WEEK IV - 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: Come let us sing joyful songs to the Lord.
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.
What God's almighty power hath made,
his gracious mercy keepeth;
by morning glow or evening shade
his watchful eye ne'er sleepeth.
Within the kingdom of his might,
lo! all is just and all is right:
to God all praise and glory.
Then all my gladsome way along
I sing aloud thy praises,
that men may hear the grateful song
my voice unwearied raises:
be joyful in the Lord, my heart!
Both soul and body bear your part!
To God all praise and glory.
O ye who name Christ's holy name
give God all praise and glory;
let all who know his power proclaim
aloud the wondrous story!
Cast each false idol from its throne,
the Lord is God, and he alone:
to God all praise and glory.
Text: Johann J. Schutz; Melody: Mit Freuden Zart 87.87.887
How good is the God of Israel to the pure of heart!
Why is it that the good have many troubles?
Blessed is the man who does not lose faith in me (Matthew 11:6)
How good God is to Israel,
to those who are pure of heart.
Yet my feet came close to stumbling,
my steps had almost slipped
for I was filled with envy of the proud
when I saw how the wicked prosper.
For them there are no pains;
their bodies are sound and sleek.
They do not share in men's sorrows;
they are not stricken like others.
So they wear their pride like a necklace,
they clothe themselves with violence.
Their hearts overflow with malice,
their minds seethe with plots.
They scoff; they speak with malice;
from on high they plan oppression.
They have set their mouths in the heavens
and their tongues dictate to the earth.
So the people turn to follow them
and drink in all their words.
They say: How can God know?
Does the Most High take any notice?"
Look at them, such are the wicked,
but untroubled, they grow in wealth. Glory...
How good is the God of Israel to the pure of heart!
Antiphon 2 Their laughter will turn to weeping, their merriment to grief.
How useless to keep my heart pure
and wash my hands in innocence,
when I was stricken all day long,
suffered punishment day after day.
Then I said: If I should speak like that,
I should betray the race of your sons."
I strove to fathom this problem,
too hard for my mind to understand,
until I pierced the mysteries of God
and understood what becomes of the wicked.
How slippery the paths on which you set them;
you make them slide to destruction.
How suddenly they come to their ruin,
wiped out, destroyed by terrors.
Like a dream one wakes from, O Lord,
when you wake you dismiss them as phantoms. Glory...
Their laughter will turn to weeping, their merriment to grief.
Antiphon 3 Those who depart from you will perish; my joy is to remain with you, my God.
And so when my heart grew embittered
and when I was cut to the quick,
I was stupid and did not understand,
no better than a beast in your sight.
Yet I was always in your presence;
you were holding me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel
and so you will lead me to glory.
What else have I in heaven but you?
Apart from you I want nothing on earth.
My body and my heart faint for joy;
God is my possession for ever.
All those who abandon you shall perish;
you will destroy all those who are faithless.
To be near God is my happiness.
I have made the Lord God my refuge.
I will tell of your works
at the gates of the city of Zion. Glory...
Brothers, when we were bereft of you for a short time, in person, not in heart, we were all the more eager in our great desire to see you in person.We decided to go to you -- I, Paul, not only once but more than once -- yet Satan thwarted us.For what is our hope or joy or crown to boast of in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming if not you yourselves? For you are our glory and joy.
That is why, when we could bear it no longer, we decided to remain alone in Athens and sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one be disturbed in these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For even when we were among you, we used to warn you in advance that we would undergo affliction, just as has happened, as you know.
For this reason, when I too could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had put you to the test and our toil might come to nothing.
But just now Timothy has returned to us from you, bringing us the good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us and long to see us as we long to see you. Because of this, we have been reassured about you, brothers, in our every distress and affliction, through your faith. For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before our God? Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.
Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you,and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.
RESPONSORY See 1 Thes. 3:12, 13; 2 Thes. 2:16-17
May the Lord be generous
in making your hearts overflow with love for one another and for all peoples,
- and may he confirm your hearts in holiness.
May our Lord himself inspire your hearts with courage.
- and may he confirm your hearts in holiness
From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Hilary of Poitiers, bishop
(Ps. 132: PLS 1, 244-255)
The hearts and minds of all believers were one
Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity. It is good and pleasant for brothers to dwell in unity, because when they do so their association creates the assembly of the Church. The term “brothers” describes the bond of affection arising from their singleness of purpose.
We read that when the apostles first preached, the chief instruction they gave lay in this saying: The hearts and minds of all believers were one. So it is fitting for the people of God to be brothers under one Father, to be united under one Spirit, to live in harmony under one roof, to be limbs of one body.
It is pleasant and good for brothers to dwell in unity. The prophet suggested a comparison for this good and pleasant activity when he said: It is like the ointment on the head which ran down over the beard of Aaron, down upon the collar of his garment. Aaron’s oil was made of the perfumes used to anoint a priest. It was God’s decision that his priest should have this consecration first, and that our Lord too should be anointed, but not visibly, by those who are joined with him. Aaron’s anointing did not belong to this world; it was not done with the horn used for kings, but with the oil of gladness. So afterward Aaron was called the anointed one as the Law prescribed.
When this oil is poured out upon men of unclean heart, it snuffs out their lives, but when it is received as an anointing of love, it exudes the sweet odor of harmony with God. As Paul says, we are the goodly fragrance of Christ. So just as it is pleasing to God when Aaron was anointed priest with this oil, so it is good and pleasant for brothers to dwell in unity.
Now the oil ran down from his head to his beard. A beard adorns a man of mature years. We must not be children before Christ except in the restricted scriptural sense of being children in wickedness but not in our way of thinking. Now Paul calls all who lack faith, children, because they are too weak to take solid food and still need milk. As he says: I fed you with milk rather than the solid food for which you were not yet ready; and you are still not ready.
RESPONSORY Rom. 12:5; Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 12:13
We are all one body in Christ,
and in the one body we are all members of one another,
- yet the measure of grace Christ gives to each of us is different.
In the one Spirit, we were all baptized,
and all of us have been given to drink of the one Spirit. - Yet the measure of grace Christ gives to each of us is different.
Grant us, Lord our God,
that we may honor you with all our mind,
and love everyone in truth of heart.
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.