Universalis
Thursday 21 June 2018    (other days)
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious 
 (Thursday of week 11 in Ordinary Time)

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 94 (95)
How wonderful is God among his saints: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
(repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
(repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
(repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
How wonderful is God among his saints: come, let us adore him.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


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 88 (89)
A lament at the ruin of the house of David
Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.
But you have spurned and rejected him;
  you are enraged against your anointed.
You have repudiated the covenant of your servant,
  you have trampled his crown in the dust.
You have demolished his walls
  and laid his fortifications in ruins.
Anyone who passes can despoil him;
  he is a mockery among his neighbours.
You have strengthened the arm of those who oppress him,
  you have gladdened the hearts of his enemies.
You have turned back the sharp edge of his sword;
  you have deprived him of your help in battle.
You have put an end to his splendour,
  and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;
  you have covered him from head to foot in shame.
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.
Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.

Psalm 88 (89)
I am the root and stock of David; I am the splendid morning star.
How long, O Lord, will you hide yourself? For ever?
  Will your anger always burn like fire?
Remember how short is my time.
  Was it truly so pointless, your creation of man?
Who is the man who can live and not die,
  who can save his life from the grasp of the underworld?
Where are the kindnesses you showed us of old?
  Where is the truth of your oath to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servants are taunted,
  the taunts I bear in my bosom, the taunts of the nations –
  the insults of your enemies, Lord,
  the insults that follow the steps of 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.
I am the root and stock of David; I am the splendid morning star.

Psalm 89 (90)
Let the Lord's glory shine upon us
Our years pass like grass; but you, God, are without beginning or end.
Lord, you have been our refuge
  from generation to generation.
Before the mountains were born,
  before earth and heaven were conceived,
  from all time to all time, you are God.
You turn men into dust,
  you say to them “go back, children of men.”
A thousand years in your sight
  are like yesterday, that has passed;
  like a short watch in the night.
When you take them away, they will be nothing but a dream;
  like the grass that sprouts in the morning:
in the morning it grows and flowers,
  in the evening it withers and dries.
For we are made weak by your anger,
  thrown into confusion by your wrath.
You have gazed upon our transgressions;
  the light of your face illuminates our secrets.
All our days vanish in your anger,
  we use up our years in a single breath.
Seventy years are what we have,
  or eighty for the stronger ones;
and most of that is labour and sadness –
  quickly they pass, and we are gone.
Who can comprehend the power of your wrath?
  Who can behold the violence of your anger?
Teach us to reckon our days like this,
  so that our hearts may be led at last to wisdom.
Turn to us, Lord, how long must we wait?
  Let your servants call on you and be answered.
Fill us with your kindness in the morning,
  and we shall rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Give us joy for as long as you afflicted us,
  for all the years when we suffered.
Let your servants see your great works,
  and let their children see your glory.
Let the glory of the Lord God be upon us:
  make firm the work of your hands.
  Make firm the work of your hands.
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.
Our years pass like grass; but you, God, are without beginning or end.

Lord, from you springs life;
in your light we shall see light.

First Reading
Judges 8:22-23,30-32,9:1-15,19-20 ©
God’s people struggle to appoint a king
The men of Israel said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us, you and your sons and your grandson, because you have rescued us from the power of Midian.’ But Gideon answered them, ‘It is not I who shall rule over you, nor my son; the Lord must be your lord.’
  Gideon had seventy sons begotten by him, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, bore him a son too, whom he called Abimelech. Gideon son of Joash was blessed in his old age; he died, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of Abiezer.
  Abimelech son of Jerubbaal came to his mother’s brothers at Shechem and said to them and the whole clan of his mother’s family, ‘Please put this question to the leading men of Shechem: Which is better for you, to be ruled by seventy – I mean all the sons of Jerubbaal – or to be ruled by one? Remind yourselves also that I am your own flesh and blood.’ His mother’s brothers spoke of him to all the leading men of Shechem in these terms, and their hearts inclined towards Abimelech, for they told themselves, ‘He is our brother.’ So they gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-berith, and with this Abimelech paid worthless scoundrels to follow him. Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and murdered his brothers, the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, on the selfsame stone. Only the youngest son of Jerubbaal escaped, for he had gone into hiding; this was Jotham. Then all the leading men of Shechem and all Beth-millo gathered, and proclaimed Abimelech king by the terebinth of the pillar at Shechem.
  News of this was brought to Jotham. He came and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted aloud for them to hear:
‘Hear me, leaders of Shechem,
that God may also hear you!
‘One day the trees went out
to anoint a king to rule over them.
They said to the olive tree, “Be our king!”
‘The olive tree answered them,
“Must I forego my oil
which gives honour to gods and men,
to stand swaying above the trees?”
‘Then the trees said to the fig tree,
“Come now, you be our king!”
‘The fig tree answered them,
“Must I forego my sweetness,
forego my excellent fruit,
to stand swaying above the trees?”
‘Then the trees said to the vine,
“Come now, you be our king!”
‘The vine answered them,
“Must I forego my wine
which cheers the heart of gods and men,
to stand swaying above the trees?”
‘Then all the trees said to the thorn bush,
“Come now, you be our king!”
‘And the thorn bush answered the trees,
“If in all good faith you anoint me king to reign over you,
then come and shelter in my shade.
If not, fire will come from the thorn bush
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”
‘If, I say, you have acted in sincerity and good faith towards Jerubbaal and his family, then may Abimelech be your joy and may you be his. If not, may fire come out of Abimelech and devour the leading men of Shechem and Beth-millo, and fire come out of the leading men of Shechem and Beth-millo to devour Abimelech.’
Responsory
Jg 8:23; Rv 5:13
℟. I will not rule over you, neither will my son rule over you:* the Lord himself will rule over you.
℣. To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour, glory and might for ever and ever.* The Lord himself will rule over you.

Second Reading
A letter from St Aloysius Gonzaga to his mother
God's mercies shall be my song for ever
May the comfort and grace of the Holy Spirit be yours for ever, most honoured lady. Your letter found me lingering still in this region of the dead, but now I must rouse myself to make my way on to heaven at last and to praise God for ever in the land of the living; indeed I had hoped that before this time my journey there would have been over. If charity, as Saint Paul says, means to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who are glad, then, dearest mother, you shall rejoice exceedingly that God in his grace and his love for you is showing me the path to true happiness, and assuring me that I shall never lose him.
  The divine goodness, most honoured lady, is a fathomless and shoreless ocean, and I confess that when I plunge my mind into thought of this it is carried away by the immensity and feels quite lost and bewildered there. In return for my short and feeble labours, God is calling me to eternal rest; his voice from heaven invites me to the infinite bliss I have sought so languidly, and promises me this reward for the tears I have so seldom shed.
  Take care above all things, most honoured lady, not to insult God’s boundless loving kindness; you would certainly do this if you mourned as dead one living face to face with God, one whose prayers can bring you in your troubles more powerful aid than they ever could on earth. And our parting will not be for long; we shall see each other again in heaven; we shall be united with our Saviour; there we shall praise him with heart and soul, sing of his mercies for ever, and enjoy eternal happiness. When he takes away what he once lent us, his purpose is to store our treasure elsewhere more safely and bestow on us those very blessings that we ourselves would most choose to have.
  I write all this with the one desire that you and all my family may consider my departure a joy and favour and that you especially may speed with a mother’s blessing my passage across the waters till I reach the shore to which all hopes belong. I write the more willingly because I have no clearer way of expressing the love and respect I owe you as your son.
Responsory
℟. You befriended my innocence, O Lord;* never more will you banish me from your presence.
℣. Willingly did I lie forgotten in the house of my God, rather than dwell in the abode of sinners;* never more will you banish me from your presence.

Let us pray.
Lord God, source of every grace,
  you joined an innocent heart to a penitent’s sorrow
  in the life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
Grant, through his intercession,
  that we, who have failed to imitate his innocence,
  may follow his example of penance.
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.

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