Friday 28 April 2017    (other days)
Saint Peter Chanel, Priest, Martyr 
 or Friday of the 2nd week of Eastertide 
 or Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Priest 

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

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.

Love’s redeeming work is done,
fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
death in vain forbids him rise;
Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our victor King;
where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
following our exalted Head;
made like him, like him we rise,
ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection thou!

Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
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.
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)
O Lord, you know all my longing. Alleluia.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
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.
O Lord, you know all my longing. Alleluia.

Psalm 37 (38)
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour. Alleluia.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
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.
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour. Alleluia.

Christ, at your resurrection, alleluia,
let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 4:1-11 ©
In my vision, I, John, saw a door open in heaven and heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a trumpet, saying, ‘Come up here: I will show you what is to come in the future.’ With that, the Spirit possessed me and I saw a throne standing in heaven, and the One who was sitting on the throne, and the Person sitting there looked like a diamond and a ruby. There was a rainbow encircling the throne, and this looked like an emerald. Round the throne in a circle were twenty-four thrones, and on them I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning were coming from the throne, and the sound of peals of thunder, and in front of the throne there were seven flaming lamps burning, the seven Spirits of God. Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals with many eyes, in front and behind. The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle. Each of the four animals had six wings and had eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing:
‘Holy, Holy, Holy
is the Lord God, the Almighty;
he was, he is and he is to come.’
Every time the animals glorified and honoured and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever, and threw down their crowns in front of the throne, saying, ‘You are our Lord and our God, you are worthy of glory and honour and power, because you made all the universe and it was only by your will that everything was made and exists.’
℟. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come.* His glory fills the whole earth, alleluia.
℣. The seraphim cried to one another in this way: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.* His glory fills the whole earth, alleluia.

Second Reading
From a eulogy of St Peter Chanel
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church
As soon as Peter embraced religious life in the Society of Mary, he was sent at his own request to the missions of Oceania, and landed on the island of Futuna in the Pacific Ocean, where the name of Christ had never before been preached. A lay-brother who was constantly at his side gave the following account of his life in the missions.
  “Because of his labours he was often burned by the heat of the sun, and famished with hunger, and he would return home wet with perspiration and completely exhausted. Yet he always remained in good spirits, courageous and energetic, as if he were returning from a pleasure jaunt, and this would happen almost every day.
  “He could never refuse anything to the Futunians, even to those who persecuted him; he always made excuses for them and never rejected them, even though they were often rude and troublesome. He displayed an unparalleled mildness toward everyone on all occasions without exception. It is no wonder then that the natives used to call him the “good-hearted man.” He once told a fellow religious: “In such a difficult mission one has to be holy.” Quietly he preached Christ and the Gospel, but there was little response. Still with invincible perseverance he pursued his missionary task on both the human and religious level, relying on the example and words of Christ: There is one who sows and another who reaps. And he constantly prayed for help from the Mother of God, to whom he was especially devoted.
  By his preaching of Christianity he destroyed the cult of the evil spirits, which the chieftains of the Futunians encouraged in order to keep the tribe under their rule. This was the reason they subjected Peter to a most cruel death, hoping that by killing him the seeds of the Christian religion which he had sown would be annihilated.
  On the day before his martyrdom he had said: “It does not matter if I die. Christ’s religion is so deeply rooted on this island that it cannot be destroyed by my death.”
  The blood of this martyr benefited, in the first place, the natives of Futuna, for a few years later they were all converted to the faith of Christ. But it benefited as well the other islands of Oceania, where Christian churches, which claim Peter as their first martyr, are now flourishing.
℟. The harvest is rich but the labourers are few,* so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest, alleluia.
℣. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth;* so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest, alleluia.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you made the martyrdom of Saint Peter Chanel
  serve the growth of your Church.
Give us grace, in these days of Easter joy,
  so to celebrate the mysteries of Christ’s death and resurrection
  that we may give witness of newness of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

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

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