Universalis
Sunday 1 March 2015    (other days)
2nd Sunday of Lent

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)
Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. 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.
Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. 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
Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild
forty days and forty nights
tempted still, yet undefiled.
Shall not we thy sorrow share,
and from earthly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?
And if Satan, vexing sore,
flesh or spirit should assail,
thou, his vanquisher before,
grant we may not faint or fail.
So shall we have peace divine;
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us too shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that with thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide.

Psalm 103 (104)
Hymn to God the Creator
Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord, my God, how great you are!
You are robed in majesty and splendour;
  you are wrapped in light as in a cloak.
You stretch out the sky like an awning,
  you build your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot,
  you walk upon the wings of the wind.
You make the breezes your messengers,
  you make burning fire your minister.
You set the earth upon its foundation:
  from age to age it will stand firm.
Deep oceans covered it like a garment,
  and the waters stood high above the mountains;
but you rebuked them and they fled;
  at the sound of your thunder they fled in terror.
They rise to the mountains or sink to the valleys,
  to the places you have decreed for them.
You have given them a boundary they must not cross;
  they will never come back to cover the earth.
You make springs arise to feed the streams,
  that flow in the midst of the mountains.
All the beasts of the field will drink from them
  and the wild asses will quench their thirst.
Above them will nest the birds of the sky,
  from among the branches their voices will sound.
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 God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe.

Psalm 103 (104)
The Lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine, to cheer man’s heart.
From your palace you water the mountains,
  and thus you give plenty to the earth.
You bring forth grass for the cattle,
  and plants for the service of man.
You bring forth bread from the land,
  and wine to make man’s heart rejoice.
Oil, to make the face shine;
  and bread to make man’s heart strong.
The trees of the Lord have all that they need,
  and the cedars of Lebanon, that he planted.
Small birds will nest there,
  and storks at the tops of the trees.
For wild goats there are the high mountains;
  the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
He made the moon so that time could be measured;
  the sun knows the hour of its setting.
You send shadows, and night falls:
  then all the beasts of the woods come out,
lion cubs roaring for their prey,
  asking God for their food.
When the sun rises they come back together
  to lie in their lairs;
man goes out to his labour,
  and works until evening.
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 brought forth bread from the earth and wine, to cheer man’s heart.

Psalm 103 (104)
God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.
How many are your works, O Lord!
  You have made all things in your wisdom,
  and the earth is full of your creatures.
The sea is broad and immense:
  sea-creatures swim there, both small and large,
  too many to count.
Ships sail across it;
  Leviathan lives there, the monster;
  you made him to play with.
All of them look to you
  to give them their food when they need it.
You give it to them, and they gather;
  you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
But turn away, and they are dismayed;
  take away their breath, and they die,
  once more they will turn into dust.
You will send forth your breath, they will come to life;
  you will renew the face of the earth.
Glory be to the Lord, for ever;
  let the Lord rejoice in his works.
He turns his gaze to the earth, and it trembles;
  he touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
  as long as I exist, I will sing songs to God.
May my praises be pleasing to him;
  truly I will delight in the Lord.
Let sinners perish from the earth,
  let the wicked vanish from existence.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
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.
God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

The Father’s voice was heard from the cloud:
‘This is my beloved Son: listen to him.’

First Reading
Exodus 13:17-14:9 ©
When Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not let them take the road to the land of the Philistines, although that was the nearest way. God thought that the prospect of fighting would make the people lose heart and turn back to Egypt. Instead, God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds. The sons of Israel went out from Egypt fully armed. Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had put the sons of Israel on solemn oath. ‘It is sure that God will visit you,’ he had said ‘and when that day comes you must take my bones from here with you.’
  From Succoth they moved on, and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness.
  The Lord went before them, by day in the form of a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and by night in the form of a pillar of fire to give them light: thus they could continue their march by day and by night. The pillar of cloud never failed to go before the people during the day, nor the pillar of fire during the night.
  The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and pitch camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, facing Baal-zephon. You are to pitch your camp opposite this place, beside the sea. Pharaoh will think, “Look how these sons of Israel wander to and fro in the countryside; the wilderness has closed in on them.” Then I shall make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn and he will set out in pursuit of them. But I shall win glory for myself at the expense of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.’ And the Israelites did this.
  When Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was told that the people had made their escape, he and his courtiers changed their minds about the people. ‘What have we done,’ they said ‘allowing Israel to leave our service?’ So Pharaoh had his chariot harnessed and gathered his troops about him, taking six hundred of the best chariots and all the other chariots in Egypt, each manned by a picked team. The Lord made Pharaoh, king of Egypt, stubborn, and he gave chase to the sons of Israel as they made their triumphant escape. So the Egyptians gave chase and came up with them where they lay encamped beside the sea – all the horses, the chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen, his army – near Pi-hahiroth, facing Baal-zephon.
Responsory
When Israel came forth from Egypt, Jacob’s sons from an alien people, Judah became the Lord’s temple, Israel became his kingdom.
The Lord went before them in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way. Judah became the Lord’s temple, Israel became his kingdom.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The Law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
The Lord reveals his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but he makes it shine with such splendour that his face becomes like the sun in glory, and his garments as white as snow.
  The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.
  With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift: the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.
  The Lord had himself spoken of this when he foretold the splendour of his coming: Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Saint Paul the apostle bore witness to this same truth when he said: I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared to the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place he says: You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
  This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?
  The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.
  In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
  No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.
  When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
Responsory
You have come to Jesus, the mediator who brings a new covenant. Make sure that you never refuse to listen when he speaks. The people who refused to listen to him on earth could not escape their punishment: then how can we escape if we turn away from his voice that warns us from heaven?
O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts. The people who refused to listen to him on earth could not escape their punishment: then how can we escape if we turn away from his voice that warns us from heaven?

Let us pray.
God our Father,
  you bid us listen to your Son, the well-beloved.
Nourish our hearts on your word,
  purify the eyes of our mind,
  and fill us with joy at the vision of your glory.
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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