Ordinary Time


Office of Readings

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 the Lord, for he is our God.

Office of Readings
Psalter, Thursday Week I

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.)

Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam's race,
Transformed them into sons of light,
New creatures by your saving grace.

To you who stooped to sinful man
We render homage and all praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose gift to man is endless days.
Text: Stanbrook Abbey; Melody Erhalt uns, Herr L.M.; Midi: Cyberhymnal.


Antiphon 1: The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.

Psalm 18:31-51
Hymn of Thanksgiving
If God is on our side, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

As for God, his ways are perfect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield
of all who make him their refuge.

For who is God but the Lord?
Who is a rock but our God?
the God who girds me with strength
and makes the path safe before me.

My feet you make swift as the deer's;
you have made me stand firm on the heights.
You have trained my hands for battle
and my hands to bend the heavy bow. Glory...

Antiphon 1 The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.

Antiphon 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord.

You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me, trained me with care.
You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.

I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.
I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

You girded me with strength for battle;
you made my enemies fall beneath me,
you made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.

You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.
People unknown to me served me:
when they heard of me they obeyed me.

Foreign nations came to me cringing:
foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds. Glory...

Antiphon 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord.

Antiphon 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.

Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,
the God who gives me redress
and subdues people under me.

You saved me from my furious foes.
You set me above my assailants.
You saved me from violent men,
so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
I will sing a psalm to your name.

He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord God, our strength and salvation, put in us the flame of your love and make our love for you grow to a perfect love which reaches to our neighbor.

Antiphon 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.

Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see
- the wonders of your law.


From the book of the prophet Zechariah       11:4-12:8

The parable of the shepherds

Thus said the Lord, my God: Shepherd the flock to be slaughtered. For they who buy them slay them with impunity; while those who sell them say, "Blessed be the Lord, I have become rich!" Even their own shepherds do not feel for them. (Nor shall I spare the inhabitants of the earth any more, says the Lord. Yes, I will deliver each of them into the power of his neighbor, or into the power of his king; they shall crush the earth, and I will not deliver it out of their power.)

So I became the shepherd of the flock to be slaughtered for the sheep merchants. I took two staffs, one of which I called "Favor," and the other, "Bonds," and I fed the flock. In a single month I did away with the three shepherds. I wearied of them, and they behaved badly toward me. "I will not feed you," I said. "What is to die, let it die; what is to perish, let it perish, and let those that are left devour one another's flesh."

Then I took my staff "Favor" and snapped it asunder, breaking off the covenant which I had made with all peoples; that day it was broken off. The sheep merchants who were watching me understood that this was the word of the Lord. I said to them, "If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, let it go." And they counted out my wages, thirty pieces of silver. But the Lord said to me, "Throw it in the treasury, the handsome price at which they valued me." So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the Lord.

Then I snapped asunder my other staff, "Bonds," breaking off the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. The Lord said to me: This time take the gear of a foolish shepherd. For I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will take no note of those that perish, nor seek the strays, nor heal the injured, nor feed what survives--he will eat the flesh of the fat ones and tear off their hoofs!

Woe to my foolish shepherd
  who forsakes the flock!
May the sword fall upon his arm
  and upon his right eye;
Let his arm wither away entirely,
  and his right eye be blind forever!

An oracle: the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus says the Lord, who spreads out the heavens, lays the foundations of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: See, I will make Jerusalem a bowl to stupefy all peoples round about. Judah will be besieged, even Jerusalem.

On that day I will make Jerusalem a weighty stone for all peoples. All who attempt to lift it shall injure themselves badly, and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered against her. On that day, says the Lord, I will strike every horse with fright, and its rider with madness. I will strike blind all the horses of the peoples, but upon the house of Judah I will open my eyes, and the princes of Judah shall say to themselves, "The inhabitants of Jerusalem have their strength in the Lord of hosts, their God."

On that day I will make the princes of Judah like a brazier of fire in the woodland, and like a burning torch among sheaves, and they shall devour right and left all the surrounding peoples; but Jerusalem shall still abide on its own site. The Lord shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over Judah.

On that day, the Lord will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the weakling among them shall be like David on that day, and the house of David godlike, like an angel of the Lord before them.

RESPONSORY          Zechariah 11:12,13; Matthew 26:15
They counted out my wages, thirty pieces of silver,
- the noble price at which they valued me.

Judas said: what will you give me if I hand him over to you?
The decided to pay him thirty pieces of silver.
- The noble price at which they valued me.


From a commentary on the Song of Songs by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
(Cap. 2: PG 44, 802)

A prayer to the Good Shepherd

Where do you pasture your sheep, O good Shepherd, you who carry on your shoulders the whole flock? For it is but one sheep, this entire human race whom you lift onto your shoulders. Show me the place where there are green pastures, let me know restful waters, lead me out to nourishing grass and call me by name so that I can hear your voice, for I am your own sheep. And through that voice calling me, give me eternal life.

Tell me, you whom my soul loves. This is how I address you, because your true name is above all other names; it is unutterable and incomprehensible to all rational creatures. And so the name I use for you is simply the statement of my soulís love for you, and this is an apt name for making your goodness known. Very dark though I am, how could I not love you who so loved me, that you laid down your life for the sheep you tend? No greater love can be conceived than this, that you should purchase my salvation at the cost of your life.

Show me, then says the bride, where you tend your sheep, so that I may find the saving pasture and be filled with heavenly nourishment. For whoever does not eat this food cannot enter eternal life. Let me run to you, the spring, and drink the divine draught that you cause to pour forth for the thirsty, offering water from your side opened by the spear. Whoever drinks of this becomes a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.

If you feed me thus, then you will surely make me lie down at noonday, and I shall at once sleep in peace, resting in a light that knows no shadow. Indeed, there is no shadow at noon, for the sun shines directly over that summit where you make those you tend lie down, and take your children with you to your bed. No one is judged worthy of this noonday rest who is not a child of light and of the day. But if anyone makes himself equally distant from the shadows of daybreak and those of nightfall, that is, from the origin of evil and its conclusion, the sun of righteousness makes him lie down at noontide.

Show me, then, says the bride, how I should lie down; show me the path to this noonday repose, lest my ignorance of your truth cause me to stray from your good guidance and consort with flocks which are strangers to your.

Thus speaks the bride, anxious about the beauty God has given her, and seeking to learn how her comeliness may continue for ever.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
- One thing I ask of the Lord,
this I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
- One thing I ask of the Lord,
this I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
for it is full and lasting happiness
to serve with constancy
the author of all that is good.
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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