Wednesday 20 September 2017    (other days)
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Martyrs 
 (Wednesday of week 24 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 99 (100)
The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
  and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
(repeat antiphon*)
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
 – his people, the sheep of his flock.
(repeat antiphon*)
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
  fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
  for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
  his faithfulness through all the ages.
(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.
The Lord is the king of martyrs: 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.

O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 102 (103)
Praise of the compassionate Lord
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  Never forget all he has done for you.
The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
  who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
  who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
  who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
  who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.
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.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.

Psalm 102 (103)
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
  full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
  he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
  he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
  so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
  so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
  so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
  he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
  he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
  no trace of him remains.
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.
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

Psalm 102 (103)
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
  to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
  for those who keep his covenant,
  for those who remember his commandments
  and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
  and his rule shall extend over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels,
  strong in your strength, doers of his command,
  bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
  his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
  in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless 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.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

Teach me the way of your precepts, O Lord,
and I will reflect on the wonders you have wrought.

First Reading
Ezekiel 10:18-22,11:14-25 ©
The glory of the Lord abandons the condemned City
The glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold and paused over the cherubs. The cherubs spread their wings and rose from the ground to leave, and as I watched the wheels rose with them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. This was the creature that I had seen supporting the God of Israel beside the river Chebar, and I was now certain that these were cherubs. Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings. Their faces were just as I had seen them beside the river Chebar. Each moved straight forward.
  The word of the Lord was then addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel, these are told by the citizens of Jerusalem, “You have been sent away from the Lord; it is to us that the land was given as our domain.” Say therefore, “The Lord says this: Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for a while I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone.” Then say, “The Lord says this: I will gather you together from the peoples, I will bring you all back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. They will come and will purge it of all the horrors and the filthy practices. I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh instead, so that they will keep my laws and respect my observances and put them into practice. Then they shall be my people and I will be their God. But those whose hearts are set on their idols and their filthy practices I will call to account for their conduct – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
  The cherubs then spread their wings and the wheels began to move with them, while the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. And the glory of the Lord rose to leave the city and paused on the mountain to the east of the city.
  The spirit lifted me up in vision, in the spirit of God, and took me to the Chaldaeans, away to the exiles, and so the vision I had seen faded; and then I told the exiles everything that the Lord had shown me.
Ezk 10:4,18; Mt 23:37-38
℟. The glory of the Lord rose to the threshold of the Temple, which was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord;* and the glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold.
℣. How often have I been ready to gather your children together, O Jerusalem, and you refused it! Behold, your house is left to you, a house uninhabited,* and the glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold.

Second Reading
From the final exhortation of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, priest and martyr
Faith is crowned by love and perseverance
My brethren and dear friends, think about this and reflect on it: from the beginning of time God has ordered the heavens, the earth, and all things. Consider the creation of man in this light and reflect on why he has created man, each man, in his image and likeness: why, and with what purpose.
  If, then, placed as we are in this world full of danger and misery, we do not know the Lord our creator, what is the point in having been born? Our life is pointless. Thanks to God, we have come into this world. Also thanks to God, we have received baptism, we have entered the Church, and we have received the glorious name of disciples of the Lord. But what use would that name be if it did not correspond to reality? If it does not, then it is in vain that we have come into the world and entered into the Church. Moreover, such a state of affairs would not serve the Lord and his grace. It would be better for us never to have been born than to receive the grace of the Lord and then sin against him.
  Look at the farmer sowing his field. He ploughs the earth at the appropriate time, then he manures it, and he cultivates the growing seed without caring how hard his work is under a hot sun. When harvest time arrives, if the ears are fat then he forgets his labour and his sweat because his heart is full of joy and he delights in the harvest. But if the grains are shrivelled and there is nothing but straw and empty husks, then the farmer remembers his sweat and heavy labour: the more he has worked the field, the more he turns his back on it.
  It is the same with the Lord. The Earth is his field; we men are his seed; his manure is grace. By the Incarnation and the Redemption he waters us with his blood so that we can grow and ripen. When the time for harvest comes at the Day of Judgement, if by his grace we are found to be ripe, we shall know the joy of the kingdom as the adoptive children of God. But if we are found to be unripe, we shall have become enemies of God instead of the adoptive sons we were, and we shall receive the eternal punishment we deserve.
  My very dear brethren, know this: our Lord Jesus, coming down here, himself suffered pains beyond counting: by his Passion he founded the Church and by the passion of his faithful he makes it grow. The powers of this world may well oppress it and attack it, but they will never have victory over it. After the Ascension of Jesus, from the time of the Apostles until now, the holy Church has grown everywhere in the middle of persecution.
  It is fifty or sixty years now since the holy Church entered our land of Korea. The faithful have endured persecution over and over again. Today it is beginning once more: many of our friends in faith, and I myself, are in prison. You too are under threat. Since we form one body, how can we not have sad hearts? How can we not, as human beings, feel the pain of separation?
  All the same, as Scripture tells us, God takes care of the least of the hairs of our head and nothing escapes his infinite knowledge. How then can we see this persecution except as something ordered by the Lord either as a prize or as a punishment? Follow therefore the will of God, fight with all your heart for our divine leader Jesus, and you will vanquish the demon of this world, who has already been vanquished by Christ.
  I implore you: do not forget fraternal love but help one another and persevere until the Lord takes pity on us and ends this persecution.
  There are twenty of us here and, thank God, all is well with us so far. If one of us is put to death I beg you not to forget his family.
  There are many other things I could say to you, but how to say them all in a letter? So I will end here. As for us, in a short time we will go into combat. I beg you to keep yourselves faithful so that we can all be reunited in the joys of heaven. With all my heart, I embrace you.

Let us pray.
O God, you have created all nations and you are their salvation.
  In the land of Korea your call to Catholic faith formed a people of adoption,
  whose growth you nurtured by the blood of Andrew, Paul and their companions.
Through their martyrdom and their intercession
  grant us strength
  that we too may remain faithful to your commandments even until death.
We make our prayer 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.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

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