Ordinary Time

WEEK 7 - THURSDAY

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 the Lord, for he is our God.





Office of Readings
Psalter, Thursday 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

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.


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.

Psalm 89:39-53
Lament for the fall of David's dynasty
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of David his servant. (Luke 1:69)

                      I
And yet you have spurned, rejected,
you are angry with the one you have anointed.
You have broken your covenant with your servant
and dishonored his crown in the dust.

You have broken down all his walls
and reduced his fortresses to ruins.
He is despoiled by all who pass by;
he has become the taunt of his neighbors.

You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have made his sword give way,
you have not upheld him in battle.

You have brought his glory to an end;
you have hurled his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the years of his youth;
you have heaped disgrace upon him. Glory...

Antiphon 1 Look on us, Lord, and see how we are despised.


Antiphon 2 I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star.


                           II
How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself for ever?

How long will your anger burn like a fire?
Remember, Lord, the shortness of my life
and how frail you have made the sons of men.
What man can live and never see death?
Who can save himself from the grasp of the grave?

Where are the mercies of the past, O Lord,
which you have sworn in your faithfulness to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant is taunted,
how I have to bear all the insults of the peoples.
Thus your enemies taunt me, O Lord,
mocking your anointed at every step.

Blessed be the Lord for ever.
Amen, amen! Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Lord, God of mercy and fidelity, you made a new and lasting pact with men and sealed it in the blood of your Son. Forgive the folly of our disloyalty and make us keep your commandments, so that in our new covenant we may be witnesses and heralds of your faithfulness and love on earth, and sharers of your glory in heaven.

Antiphon 2 I am the root and stock of David; I am the morning star.


Antiphon 3 Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.

Psalm 90
May we live in the radiance of God
There is no time with God; a thousand years, a single day: it is all one. (2 Peter 3:8)

                    
O Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to the next.
Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth,
you are God, without beginning or end.

You turn men back to dust
and say: Go back, sons of men.
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
no more than a watch in the night.

You sweep men away like a dream,
like the grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers:
by evening it withers and fades.

So we are destroyed in your anger,
struck with terror in your fury.
Our guilt lies open before you;
our secrets in the light of your face.

All our days pass away in your anger.
Our life is over like a sigh.
Our span is seventy years,
or eighty for those who are strong.

And most of these are emptiness and pain.
They pass swiftly and we are gone.
Who understands the power of your anger
and fears the strength of your fury?

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity to your servants.

In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction
for the years when we knew misfortune.

Show forth your work to your servants;
let your glory shine on their children.
Let the favor of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands.
give success to the work of our hands. Glory...

Psalm Prayer: Eternal Father, you give us life despite our guilt and even add days and years to our lives in order to bring us wisdom. Make us love and obey you, that the work of our hands may always display what your hands have done, until the day we gaze upon the beauty of your face.

Antiphon 3 Our years wither away like grass, but you, Lord God, are eternal.


In you in the source of life.
- In your light we see light itself.


FIRST READING

From the book of Ecclesiastes      6:12-7:28

Be not overwise

Who knows what is good for a man in life, the limited days of his vain life (which God has made like a shadow)? Because-who is there to tell a man what will come after him under the sun?
 
A good name is better than good ointment,
  and the day of death than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
  than to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of every man,
  and the living should take it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
  because when the face is sad the heart grows wiser.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
  but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better to hearken to the wise man's rebuke
  than to hearken to the song of fools;
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,
  so is the fool's laughter.
For oppression can make a fool of a wise man,
  and a bribe corrupts the heart.
Better is the end of speech than its beginning;
  better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit.
Do not in spirit become quickly discontented,
  for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool.

Do not say: How is it that former times were better than these? For it is not in wisdom that you ask about this.

Wisdom and an inheritance are good,
 and an advantage to those that see the sun.

For the protection of wisdom is as the protection of money; and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner.

Consider the work of God. Who can make straight what he has made crooked? On a good day enjoy good things, and on an evil day consider: Both the one and the other God has made, so that man cannot find fault with him in anything.

I have seen all manner of things in my vain days: a just man perishing in his justice, and a wicked one surviving in his wickedness. "Be not just to excess, and be not overwise, lest you be ruined. Be not wicked to excess, and be not foolish. Why should you die before your time?" It is good to hold to this rule, and not to let that one go; but he who fears God will win through at all events.

Wisdom is a better defense for the wise man than would be ten princes in the city, yet there is no man on earth so just as to do good and never sin. Do not give heed to every word that is spoken lest you hear your servant speaking ill of you, for you know in your heart that you have many times spoken ill of others.

All these things I probed in wisdom. I said, "I will acquire wisdom"; but it was beyond me. What exists is far-reaching; it is deep, very deep: who can find it out? I turned my thoughts toward knowledge; I sought and pursued wisdom and reason, and I recognized that wickedness is foolish and folly is madness.

More bitter than death I find the woman who is a hunter's trap, whose heart is a snare and whose hands are prison bonds. He who is pleasing to God will escape her, but the sinner will be entrapped by her.

Behold, this have I found, says Qoheleth, adding one thing to another that I might discover the answer which my soul still seeks and has not found: One man out of a thousand have I come upon, but a woman among them all I have not found.


RESPONSORY          Prv. 20:9; Eccl. 7:21; 1 Jn. 1:8,9
Who can say: My heart is pure; I am not a sinner?
- There is no living man so holy who does good and never sins.

If we claim to be sinless, we deceive ourselves;
but if we acknowledge our sins,
then God who is faithful and just will forgive us.
- There is no living man so holy who does good and never sins.


SECOND READING

From an instruction by Saint Columban, abbot
(Instr. 1 de Fide, 3-5: Opera, Dublin, 1957, pp. 62-66)

The unfathomable depths of God

God is everywhere in his immensity, and everywhere close at hand. As he says of himself: I am a God close at hand, not a God far off. The God we seek is not one who dwells at a distance from us, for we have him present with us, if only we are worthy. He dwells in us as the soul in the body, if only we are sound members of his, if we are dead to sin. Then in very truth he dwells in us, the one who said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. If we are worthy of his presence with us, then in truth we are made alive by him as his living members. As the Apostle says: In him we live and move and have our being.

Who, I ask, will search out the Most High in his own being, for he is beyond words or understanding? Who will penetrate the secrets of God? Who will boast that he knows the infinite God, who fills all things, yet encompasses all things, who pervades all things, yet reaches beyond all things, who holds all things in his hand, yet escapes the grasp of all things? No one has ever seen him as he is. No one must then presume to search for the unsearchable things of God: his nature, the manner of his existence, his selfhood. These are beyond telling, beyond scrutiny, beyond investigation. With simplicity, but also with fortitude, only believe that this is how God is and this is how he will be, for God is incapable of change.

Who then is God? He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God. Do not look for any further answers concerning God. Those who want to understand the unfathomable depths of God must first consider the world of nature. Knowledge of the Trinity is rightly compared with the depth of the sea. Wisdom asks: Who will find out what is so very deep? As the depths of the sea are invisible to human sight, so the Godhead of the Trinity is found to be beyond the grasp of human understanding. If any one, I say, wants to know what he should believe he must not imagine that he understands better through speech than through belief; the knowledge of God that he seeks will be all the further off than it was before.

Seek then the highest wisdom, not by arguments in words but by the perfection of your life, not by speech but by the faith that comes from simplicity of heart, not from the learned speculations of the unrighteous. If you search by means of discussions for the God who cannot be defined in words, he will depart further from you than he was before. If you search for him by faith, wisdom will stand where wisdom lives, at the gates. Where wisdom is, wisdom will be seen, at least in part. But wisdom is also to some extent truly attained when the invisible God is the object of faith, in a way beyond our understanding, for we must believe in God, invisible as he is, though he is partially seen by a heart that is pure.


RESPONSORY          Psalm 36:6-7; Romans 11:33
Lord, your love reaches to heaven
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
- Your justice is like the mountains of God
and your judgments like the fathomless deep.

How deep are the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments!
- Your justice is like the mountains of God
and your judgments like the fathomless deep.


COLLECT
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, always pondering spiritual things,
we may carry out in both word and deed
that which is pleasing to you.
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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