WEEK II - 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
Lord, in your anger, do not punish me.
A sinner in extreme danger prays earnestly to God
All his friends were standing at a distance. (Luke 23:49)
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;
do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
your hand has come down upon me.
Through your anger all my body is sick:
through my sin, there is no health in my limbs.
My guilt towers higher than my head;
it is a weight too heavy to bear. Glory...
Lord, in your anger, do not punish me.
Antiphon 2 Lord, you know all my longings.
My wounds are foul and festering,
the result of my own folly.
I am bowed and brought to my knees.
I go mourning all the day long.
All my frame burns with fever;
all my body is sick.
Spent and utterly crushed,
I cry aloud in anguish of heart.
O Lord, you know all my longing:
my groans are not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength is spent;
the very light has gone from my eyes.
My friends avoid me like a leper;
those closest to me stand afar off.
Those who plot against my life lay snares;
those who seek my ruin speak of harm,
planning treachery all the day long. Glory...
Lord, you know all my longings.
Antiphon 3 I will confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not abandon me, for you are my Savior.
But I am like the deaf who cannot hear,
like the dumb unable to speak.
I am like a man who hears nothing
in whose mouth is no defense.
I count on you, O Lord:
it is you, Lord God, who will answer.
I pray: Do not let them mock me,
those who triumph if my foot should slip."
For I am on the point of falling
and my pain is always before me.
I confess that I am guilty
and my sin fills me with dismay.
My wanton enemies are numberless
and my lying foes are many.
They repay me evil for good
and attack me for seeking what is right.
O Lord, do not forsake me!
My God, do not stay afar off!
Make haste and come to my help,
O Lord, my God, my savior! Glory...
"Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and be no longer stiff-necked. For the Lord, your God, is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who has no favorites, accepts no bribes; who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him. So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. The Lord, your God, shall you fear, and him shall you serve; hold fast to him and swear by his name. He is your glory, he, your God, who has done for you those great and terrible things which your own eyes have seen. Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy strong, and now the Lord, your God, has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.
"Love the Lord, your God, therefore, and always heed his charge: his statutes, decrees and commandments.
"It is not your children, who have not known it from experience, but you yourselves who must now understand the discipline of the Lord, your God; his majesty, his strong hand and outstretched arm; the signs and deeds he wrought among the Egyptians, on Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and on all his land; what he did to the Egyptian army and to their horses and chariots, engulfing them in the water of the Red Sea as they pursued you, and bringing ruin upon them even to this day; what he did for you in the desert until you arrived in this place; and what he did to the Reubenites Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, when the ground opened its mouth and swallowed them up out of the midst of Israel, with their families and tents and every living thing that belonged to them.
"With your own eyes you have seen all these great deeds that the Lord has done. Keep all the commandments, then, which I enjoin on you today, that you may be strong enough to enter in and take possession of the land into which you are crossing, and that you may have long life on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers he would give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
"I set before you here, this day, a blessing and a curse: a blessing for obeying the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today; a curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, but turn aside from the way I ordain for you today, to follow other gods, whom you have not known."
RESPONSORY 1 John 4:19; 5:3; 2:5
Let us love God, for he first loved us.
To love God means keeping his commandments,
- and his commandments are not burdensome.
The love of God reaches perfection
in those who are obedient to his word.
- And his commandments are not burdensome.
From the treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice, bishop
(Cap. 12, 13, 14: PG 65, 1171-1172)
All our love must be for God
No one who is in love with himself is capable of loving God. The man who loves God is the one who mortifies his self-love for the sake of the immeasurable blessings of divine love. Such a man never seeks his own glory but only the glory of God. If a person loves himself he seeks his own glory, but the man who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. Anyone alive to the love of God can be recognized from the way he constantly strives to glorify him by fulfilling all his commandments and by delighting in his own abasement. Because of his great majesty it is fitting that God should receive glory, but if he hopes to win God’s favor it becomes man to be humble. If we possess this love for God, we too will rejoice in his glory as Saint John the Baptist did, and we shall never stop repeating: His fame must increase, but mine must diminish.
I know a man who, though lamenting his failure to love God as much as he desires, yet loves him so much that his soul burns with ceaseless longing for God to be glorified, and for his own complete effacement. This man has no feeling of self importance even when he receives praise. So deep is his desire to humble himself that he never even thinks of his own dignity. He fulfills his priestly duty by celebrating the Liturgy, but his intense love for God is an abyss that swallows up all consciousness of his high office. His humility makes him oblivious of any honor it might bring him, so that in his own estimation he is never anything but a useless servant. Because of his desire for self abasement, he regards himself as though degraded from his office. His example is one that we ourselves should follow by fleeing from all honor and glory for the sake of the immeasurable blessings of God’s love, for he has loved us so much!
Anyone who loves God in the depths of his heart has already been loved by God. In fact, the measure of a man’s love for God depends upon how deeply aware he is of God’s love for him. When this awareness is keen it makes whoever possesses it long to be enlightened by the divine light, and this longing is so intense that it seems to penetrate his very bones. He loses all consciousness of himself and is entirely transformed by the love of God.
Such a man lives in this life and at the same time does not live in it, for although he still inhabits his body, he is constantly leaving it in spirit because of the love that draws him toward God. Once the love of God has released him from self-love, the flame of divine love never ceases to burn in his heart and he remains united to God by an irresistible longing. As the Apostle says: If we are taken out of ourselves it is for the love of God; if we are brought back to our senses it is for your sake.
RESPONSORY John 3:16; 1 John 4:10
God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son
- so that all who believe in him may not die but may have eternal life.
This is the meaning of love:
we did not love God;
he has loved us.
- So that all who believe in him may not die but may have eternal life.
Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
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.