Universalis
Monday 26 September 2016    (other days)
Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs 
 or Monday of week 26 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
Come, Spirit blest, with God the Son
and God the Father, ever one:
shed forth your grace within our breast
and live in us, a ready guest.
By every power, by heart and tongue,
by act and deed, your praise be sung.
Inflame with perfect love each sense,
that others’ souls may kindle thence.

Psalm 30 (31)
Trustful prayer in time of adversity
Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.
In you, Lord, I put my trust: may I never be put to shame.
  In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
  make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
  keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
  you will lead me out to the pastures,
  for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
  for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit:
  you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
You hate those who run after vain nothings;
  but I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your kindness,
  for you have looked on me, lowly as I am.
You saw when my soul was in need:
  you did not leave me locked in the grip of the enemy,
  but set my feet on free and open ground.
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.
Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.

Psalm 30 (31)
Lord, let your face shine on your servant.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am troubled:
  my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
  the very centre of my being is disturbed.
For my life is worn out with distress,
  my years with groaning;
my strength becomes weakness,
  my bones melt away.
I am a scandal and a disgrace,
  so many are my enemies;
to my friends and neighbours,
  I am a thing to fear.
When they see me in the street,
  they run from me.
I have vanished from their minds as though I were dead,
  or like a pot that is broken.
I know this – for I have heard the scolding of the crowd.
  There is terror all around,
for when they come together against me
  it is my life they are resolved to take.
But I put my trust in you, Lord;
  I say: “You are my God,
  my fate is in your hands.”
Tear me from the grip of my enemies,
  from those who hound me;
let your face shine upon your servant,
  in your kindness, save 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.
Lord, let your face shine on your servant.

Psalm 30 (31)
Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.
How very many are the pleasures, Lord,
  that you have stored up for those who fear you.
You have made these things ready for those who trust in you,
  to give them in the sight of all men.
Far away from the plottings of men
  you hide them in your secret place.
You keep them safe in your dwelling-place
  far from lying tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
  for he has shown me his wonderful kindness
  within the fortified city.
In my terror, I said
  “I am cut off from your sight”;
but you heard the voice of my prayer
  when I called to you.
Love the Lord, all his chosen ones.
The Lord keeps his faithful ones safe,
  heaps rich revenge on the arrogant.
Be brave, let your hearts be strong,
  all who trust in the Lord.
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.
Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.

Guide me in your truth, Lord, and teach me;
for you are my God and my salvation.

First Reading
Philippians 1:12-26 ©
I am glad to tell you, brothers, that the things that happened to me have actually been a help to the Good News.
  My chains, in Christ, have become famous not only all over the Praetorium but everywhere, and most of the brothers have taken courage in the Lord from these chains of mine and are getting more and more daring in announcing the Message without any fear. It is true that some of them are doing it just out of rivalry and competition, but the rest preach Christ with the right intention, out of nothing but love, as they know that this is my invariable way of defending the gospel. The others, who proclaim Christ for jealous or selfish motives, do not mind if they make my chains heavier to bear. But does it matter? Whether from dishonest motives or in sincerity, Christ is proclaimed; and that makes me happy; and I shall continue being happy, because I know this will help to save me, thanks to your prayers and to the help which will be given to me by the Spirit of Jesus. My one hope and trust is that I shall never have to admit defeat, but that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results – I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake. This weighs with me so much that I feel sure I shall survive and stay with you all, and help you to progress in the faith and even increase your joy in it; and so you will have another reason to give praise to Christ Jesus on my account when I am with you again.
Responsory
℟. My one hope is that I shall never have to admit defeat,* but I trust that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death.
℣. Life to me, of course, is Christ. Death would bring me something more,* but I trust that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Augustine
The martyrs' deaths are made precious by the death of Christ
Through such glorious deeds of the holy martyrs, with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we prove with our own eyes how true it is, as we have just been singing, that precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints; seeing that it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of him for the sake of whose name it was undertaken. But the price of these deaths is the death of one man. How many deaths were bought with one dying man, who was the grain of wheat that would not have been multiplied if he had not died! You have heard his words when he was drawing near to our passion, that is, when he was drawing near to our redemption: Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
  On the cross, you see, Christ transacted a grand exchange; it was there that the purse containing our price was untied; when his side was laid open by the lance of the executioner, there poured out from it the price of the whole wide world. The faithful were bought, and the martyrs; but the faith of the martyrs has been proved, and their blood is the witness to it. The martyrs have paid back what was spent for them, and they have fulfilled what Saint John says: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too should lay down our lives for the brethren. And in another place it says, You have sat down at a great table; consider carefully what is set before you, since you ought to prepare the same kind of thing yourself. It is certainly a great table, where the Lord of the table is himself the banquet. No-one feeds his guests on himself; that is what the Lord Christ did, being himself the host, himself the food and drink. Therefore the martyrs recognised what they ate and drank, so that they could give back the same kind of thing.
  But from where could they give back the same kind of thing, if the one who made the first payment had not given them the means of giving something back? What shall I pay back to the Lord for all the things he has paid back to me? I will receive the cup of salvation. What is this cup? The bitter but salutary cup of suffering, the cup which the invalid would fear to touch if the doctor did not drink it first. That is what this cup is; we can recognise this cup on the lips of Christ, when he says, Father, if it can be so, let this cup pass from me. It is about this cup that the martyrs said, I will receive the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.
  So are you not afraid of failing at this point? No? Why not? Because I will call upon the name of the Lord. How could the martyrs ever conquer, unless that one conquered in them who said Rejoice, since I have conquered the world? The emperor of the heavens was governing their minds and tongues, and through them overcoming the devil on earth and crowning the martyrs in heaven. O, how blessed are those who drank this cup thus! They have finished with suffering and have received honour instead.
Responsory
℟. The saints shed their blood in glorious combat for the Lord; they loved Christ in their life and imitated him in their death;* and so they won the crown of victory.
℣. One Spirit and one faith united them,* and so they won the crown of victory.

Let us pray.
Lord God, we proclaim your great power
  as we keep the memory of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian.
In your providence
  you have exalted them to glory,
  and you have given us the patronage of their prayers.
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 apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

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