Universalis
Saturday 26 September 2020    (other days)
Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs 
 or Saturday of week 25 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
The martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross they died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

Psalm 130 (131)
Childlike trust in God

Whoever humbles himself like a little child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.
Lord, I do not puff myself up or stare about,
  or walk among the great or seek wonders beyond me.
Truly calm and quiet I have made my spirit:
  quiet as a weaned child in its mother’s arms –
  like an infant is my soul.
Let Israel hope in the Lord, now and for all time.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Whoever humbles himself like a little child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 131 (132)
God's promise to the house of David

With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.
Lord, remember David
  and how he served you.
He swore to the Lord,
  vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not go into my tent, my home,
  nor go up to my bed of rest;
I will not let my eyes sleep
  or my eyelids grow heavy
until I have found a place for the Lord,
  a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard that it was in Ephratha,
  we found it in the plains of Jaar.
So let us go into his dwelling-place
  and let us worship before his footstool.
Rise up, Lord, and come to your place of rest.
  Come with the Ark of your power.
Let your priests be robed in your justice,
  and let your chosen ones rejoice.
Remember what David did for you,
  and do not turn your face from your Anointed.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.

Psalm 131 (132)

The Lord swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word; he made his kingdom firm for ever.
The Lord swore David a true oath,
  he will not go back on his word:
“The fruit of your body
  I will place on your throne.
If your children keep my covenant and the commands I teach them,
  their children’s children will occupy your throne for ever.”
For the Lord has chosen Zion,
  taken it for his dwelling-place:
“Here will I take my rest for all time:
  here will I live, such is my desire.
I will bless its crops with my blessing,
  I will fill its poor with bread.
I will clothe its priests with righteousness.
  Its chosen ones will exult with joy.
There will I plant the sign of David,
  and prepare a lamp for my anointed one.
I will wrap his enemies in confusion,
  but over his head my crown will shine.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word; he made his kingdom firm for ever.

℣. Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
℟. The Lord is our help and our shield.

First ReadingEzekiel 47:1-12 ©

The cleansing spring flowing from the Temple

He brought me back to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. There will be fishermen on its banks. Fishing nets will be spread from En-gedi to En-eglaim. The fish will be as varied and as plentiful as the fish of the Great Sea. The marshes and lagoons, however, will not become wholesome, but will remain salt. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’
Responsory
Ezk 47:1,9; Jn 4:14
℟. It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and discernment, so that you may prize what is of true value:* then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ.
℣. I am sure of this: that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through until it is finished in the Day of Christ Jesus:* then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Augustine

The martyrs' deaths are made precious by the death of Christ

Through such glorious deeds of the holy martyrs, with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we prove with our own eyes how true it is, as we have just been singing, that precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints; seeing that it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of him for the sake of whose name it was undertaken. But the price of these deaths is the death of one man. How many deaths were bought with one dying man, who was the grain of wheat that would not have been multiplied if he had not died! You have heard his words when he was drawing near to his passion, that is, when he was drawing near to our redemption: Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
  On the cross, you see, Christ transacted a grand exchange; it was there that the purse containing our price was untied; when his side was laid open by the lance of the executioner, there poured out from it the price of the whole wide world. The faithful were bought, and the martyrs; but the faith of the martyrs has been proved, and their blood is the witness to it. The martyrs have paid back what was spent for them, and they have fulfilled what Saint John says: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too should lay down our lives for the brethren. And in another place it says, You have sat down at a great table; consider carefully what is set before you, since you ought to prepare the same kind of thing yourself. It is certainly a great table, where the Lord of the table is himself the banquet. No-one feeds his guests on himself; that is what the Lord Christ did, being himself the host, himself the food and drink. Therefore the martyrs recognised what they ate and drank, so that they could give back the same kind of thing.
  But from where could they give back the same kind of thing, if the one who made the first payment had not given them the means of giving something back? What shall I pay back to the Lord for all the things he has paid back to me? I will receive the cup of salvation. What is this cup? The bitter but salutary cup of suffering, the cup which the invalid would fear to touch if the doctor did not drink it first. That is what this cup is; we can recognise this cup on the lips of Christ, when he says, Father, if it can be so, let this cup pass from me. It is about this cup that the martyrs said, I will receive the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.
  So are you not afraid of failing at this point? No? Why not? Because I will call upon the name of the Lord. How could the martyrs ever conquer, unless that one conquered in them who said Rejoice, since I have conquered the world? The emperor of the heavens was governing their minds and tongues, and through them overcoming the devil on earth and crowning the martyrs in heaven. O, how blessed are those who drank this cup thus! They have finished with suffering and have received honour instead.
Responsory
℟. The saints shed their blood in glorious combat for the Lord; they loved Christ in their life and imitated him in their death;* and so they won the crown of victory.
℣. One Spirit and one faith united them,* and so they won the crown of victory.

Let us pray.
Lord God, we proclaim your great power
  as we keep the memory of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian.
In your providence
  you have exalted them to glory,
  and you have given us the patronage of their prayers.
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.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons; The Universalis apps and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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