Universalis
Wednesday 5 August 2015    (other days)

 or Wednesday of week 18 in Ordinary Time
 or Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

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
O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 38 (39)
A prayer in sickness
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.
I said, “I will watch my ways,
  I will try not to sin in my speech.
I will set a guard on my mouth,
  for as long as my enemies are standing against me.”
I stayed quiet and dumb, spoke neither evil nor good,
  but my pain was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me,
  and fire blazed in my thoughts.
Then I spoke out loud:
  “Lord, make me know my end.
Let me know the number of my days,
  so that I know how short my life is to be.”
All the length of my days is a handsbreadth or two,
  the expanse of my life is as nothing before you.
For in your sight all men are nothingness:
  man passes away, like a shadow.
Nothingness, although he is busy:
  he builds up treasure, but who will collect it?
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.
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalm 38 (39)
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.
What, now, can I look forward to, Lord?
  My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
  do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
  for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
  for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
 – for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
  turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
  for I come as a stranger before you,
  a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
  before I leave this world,
  before I am no more.
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.
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

Psalm 51 (52)
Against calumny
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
Why do you take pride in your malice,
  you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
  your tongue is sharp as a razor –
  you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
  you speak lies rather than the truth;
  your tongue is in love with every deceit.
For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
  He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
  uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
  they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
  but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
  and in the power of his stratagems.”
But I flourish like an olive in the palace of God.
  I hope in the kindness of God,
  for ever, and through all ages.
I shall praise you for all time for what you have done.
  I shall put my hope in your name and in its goodness
  in the sight of your chosen ones.
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.
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

My soul waits for his word;
my soul puts its hope in the Lord.

First ReadingAmos 9:1-15 ©
I saw the Lord standing at the side of the altar.
‘Strike the capitals’ he said ‘and let the roof tumble down!
I mean to break their heads, every one,
and all who remain I will put to the sword;
not one shall get away,
not one escape.
Should they burrow their way down to Sheol,
my hand shall haul them out;
should they scale the heavens,
I will drag them down;
should they hide on Carmel’s peak,
there I will track them down and catch them;
should they hide from my sight on the sea bed,
I will tell the Dragon to bite them there;
should they go into exile driven before their enemies,
I will order the sword to slaughter them there;
and my eyes will be on them
for their misfortune, not their good.’
The Lord, the Lord of Hosts –
he touches the earth and it melts,
and all its inhabitants mourn;
it all heaves, like the Nile,
and subsides, like the river of Egypt.
He has built his high dwelling place in the heavens
and supported his vault on the earth;
he summons the waters of the sea
and pours them over the land.
“The Lord” is his name.
‘Are not you and the Cushites all the same to me,
sons of Israel? – it is the Lord who speaks.
Did not I, who brought Israel out of the land of Egypt,
bring the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Aramaeans from Kir?
Now, my eyes are turned on the sinful kingdom,
to wipe it off the face of the earth.
‘Yet I am not going to destroy
the House of Jacob completely – it is the Lord who speaks.
For now I will issue orders
and shake the House of Israel among all the nations,
as you shake a sieve
so that not one pebble can fall on the ground.
All the sinners of my people are going to perish by the sword,
all those who say,
“No misfortune will ever touch us, nor even come anywhere near us.”
‘That day I will re-erect the tottering hut of David,
make good the gaps in it, restore its ruins
and rebuild it as it was in the days of old,
so that they can conquer the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that belonged to me.
It is the Lord who speaks, and he will carry this out.
‘The days are coming now – it is the Lord who speaks –
when harvest will follow directly after ploughing,
the treading of grapes soon after sowing,
when the mountains will run with new wine
and the hills all flow with it.
I mean to restore the fortunes of my people Israel;
they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them,
plant vineyards and drink their wine,
dig gardens and eat their produce.
I will plant them in their own country,
never to be rooted up again
out of the land I have given them,
says the Lord, your God.’
Responsory
I shall return and rebuild the House of David, says the Lord. I shall restore the House of David, so that all men, all the pagans consecrated to my name, will look for the Lord.
God has arranged to enlist a people for his name out of the pagans, since the scriptures say: I shall restore the House of David, so that all men, all the pagans consecrated to my name, will look for the Lord.

Second Reading
The "Epistle of Barnabas"
The way of light
The Way of Light is this: if any man wants to journey to his appointed home then he must put his whole heart into his work. To aid our steps on the road, illumination has been given to us as follows — love your Maker, fear your Creator, glorify him who redeemed you from death. Be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. Shun the company of those who walk in the way of death. Hate all that is not pleasing to God, hate all hypocrisy, and never desert the commandments of the Lord. Do not proclaim your own importance but keep a modest and humble mind. Do not seek to cover yourself in glory. Make no evil plans against your neighbour. Keep away from the sin of presumption.
  Love your neighbour more than your own life. Do not procure abortion, do not commit infanticide. Do not withhold your discipline from your son or your daughter but teach them the fear of God from their childhood onwards. Do not covet your neighbour’s goods or avariciously hold on to your own. Do not cultivate intimacy with the great but keep company with humble and virtuous men. When tribulations come upon you, receive them as you would receive good things, seeing that nothing happens without God. Do not equivocate or speak in double meanings.
  Share your goods with your neighbour and do not insist that they are yours alone — for if you are sharers in that which is incorruptible, how much more must you be sharers in that which is corruptible. Do not be in a hurry to speak, for the tongue is a deadly snare. Keep your soul as pure as you can. Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to take, and but keeps them tight shut when it comes to giving. If anyone expounds the word of the Lord to you, love them as the apple of your eye.
  Keep the day of judgement in mind, day and night. Seek the daily company of the people of God, either labouring by word of mouth — by going among them, exhorting them and striving to save souls by the word — or labouring with your hands, earning a ransom for your sins.
  Do not hesitate to give, and give without grumbling: you will discover who can be generous with his rewards. Keep the commandments you have received, adding nothing and taking nothing away. Hold evil in detestation. Make your decisions fairly and uprightly. Do not cause quarrels, but rather bring together those who are in dispute and reconcile them. Confess your own sins. Do not set about prayer when you have a bad conscience. This is the Way of Light.
Responsory
I turn my feet from evil paths to obey your word, O Lord.
I have not turned from your decrees; you yourself have taught me to obey your word, O Lord.

Let us pray.
We recognize with joy
  that you, Lord, created us,
  and that you guide us by your providence.
In your unfailing kindness, support us in our prayer:
  renew your life within us,
  guard it and make it bear fruit for eternity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and 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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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