when Peter himself, and the apostles too, were alive in the body, Christ, the one in whom alone all are one, said this: I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold; I must bring them in as well, so that there may be one flock and one shepherd.
All shepherds should therefore be one in the one good shepherd. All should speak with the one voice of the one shepherd, so that the sheep may hear and follow their shepherd; not this or that shepherd, but the one shepherd. All should speak with on e voice in Christ, not with different voices. Brethren, I beg all of you to say the same thing, and to have no dissensions among you. the sheep should hear this voice, a voice purified from all schism, freed from all heresy, and so follow their shepherd, who says: My sheep hear my voice and follow me.
Do not abandon your flock, O Lord;
- you are our good shepherd;
you never sleep, you watch over us always.
With your loving mercy, O Lord,
protect us from our deceitful enemy, the devil. - You are our good shepherd;
you never sleep, you watch over us always.
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law
upon love of you and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
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.