Universalis
Thursday 14 January 2021    (other days)
Thursday of week 1 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
Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving

The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.
The Lord’s ways are pure;
  the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
  the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
  What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
  and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
  who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
  teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
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 word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)

Lord, your right hand upheld me.
You have given me the shield of your salvation;
  your right hand holds me up;
  by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
  my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
  I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
  they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
  and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
  you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
  they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
  trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
  and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
  at a mere rumour of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favour;
  they hide away and tremble where they hide.
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, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)

Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.
The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
  Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
  you subject peoples to my rule,
  you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
  you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
  and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
  you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
  to David and his descendants for ever.
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.
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

℣. Lord, open my eyes.
℟. Let me consider the wonders of your law.

First Reading
Ecclesiasticus 42:15-43:13 ©

Praise of God in his creation

I will remind you of the works of the Lord,
  and tell of what I have seen.
By the words of the Lord his works come into being
  and all creation obeys his will.
As the sun in shining looks on all things,
  so the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
The Lord has not granted to the holy ones
  to tell of all his marvels
which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed
  for the universe to stand firm in his glory.
He has fathomed the deep and the heart,
  and seen into their devious ways;
for the Most High knows all the knowledge there is,
  and has observed the signs of the times.
He declares what is past and what will be,
  and uncovers the traces of hidden things.
Not a thought escapes him,
  not a single word is hidden from him.
He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom,
  he is from everlasting to everlasting,
nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away,
  he needs no one’s advice.
How desirable are all his works,
  how dazzling to the eye!
They all live and last for ever,
  whatever the circumstances all obey him.
All things go in pairs, by opposites,
  and he has made nothing defective;
the one consolidates the excellence of the other,
  who could ever be sated with gazing at his glory?
Pride of the heights, shining vault,
  so, in a glorious spectacle, the sky appears.
The sun, as he emerges, proclaims at his rising,
  ‘A thing of wonder is the work of the Most High!’
At his zenith he parches the land,
  who can withstand his blaze?
A man must blow a furnace to produce any heat,
  the sun burns the mountains three times as much;
breathing out blasts of fire,
  flashing his rays he dazzles the eyes.
Great is the Lord who made him,
  and whose word speeds him on his course.
And then the moon, always punctual,
  to mark the months and make division of time:
the moon it is that signals the feasts,
  a luminary that wanes after her full.
The month derives its name from hers,
  she waxes wonderfully in her phases,
banner of the hosts on high,
  shining in the vault of heaven.
The glory of the stars makes the beauty of the sky,
  a brilliant decoration to the heights of the Lord.
At the words of the Holy One they stand as he decrees,
  and never grow slack at their watch.
See the rainbow and praise its maker,
  so superbly beautiful in its splendour.
Across the sky it forms a glorious arc
  drawn by the hands of the Most High.
Responsory
℟. Our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory, honour and power,* for you created all things, and by your will they were given existence and life.
℣. Yes, you have made heaven and earth, and all the marvels that are under heaven. You are the Lord of all,* for you created all things, and by your will they were given existence and life.

Second Reading
From the Discourse Against the Pagans by Saint Athanasius, bishop

The word of the Father gives order, direction and unity to creation

By his own wisdom and Word, who is our Lord and Saviour Christ, the all-holy Father (whose excellence far exceeds that of any creature), like a skilful steersman guides to safety all creation, regulating and keeping it in being, as he judges right. It is right that creation should exist as he has made it and as we see it happening, because this is his will, which no one would deny. For if the movement of the universe were irrational, and the world rolled on in random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say. But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God.
  He is God, the living and creative God of the universe, the word of the good God, who is God in his own right. The Word is different from all created things: he is the unique Word belonging only to the good Father. This is the Word that created this whole world and enlightens it by his loving wisdom. He who is the good Word of the good Father produced the order in all creation, joining opposites together, and forming from them one harmonious sound. He is God, one and only-begotten, who proceeds in goodness from the Father as from the fountain of goodness, and gives order, direction and unity to creation.
  By his eternal Word the Father created all things and implanted a nature in his creatures. He did not want to see them tossed about at the mercy of their own natures, and so be reduced to nothingness. But in his goodness he governs and sustains the whole of nature by his Word (who is himself also God), so that under the guidance, providence and ordering of that Word, the whole of nature might remain stable and coherent in his light. Nature was to share in the Father’s Word, whose reality is true, and be helped by him to exist, for without him it would cease to be. For unless the Word, who is the very “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,” kept it in existence it could not exist. For whatever exists, whether visible or invisible, remains in existence through him and in him, and he is also the head of the Church, as we are taught by the ministers of truth in their sacred writings.
  The almighty and most holy Word of the Father pervades the whole of reality, everywhere unfolding his power and shining on all things visible and invisible. He sustains it all and binds it all together in himself. He leaves nothing devoid of his power but gives life and keeps it in being throughout all of creation and in each individual creature.
Responsory
℟. In the beginning, the Lord gave me birth – before he brought the earth into being, before he established the abyss, before he made the springs of water,* before the mountains had settled and before all the hills.
℣. When he established the heavens, I was there beside him, like a master workman,* before the mountains had settled and before all the hills.

Let us pray.
In your love, Lord,
  answer our humble prayer:
give us the grace to see what we have to do
  and the strength to do it.
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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