Universalis
Saturday 25 June 2016    (other days)

 or Saturday of week 12 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
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord
The Lord has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.
The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
  he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
  Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
  around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.
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 has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.

Psalm 49 (50)
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.
Listen, my people, and I will speak;
  Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
  for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
  nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
  and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
  Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
  for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
  or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
  to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
  I will rescue you, and you will honour me.
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.
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.

Psalm 49 (50)
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.
To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
  Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
  and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
  you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
  and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
  you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
  so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
  I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
  lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
  whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.
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.
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.

We ceaselessly pray to God for you.
For you to have the fullest knowledge of God’s will.

First Reading
1 Samuel 26:5-25 ©
Setting off, David went to the place where Saul had pitched camp. He saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner commander of his army were lying. Saul was lying inside the camp with the troops bivouacking round him.
  Speaking to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah and brother of Joab, David said, ‘Who will come down with me into the camp of Saul?’ Abishai answered, ‘I will go down with you.’ So in the dark David and Abishai made their way towards the force, where they found Saul lying asleep inside the camp, his spear stuck in the ground beside his head, with Abner and the troops lying round him.
  Then Abishai said to David, ‘Today God has put your enemy in your power; so now let me pin him to the ground with his own spear. Just one stroke! I will not need to strike him twice.’ David answered Abishai, ‘Do not kill him, for who can lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be without guilt? As the Lord lives,’ David said ‘the Lord himself will strike him down, whether his time to die comes, or he goes out to battle and perishes then. The Lord forbid that I should raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed! But now take the spear beside his head and the pitcher of water and let us go away.’ David took the spear and the pitcher of water from beside Saul’s head, and they made off. No one saw, no one knew, no one woke up; they were all asleep, for a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them.
  David crossed to the other side and halted on the top of the mountain a long way off; there was a wide space between them. David then called out to the troops and to Abner son of Ner, ‘Abner, will you not answer?’ Abner replied, ‘Who is that calling?’ David said to Abner, ‘Are you not a man? Who is your like in Israel? Why did you not guard your lord the king then? Some man of the people came to kill the king your lord. What you did was not well done. As the Lord lives, you all deserve to die since you did not guard your lord, the Lord’s anointed. Look where the king’s spear is now, and the pitcher of water that was beside his head.’
  Then Saul recognised David’s voice and said, ‘Is that your voice, my son David?’ David answered, ‘It is my voice, my lord king. Why does my lord pursue his servant?’ he said. ‘What have I done? What evil am I guilty of? May my lord king now listen to the words of his servant: if the Lord himself has incited you against me, let him accept an offering; but if men have done it, may they be accursed before the Lord, for now they have driven me out so that I have no share in the heritage of the Lord. They have said, “Go and serve other gods.” So now, do not let my blood fall to the ground out of the presence of the Lord; for the king of Israel has gone out in quest of my life as a man hunts a partridge on the mountains.’
  Saul replied, ‘I have sinned. Come back, my son David; I will never harm you again since you have shown such respect for my life today. Yes, my course has been folly and my error grave.’ David answered, ‘Here is the king’s spear. Let one of the soldiers come across and take it. The Lord repays everyone for his uprightness and loyalty. Today the Lord put you in my power, but I would not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed. Just as today your life counted for much in my sight, so shall my life count for much in the sight of the Lord and he will deliver me from all distress.’
  Then Saul said to David, ‘May you be blessed, my son David! You will do great things and will succeed.’ Then David went on his way and Saul returned home.
Responsory
℟. Insolent men have risen against me, ruthless men seek my life: save me, O God, by your name,* and vindicate me by your might.
℣. I will sacrifice to you with willing heart: O God, hear my prayer* and vindicate me by your might.

Second Reading
St Gregory of Nyssa on the Beatitudes
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
Bodily health is a good thing, but what is truly blessed is not only to know how to keep one’s health but actually to be healthy. If someone praises health but then goes and eats food that makes him ill, what is the use to him, in his illness, of all his praise of health?
  We need to look at the text we are considering in just the same way. It does not say that it is blessed to know something about the Lord God, but that it is blessed to have God within oneself. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  I do not think that this is simply intended to promise a direct vision of God if one purifies one’s soul. On the other hand, perhaps the magnificence of this saying is hinting at the same thing that is said more clearly to another audience: The kingdom of God is within you. That is, we are to understand that when we have purged our souls of every illusion and every disordered affection, we will see our own beauty as an image of the divine nature.
  And it seems to me that the Word of God, in these few words, was saying something like this: In you there is a certain desire to contemplate what is truly good. But when you hear that God’s majesty is exalted high above the heavens, that his glory is beyond comprehension, that his beauty is beyond description, that his very nature can neither be perceived nor be understood, do not fall into despair or think you can never have the sight that you desire.
  So if, by love and right living, you wash off the filth that has become stuck to your heart, the divine beauty will shine forth in you. Think of iron, which at one moment is dark and tarnished and the next, once the rust has been scraped off, shines and glistens brightly in the sun. It is the same with the inner core of man, which the Lord calls the heart. It has been in damp and foul places and is covered in patches of rust; but once the rust has been scraped off, it will recover itself and once more resemble its archetype. And so it will be good, since what resembles the good must be good itself.
  Therefore, whoever looks at himself sees in himself what he desires. And whoever is pure in heart is blessed because, seeing his own purity, he sees the archetype reflected in the image. If you see the sun in a mirror then you are not looking directly at the sky, but still you are seeing the sun just as much as someone who looks directly at it. In the same way, the Lord is saying, although you do not have the strength to withstand the direct sight of the great and inaccessible light of God, if you look within yourselves once you have returned to the grace of the image that was placed in you from the beginning, you will find in yourselves all that you seek.
  For to be God is to be pure, to be free from weakness and passion, to be separated from all evil. If these things are all true of you then God is within you. If your thought is kept pure from evil habits, free from passion and weakness, separated from all stain, you are blessed because your vision is sharp and clear. You are able to see what is invisible to those who have not been purified. The eyes of your soul have been cleansed of material filth and through the purity of your heart you have a clear sight of the vision of blessedness. What is that vision? It is purity, sanctity, simplicity, and other reflections of the brightness of the Divine nature. It is the sight of God.
Responsory
℟. Thus says the Lord: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.* To have seen me is to have seen the Father.
℣. He who believes in me has eternal life.* To have seen me is to have seen the Father.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  teach us at all times to fear and love your holy name,
for you never withdraw your guiding hand
  from those you establish in your love.
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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