WEEK III - WEDNESDAY
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 before the Lord, our maker.
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.
Lord, who once came to bring,
On your redeeming wing,
Healing and sight,
Health to the sick in mind,
Sight to the inly blind:
Oh, now to humankind
Let there be light!
Spirit of truth and love,
Life giving, holy dove,
Speed forth your flight;
Move on the water’s face,
Bearing the lamp of grace,
And in earth’s darkest place
Let there be light!
Holy and blessed three,
Wisdom, love, might!
Boundless as ocean’s tide,
Rolling in fullest pride,
Through the earth, far and wide,
Let there be light!
Text: John Marriot; Melody: Italian hymn 664.6664
Whereever you are, Lord, there is mercy, there is truth.
Psalm 89:2-38God's favors to the house of David
According to his promise, the Lord has raised up Jesus, a Savior, from the family of David (Acts 13:22,23)
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;
through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,
that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
"With my chosen one I have made a covenant;
I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
and set up your throne through all ages."
The heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord;
the assembly of your holy ones proclaims your truth.
For who in the skies can compare with the Lord
or who is like the Lord among the sons of God?
A God to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and dreadful to all around him.
O Lord God of hosts, who is your equal?
You are mighty, O Lord, and truth is your garment.
It is you who rule the sea in its pride;
it is you who still the surging of its waves.
It is you who trod Rahab underfoot like a corpse,
scattering your foes with your mighty arm.
The heavens are yours, the world is yours.
It is you who founded the earth and all it holds;
it is you who created the North and the South.
Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at your name.
Yours is a mighty arm, O Lord;
your hand is strong, your right hand ready.
Justice and right are the pillars of your throne,
love and truth walk in your presence.
Happy the people who acclaim such a king,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name,
who make your justice the source of their bliss.
For you, O Lord, are the glory of their strength;
by your favor it is that our might is exalted;
for our ruler is in the keeping of the Lord;
our king in the keeping of the Holy One of Israel. Glory...
Whereever you are, Lord, there is mercy, there is truth..
When the Son of God came into this world, he was born of David's line.
Of old you spoke in a vision.
To your friends the prophets you said:
I have set the crown on a warrior,
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
I have found David my servant
and with my holy oil anointed him.
My hand shall always be with him
and my arm shall make him strong.
The enemy shall never outwit him
nor the evil man oppress him.
I will beat down his foes before him
and smite those who hate him.
My truth and my love shall be with him;
by my name his might shall be exalted.
I will stretch out his hand to the Sea
and his right hand as far as the River.
He will say to me "You are my father,
my God, the rock who saves me."
And I will make him my first-born,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
I will keep my love for him always;
with him my covenant shall last.
I will establish his dynasty for ever,
make his throne endure as the heavens. Glory...
When the Son of God came into this world, he was born of David's line.
Once for all I swore to my servant David, his dynasty shall never end.
If his sons forsake my law
and refuse to walk as I decree
and if ever they violate my statutes,
refusing to keep my commands;
then I will punish their offences with the rod,
then I will scourge them on account of their guilt
but I will never take back my love;
my truth will never fail.
I will never violate my covenant
nor go back on the word I have spoken.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness.
"I will never lie to David.
His dynasty shall last for ever.
In my sight his throne is like the sun;
like the moon, it shall endure for ever,
a faithful witness in the skies." Glory...
"'I led you for forty years in the desert. Your clothes did not fall from you in tatters nor your sandals from your feet; bread was not your food, nor wine or beer your drink. Thus you should know that I, the Lord, am your God.'
"You are all now standing before the Lord, your God--your chiefs and judges, your elders and officials, and all of the men of Israel, together with your wives and children and the aliens who live in your camp, down to those who hew wood and draw water for you-- that you may enter into the covenant of the Lord, your God, which he concluded with you today under this sanction of a curse; so that he may now establish you as his people and he may be your God, as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
"But it is not with you alone that I am making this covenant, under this sanction of a curse; it is just as much with those who are not here among us today as it is with those of us who are now here present before the Lord, our God.
"You know in what surroundings we lived in the land of Egypt and what we passed by in the nations we traversed, and you saw the loathsome idols of wood and stone, of gold and silver, that they possess.
"Let there be, then, no man or woman, no clan or tribe among you, who would now turn away their hearts from the Lord, our God, to go and serve these pagan gods! Let there be no root that would bear such poison and wormwood among you. If any such person, upon hearing the words of this curse, should beguile himself into thinking that he can safely persist in his stubbornness of heart, as though to sweep away both the watered soil and the parched ground, the Lord will never consent to pardon him. Instead, the Lord'S wrath and jealousy will flare up against that man, and every curse mentioned in this book will alight on him. The Lord will blot out his name from under the heavens and will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for doom, in keeping with all the curses of the covenant inscribed in this book of the law.
"Future generations, your own descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigners who will come here from far-off lands, when they see the calamities of this land and the ills with which the Lord has smitten it-- all its soil being nothing but sulphur and salt, a burnt-out waste, unsown and unfruitful, without a blade of grass, destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his furious wrath-- they and all the nations will ask, 'Why has the Lord dealt thus with this land? Why this fierce outburst of wrath?' And the answer will be, 'Because they forsook the covenant which the Lord, the God of their fathers, had made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they went and served other gods and adored them, gods whom they did not know and whom he had not let fall to their lot: that is why the Lord was angry with this land and brought on it all the imprecations listed in this book; in his furious wrath and tremendous anger the Lord uprooted them from their soil and cast them out into a strange land, where they are today.'
"Both what is still hidden and what has already been revealed concern us and our descendants forever, that we may carry out all the words of this law."
RESPONSORY Galatians 3:13-14; see Deuteronomy 8:14
For our sake, Christ was cursed,
so that the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans,
- that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.
God rescued us from the land of Egypt
and set us free from the land of slavery.
- That through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.
From a sermon on the Song of Songs by Saint Bernard, abbot
(Sermo 61, 3-5; Opera omnia, 2, 150-151)
Where sin abounded grace has overflowed
Where can the weak find a place of firm security and peace, except in the wounds of the Savior? Indeed, the more secure is my place there the more he can do to help me. The world rages, the flesh is heavy, and the devil lays his snares, but I do not fall, for my feet are planted on firm rock. I may have sinned gravely. My conscience would be distressed, but it would not be in turmoil, for I would recall the wounds of the Lord: he was wounded for our iniquities. What sin is there so deadly that it cannot be pardoned by the death of Christ? And so if I bear in mind this strong, effective remedy, I can never again be terrified by the malignancy of sin.
Surely the man who said: My sin is too great to merit pardon, was wrong. He was speaking as though he were not a member of Christ and had no share in his merits, so that he could claim them as his own, as a member of the body can claim what belongs to the head. As for me, what can I appropriate that I lack from the heart of the Lord who abounds in mercy? They pierced his hands and feet and opened his side with a spear. Through the openings of these wounds I may drink honey from the rock and oil from the hardest stone: that is, I may taste and see that the Lord is sweet.
He was thinking thoughts of peace, and I did not know it, for who knows the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? But the piercing nail has become a key to unlock the door, that I may see the good will of the Lord. And what can I see as I look through the hole? Both the nail and the wound cry out that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The sword pierced his soul and came close to his heart, so that he might be able to feel compassion for me in my weaknesses.
Through these sacred wounds we can see the secret of his heart, the great mystery of love, the sincerity of his mercy with which he visited us from on high.
Where have your love, your mercy, your compassion shone out more luminously that in your wounds, sweet, gentle Lord of mercy? More mercy than this no one has than that he lay down his life for those who are doomed to death.
My merit comes from his mercy; for I do not lack merit so long as he does not lack pity. And if the Lordís mercies are many, then I am rich in merits. For even if I am aware of many sins, what does it matter? Where sin abounded grace has overflowed. And if the Lordís mercies are from all ages for ever, I too will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever. Will I not sing of my own righteousness? No, Lord, I shall be mindful only of your justice. Yet that too is my own; for God has made you my righteousness.
RESPONSORY Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24
He was pierced through for our offenses,
he was crushed for our sins;
upon him lies the chastisement that gives us peace;
- by his wounds we are healed.
Christ took our sins upon his own body, and was nailed to the cross,
so that we might die to sin and live for holiness.
- By his wounds we are healed.
Almighty ever-living God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may abound in good works.
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.