Ordinary Time

WEEK 31 - SATURDAY

Office of Readings



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If Morning Prayer is the first Office of the day, begin below.

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 God who holds the world and its wonders in his creating hand.





Office of Readings
Psalter, Saturday Week III

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.
Amen. (Alleluia.)


HYMN

Lord Jesus, once you spoke to men
Upon the mountain, in the plain;
O help us listen now as then,
And wonder at your words again.

We all have secret fears to face,
Our minds and motives to amend;
We seek your truth, we need your grace.
Our living Lord and present Friend.

The Gospel speaks, and we receive
Your light, your love, your own command.
O help us live what we believe
In daily work of heart and hand.
Text: H.C.A. Gaunt; Melody: Winchester


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Let us praise the Lord for his mercy and for the wonderful things he has done for us.

Psalm 107
Thanksgiving for deliverance
This is God's message to the sons of Israel; the good news of peace proclaimed through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36).

                    I
"O give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever."

Let them say this, the Lord's redeemed,
whom he redeemed from the hand of the foe
and gathered from far-off lands,
from east and west, north and south.

Some wandered in the desert, in the wilderness,
finding no way to a city they could dwell in.
Hungry they were and thirsty;
their soul was fainting within them.

Then they cried to the Lord in their need
and he rescued them from their distress
and he led them along the right way,
to reach a city they could dwell in.

Let them thank the Lord for his love,
for the wonders he does for men:
for he satisfies the thirsty soul;
he fills the hungry with good things.

Some lay in darkness and in gloom,
prisoners in misery and chains,
having defied the words of God
and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He crushed their spirit with toil;
they stumbled; there was no one to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their need
and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them forth from darkness and gloom
and broke their chains to pieces.

Let them thank the Lord for his goodness,
for the wonders he does for men:
for he bursts the gates of bronze
and shatters the iron bars. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Let us praise the Lord for his mercy and for the wonderful things he has done for us.


Antiphon 2 We have seen the works of God, the marvels he has done.

                     II
Some were sick on account of their sins
and afflicted on account of their guilt.
They had a loathing for every food;
they came close to the gates of death.

Then they cried to the Lord in their need
and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word to heal them
and saved their life from the grave.

Let them thank the Lord for his love,
for the wonders he does for men.
Let them offer a sacrifice of thanks
and tell of his deeds with rejoicing.

Some sailed to the sea in ships
to trade on the mighty waters.
These men have seen the Lord's deeds,
the wonders he does in the deep.

For he spoke; he summoned the gale,
tossing the waves of the sea
up to heaven and back into the deep;
their souls melted away in their distress.

They staggered, reeled like drunken men,
for all their skill was gone.
Then they cried to the Lord in their need
and he rescued them from their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper:
all the waves of the sea were hushed.
They rejoiced because of the calm
and he led them to the haven they desired.

Let them thank the Lord for his love,
for the wonders he does for men.
Let them exalt him in the gathering of the people
and praise him in the meeting of the elders. Glory...

Antiphon 2 We have seen the works of God, the marvels he has done.


Antiphon 3 Those who love the Lord will see and rejoice; they will understand his loving kindness.

                    III
He changes streams into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
fruitful land into a salty waste,
for the wickedness of those who live there.

But he changes desert into streams,
thirsty ground into springs of water.
There he settles the hungry
and they build a city to dwell in.

They sow fields and plant their vines;
these yield crops for the harvest.
He blesses them; they grow in numbers.
He does not let their herds decrease.

He pours contempt upon princes,
makes them wander in trackless wastes.
They diminish, are reduced to nothing
by oppression, evil and sorrow.

But he raises the needy from distress;
makes families numerous as a flock.
The upright see it and rejoice
but all who do wrong are silenced.

Whoever is wise, let him heed these things.
And consider the love of the Lord. Glory...

Psalm Prayer:You fill the hungry with good things, Lord God, and break the sinner's chains. Hear your people who call to you in their need and lead your Church from the shadows of death. Gather us from sunrise to sunset that we may grow together in faith and love and give lasting thanks for your kindness.

Antiphon 3 Those who love the Lord will see and rejoice; they will understand his loving kindness.


Your truth, O God, is high as the clouds.
- Lord, your goodness is deep as the oceans.


FIRST READING

From the first book of Maccabees           9:1-22

The death of Judas in battle

When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he again sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah, along with the right wing of his army. They took the road to Galilee, and camping opposite the ascent at Arbela, they captured it and killed many people.

In the first month of the year one hundred and fifty-two, they encamped against Jerusalem. Then they set out for Berea with twenty thousand men and two thousand cavalry. Judas, with three thousand picked men, had camped at Elasa. When his men saw the great number of the troops, they were very much afraid, and many slipped away from the camp, until only eight hundred men remained.

As Judas saw that his army was melting away just when the battle was imminent, he was panic-stricken, because he had no time to gather them together. But in spite of his discouragement, he said to those who remained: "Let us go forward to meet our enemies; perhaps we can put up a good fight against them." They tried to dissuade him, saying: "We certainly cannot. Let us save our lives now, and come back with our kinsmen, and then fight against them. Now we are too few." But Judas said: "Far be it from me to do such a thing as to flee from them! If our time has come, let us die bravely for our kinsmen and not leave a stain upon our glory!"

Then the army of Bacchides moved out of camp and took its position for combat. The cavalry were divided into two squadrons, and the slingers and the archers came on ahead of the army, and all the valiant men were in the front line. Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two squadrons, the phalanx attacked as they blew their trumpets. Those who were on Judas' side also blew their trumpets. The earth shook with the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until evening.

Seeing that Bacchides was on the right, with the main force of his army, Judas, with all the most stouthearted rallying to him, drove back the right wing and pursued them as far as the mountain slopes. But when the men on the left wing saw that the right wing was driven back, they turned and followed Judas and his men, taking them in the rear. The battle was fought desperately, and many on both sides fell wounded. Then Judas fell, and the rest fled.

Jonathan and Simon took their brother Judas and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein. All Israel bewailed him in great grief. They mourned for him many days, and they said, "How the mighty one has fallen, the savior of Israel!"

The other acts of Judas, his battles, the brave deeds he performed, and his greatness have not been recorded; but they were very many.


RESPONSORY          See Maccabees 4:8,9,10,9
Do not be afraid of the enemy's attack.
Recall how our fathers were saved.
- So now let us cry to heaven,
and our God will favor us.

Remember his wonderful deeds:
how he dealt with Pharoah and his army in the Red Sea.
- So now let us cry to heaven,
and our God will favor us.


SECOND READING

From a treatise on death as a blessing by Saint Ambrose, bishop
(Cap. 3, 9, 4, 15: CSEL 32, 710, 716-717)

Let us show Christ crucified in our lives

The Apostle tells us: The world is crucified to me, and I to the world. We are to understand that this death by crucifixion takes place in this life, and that this death is a blessing. So he goes on to urge us to bear the death of Jesus with us in our bodies, for whoever bears the death of Jesus in his body will bear also in his body the life of the Lord Jesus.

Death must be active within us if life also is to be active within us. Life is life after death, a life that is a blessing. This blessing of life comes after victory, when the contest is over, when the law of our fallen nature no longer rebels against the law of our reason, when we no longer need to struggle against the body that leads to death, for the body already shares in victory. It seems to me that this “death” is more powerful than “life.” I accept the authority of the Apostle when he says: Death is therefore active within us, but life also is active within you. Yet the “death” of this one man was building up life for countless multitudes of peoples! He therefore teaches us to seek out this kind of death even in this life, so that the death of Christ may shine forth in our lives – that blessed death by which our outward self is destroyed and our inmost self renewed, and our earthly dwelling crumbles away and a home in heaven opens before us.

The person who cuts himself off from this fallen nature of ours and frees himself from its chains is imitating death. These are the bonds spoken of by the Lord through Isaiah: Loose the bonds of injustice, untie the thongs of the yoke, set free the oppressed and break every yoke of evil.

The Lord allowed death to enter this world so that sin might come to an end. But he gave us the resurrection of the dead so that our nature might not end once more in death; death was to bring guilt to an end, and the resurrection was to enable our nature to continue forever.

"Death" in this context is a Passover to be made by all mankind. You must keep facing it with perseverance. It is a Passover from corruption, from mortality to immortality, from rough seas to a calm harbor. The word "death" must not trouble us; the blessings that come from a safe journey should bring us joy. What is death but the burial of sin and the resurrection of goodness? Scripture says: Let my soul die among the souls of the just; that is, let me be buried with the just, so that I may cast off my sins and put on the grace of the just, of those who bear the death of Christ with them, in their bodies and in their souls.


RESPONSORY          2 Timothy 2:11-12; Sirach 1:20
Here is a saying you can depend on:
If we have died with him,
we shall also live with him;
- if we suffer with him,
we shall also reign with him.

A patient man will stand firm until the right time,
and then joy will break through for him.
- If we suffer with him,
we shall also reign with him.


COLLECT
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.



 
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