Universalis
Wednesday 23 October 2019    (other days)
Saint John of Capistrano, Priest 
 or Wednesday of week 29 in Ordinary Time 

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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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 saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

℣. All wondered at these gracious words.
℟. They marvelled at what the Lord was saying.

First ReadingEsther 4:17 ©
Queen Esther's prayer
All Israel cried out with all their might, for they were faced with death.
  Queen Esther also took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She took off her sumptuous robes and put on sorrowful mourning. Instead of expensive perfumes she covered her head with ashes. She humbled her body severely with fasting. She threw herself on the ground, together with her servants from morning to night and she said:
‘God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
I am alone and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Noah from the waters of the flood.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that to Abraham with his three hundred and eighteen men,
you gave victory over nine kings.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Jonah from the belly of the whale.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Ananiah, Azariah and Mishael from the fiery furnace.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Daniel from the lions’ den.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you took pity on Hezekiah, king of the Jews,
when he was condemned to death and prayed to you for his life.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that when Anna begged you from the depths of her heart,
you gave her a child.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you rescue all who are pleasing in your sight,
for ever.
‘Lord, my God, come to my help, for I am alone,
I have no-one but you.
You know that your servant loathes the bed of the uncircumcised.
You know I have not eaten at the table of the abominations
nor drunk the wine of libations.
‘You know I have not found pleasure
from the day of my promotion until now
except in you, Lord.
‘You know, God, that I loathe the symbol of my high position
that is bound round my brow.
I loathe it as if it were a filthy rag
and do not wear it on my days of leisure.
‘And now support me, for I am an orphan.
Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion.
Let me find favour in his eyes:
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘But free us from the power of our enemies;
turn our mourning into rejoicing
and bring our sufferings to an end.
Make an example of those who attack us.
‘Come, Lord, appear!’
Responsory
Est 14:9,12-13; Jb 24:22
℟. King of gods, almighty Lord, give me courage:* put the right words into my mouth.
℣. Lord, give us time for repentance and do not shut the mouths of those who praise you;* put the right words into my mouth.

Second Reading
A treatise by St John of Capestrano
The lives of good clerics bring light and serenity
Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. They must learn from their eminent teacher, Jesus Christ, what he declared not only to his apostles and disciples, but also to all the priests and clerics who were to succeed them, when he said: You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavour? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
  Truly the unclean, immoral cleric is trampled underfoot like worthless manure. He is saturated with the filth of vice and entangled in the chains of sin. In this condition he must be considered worthless both to himself and to others. As Gregory says: “When a man’s life is frowned upon, it follows that his preaching will be despised.”
  Presbyters who are born leaders deserve to be doubly honoured, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. It is indeed a double task that worthy priests perform, that is to say, it is both exterior and interior, both temporal and spiritual, and, finally, both a passing task and an eternal one.
  Even though they dwell on earth and are bound by the same necessities of nature along with all mortal creatures, at the same time they are engaged in earnest communication with the angels in heaven, so that they may be pleasing to their king and learn how to serve him. Therefore, just as the sun rises over the world in God’s heaven, so clerics must let their light shine before men so that they may see their good deeds and give praise to their heavenly Father.
  You are the light of the world. Now a light does not illumine itself, but instead it diffuses its rays and shines all around upon everything that comes into its view. So it must be with the glowing lives of upright and holy clerics. By the brightness of their holiness they must bring light and serenity to all who gaze upon them. They have been placed here to care for others. Their own lives should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the house of the Lord.
Responsory
℟. Do not remain silent when you should speak, and do not hide your wisdom;* for wisdom is recognised in speech, and it is the tongue that gives good counsel.
℣. Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires,* for wisdom is recognised in speech, and it is the tongue that gives good counsel.

Let us pray.
Almighty God, you sent Saint John of Capestrano
  to comfort Christian people in a time of distress.
Keep us, we pray, in the safety of your protection,
  and give your Church lasting peace.
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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