WEEK 31 - MONDAY
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: Let us approach the Lord with praise and thanksgiving.
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.
Almighty Father, with your Son
and blessed Spirit, hear our prayer.
Teach us to love eternal truth
and seek its freedom everywhere.
Melody: Warrington LM, R. Harrison, 1810; Text: Stanbrook Abbey; Midi:Cyberhymnal
Our God will be made manifest; he will not come in silence.
Genuine love of God
I have come not to abolish the law but to bring it to perfection (see Matthew 5:17)
The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion's perfect beauty he shines.
Our God comes, he keeps silence no longer.
Before him fire devours,
around him tempest rages.
He calls on the heavens and the earth
to witness his judgment of his people.
"Summon before me my people
who made covenant with me by sacrifice."
The heavens proclaim his justice,
for he, God, is the judge. Glory...
Our God will be made manifest; he will not come in silence.
Antiphon 2: Offer to God the sacrifice of praise.
"Listen, my people, I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you,
for I am God, your God.
I accuse you, lay the charge before you.
I find no fault with your sacrifices,
your offerings are always before me.
I do not ask more bullocks from your farms,
nor goats from among your herds.
For I own all the beasts of the forest,
beasts in their thousands on my hills.
I know all the birds in the sky,
all that moves in the field belongs to me.
Were I hungry, I would not tell you,
for I own the world and all it holds.
Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God
and render him your votive offerings.
Call on me in the day of distress.
I will free and you shall honor me." Glory...
Offer to God the sacrifice of praise.
Antiphon 3: I want a loving heart more than sacrifice, knowledge of my ways more than holocausts.
But God says to the wicked:
"But how can you recite my commandments
and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise my law
and throw my words to the winds,
you who see a thief and go with him;
who throw in your lot with adulterers,
who unbridle your mouth for evil
and whose tongue is plotting crime,
you who sit and malign your brother
and slander your own mother's son.
You do this, and should I keep silence?
Do you think that I am like you?
Mark this, you who never think of God,
lest I seize you and you cannot escape;
a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me
and I will show God's salvation to the upright." Glory....
I want a loving heart more than sacrifice, knowledge of my ways more than holocausts.
Listen my people and I will speak.
- I am the Lord, your God.
From the first book of Maccabees 1:41-63
The persecution of the Jews by Antiochus
King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many Israelites were in favor of his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.
The king sent messengers with letters to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, ordering them to follow customs foreign to their land; to prohibit holocausts, sacrifices, and libations in the sanctuary, to profane the sabbaths and feast days, to desecrate the sanctuary and the sacred ministers, to build pagan altars and temples and shrines, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, to leave their sons uncircumcised, and to let themselves be defiled with every kind of impurity and abomination, so that they might forget the law and change all their observances. Whoever refused to act according to the command of the king should be put to death.
Such were the orders he published throughout his kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people, and he ordered the cities of Judah to offer sacrifices, each city in turn.
Many of the people, those who abandoned the law, joined them and committed evil in the land. Israel was driven into hiding, wherever places of refuge could be found.
On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five, the king erected the horrible abomination upon the altar of holocausts, and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars. They also burnt incense at the doors of houses and in the streets. Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt. Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant, and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree.
So they used their power against Israel, against those who were caught, each month, in the cities. On the twenty-fifth day of each month they sacrificed on the altar erected over the altar of holocausts. Women who had had their children circumcised were put to death, in keeping with the decree, with the babies hung from their necks; their families also and those who had circumcised them were killed.
But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Terrible affliction was upon Israel.
RESPONSORY Daniel 9:18; Acts 4:29
Open your eyes and see our plight;
the nations have surrounded us
in order to punish us.
- Reach out your arm to us
and save us.
Look upon their threats,
and help your servants to preach your word
with all boldness.
From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council
(Gaudium et spes, nn. 82-83)
Reeducation for peace
Men must not be content simply to support the efforts of others in the work for peace; they must also scrutinize their own attitudes. Statesmen, responsible as they are for the common good of their own nation and at the same time for the well-being of the whole world, are very much dependent on the opinions and convictions of the general public. Their efforts to secure peace are of no avail as long as men are divided or set against each other by feelings of hostility, contempt and distrust, by racial hatred or by inflexible ideologies. There is then a very great and urgent need to reeducate men and to provide fresh inspiration in the field of public opinion.
Those engaged in education, especially among young people, and those who influence public opinion, should consider it a very serious responsibility to work for the reeducation of mankind to a new attitude toward peace. We must all undergo a change of heart. We must look out on the whole world and see the tasks that we can all do together to promote the well-being of the family of man. We must not be misled by a false sense of hope. Unless antagonism and hatred are abandoned, unless binding and honest agreements are concluded, safeguarding universal peace in the future, mankind, already in grave peril, may well face in spite of its marvelous advance in knowledge that day of disaster when it knows no other peace than the awful peace of death.
In saying this, however, the Church of Christ, living as it does in the midst of these anxious times, continues unwaveringly in hope. Time and again, in season and out of season, it seeks to proclaim to our age the message of the Apostle: Now is the hour of God’s favor, the hour for change of heart; now is the day of salvation.
To build peace, the causes of human discord which feed the fires of war must first be eliminated, and among these especially the violations of justice. Many of these causes are due to gross economic inequality and delay in providing necessary remedies. Others arise from a spirit of domination and from a contempt for others, and, among more fundamental causes, from human envy, distrust, pride and other forms of selfishness. Since man cannot bear so many violations of due order, the result is that, even where war does not rage, the world is constantly plagued by human conflict and acts of violence.
The same evils are also found in relations between nations. It is therefore absolutely necessary that international institutions should cooperate more effectively, more resolutely and with greater coordination of effort, in order to overcome or prevent these evils, and to check unbridled acts of violence. There must also be constant encouragement for the creation of organizations designed to promote peace.
RESPONSORY See Sir. 23:2; Is. 37:35; Ps. 34:14
I have put in your heart an understanding of wisdom,
says the Lord;
I have heard your prayer
and I will defend this city
- so that there will be peace in your time.
Turn from evil and do good,
seek peace and pursue it.
- So that there will be peace in your time.
Almighty and merciful God,
by whose gift your faithful offer you
right and praiseworthy service,
grant, we pray,
that we may hasten without stumbling
to receive the things you have promised.
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.