WEEK 25 - 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 book of the prophet Ezekiel 36:16-36
God's people will be restored in body, heart and spirit
Thus the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land, they defiled it by their conduct and deeds. In my sight their conduct was like the defilement of a menstruous woman. Therefore I poured out my fury upon them (because of the blood which they poured out on the ground, and because they defiled it with idols). I scattered them among the nations, dispersing them over foreign lands; according to their conduct and deeds I judged them. But when they came among the nations (wherever they came), they served to profane my holy name, because it was said of them: "These are the people of the Lord, yet they had to leave their land." So I have relented because of my holy name which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they came.
Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord God: Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you profaned among the nations to which you came. I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
I will save you from all your impurities; I will order the grain to be abundant, and I will not send famine against you. I will increase the fruit on your trees and the crops in your fields; thus you shall no longer bear among the nations the reproach of famine. Then you shall remember your evil conduct, and that your deeds were not good; you shall loathe yourselves for your sins and your abominations. Not for your sakes do I act, says the Lord God--let this be known to you! Be ashamed and abashed because of your conduct, O house of Israel.
Thus says the Lord God: When I purify you from all your crimes, I will repeople the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt; the desolate land shall be tilled, which was formerly a wasteland exposed to the gaze of every passer-by. "This desolate land has been made into a garden of Eden," they shall say. "The cities that were in ruins, laid waste, and destroyed are now repeopled and fortified." Thus the neighboring nations that remain shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have promised, and I will do it.
RESPONSORY Ezekiel 11:19-20,19
I will take away the heart of stone from their bodies
and give them a heart of flesh,
- so that they may walk in my ways;
and they shall be my people and I shall be their God.
I will give them a new heart
and put a new spirit within them.
- So that they may walk in my ways;
and they shall be my people and I shall be their God.
From a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 46,18-19: CCL 41, 544-546)
The Church, like a vine, spreads everywhere in her growth
They were scattered on every mountain and on every hill and over the entire face of the earth. What is the meaning of the phrase: They were scattered over the entire face of the earth? Some men continually strive for all the goods of the world, the goods that are so evident on the face of the earth; yes, they love and prize them. They do not want to die, to have their lives buried in Christ. Over the entire face of the earth: such men love earthly things; moreover such straying sheep are to be found over the entire face of the earth. They dwell indifferent places, but one mother, pride, has given birth to them all, just as one mother, our Catholic Church, has given birth to all faithful Christians scattered over the whole world.
Small wonder that pride gives birth to division, and love to unity. But our catholic mother is herself a shepherd; she seeks the straying sheep everywhere, strengthens the weak, heals the sick, and binds up the injured. They may not know one another, but she knows all of them because she reaches out to all her sheep.
Thus she is like a vine that is spread out everywhere in its growth. The straying sheep are like useless branches which because of their sterility are deservedly cut off, not to destroy the vine but to prune it. When these branches were cut down, they were left lying there. But the vine grew and flourished, and it knew both the branches that remained upon it and those that had been cut off and left lying beside it.
She calls the stray sheep back, however, because the Apostle said in reference to the broken branches: God has the power to graft them on again. Call them sheep straying from the flock or branches cut off from the vine, God is equally capable of calling back the sheep or of grafting the branches on again, for he is equally the chief shepherd and the true farmer. And they were scattered over the entire face of the earth, and there was no one to search for them, no one to call them back, that is to say, no one among those wicked shepherds. There was no one to search for them, that is, no one among men.
Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: I live, says the Lord God. Notice the beginning of this passage; it is as if "God were taking an oath, giving testimony to his own life. I live, says the Lord. The shepherds are dead, but the sheep are safe, for the Lord lives. I live, says the Lord God. Which shepherds are dead? Those who seek what is theirs and not what is Christ's. But will there be shepherds who seek what is Christ's and not what is theirs, and will they be found? There will indeed be such shepherds, and they will indeed be found; they are not lacking, nor will they be lacking in the future.
RESPONSORY 2 Corinthians 3:4, 6, 5
Through Christ we have full confidence in God,
- who has made us suitable ministers of his new covenant,
not of a written code but in the Spirit.
We know that we cannot of ourselves take credit for anything,
for all of our sufficiency comes from God.
- Who has made us suitable ministers of his new covenant,
not of a written code but in the Spirit.
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.