Saturday 30 July 2016    (other days)
Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
 or Saturday of week 17 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Doctor 

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.

Hail, of paradise the portal!
  Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
  And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
  On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
  Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
  Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
  Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
  Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
  Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
  Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
  Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
  Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
  Every spirit bow before thee.

Psalm 130 (131)
Childlike trust in God
Whoever humbles himself like a little child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.
Lord, I do not puff myself up or stare about,
  or walk among the great or seek wonders beyond me.
Truly calm and quiet I have made my spirit:
  quiet as a weaned child in its mother’s arms –
  like an infant is my soul.
Let Israel hope in the Lord, now and for all time.
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.
Whoever humbles himself like a little child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 131 (132)
God's promise to the house of David
With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.
Lord, remember David
  and how he served you.
He swore to the Lord,
  vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not go into my tent, my home,
  nor go up to my bed of rest;
I will not let my eyes sleep
  or my eyelids grow heavy
until I have found a place for the Lord,
  a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard that it was in Ephratha,
  we found it in the plains of Jaar.
So let us go into his dwelling-place
  and let us worship before his footstool.
Rise up, Lord, and come to your place of rest.
  Come with the Ark of your power.
Let your priests be robed in your justice,
  and let your chosen ones rejoice.
Remember what David did for you,
  and do not turn your face from 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.
With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.

Psalm 131 (132)
The Lord swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word; he made his kingdom firm for ever.
The Lord swore David a true oath,
  he will not go back on his word:
“The fruit of your body
  I will place on your throne.
If your children keep my covenant and the commands I teach them,
  their children’s children will occupy your throne for ever.”
For the Lord has chosen Zion,
  taken it for his dwelling-place:
“Here will I take my rest for all time:
  here will I live, such is my desire.
I will bless its crops with my blessing,
  I will fill its poor with bread.
I will clothe its priests with righteousness.
  Its chosen ones will exult with joy.
There will I plant the sign of David,
  and prepare a lamp for my anointed one.
I will wrap his enemies in confusion,
  but over his head my crown will shine.
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 swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word; he made his kingdom firm for ever.

Come and see the works of the Lord,
who has done wonders on the earth.

First Reading
2 Corinthians 12:14-13:13 ©
I am all prepared now to come to you for the third time, and I am not going to be a burden on you: it is you I want, not your possessions. Children are not expected to save up for their parents, but parents for children. I am perfectly willing to spend what I have, and to be expended, in the interests of your souls. Because I love you more, must I be loved the less?
  All very well, you say: I personally put no pressure on you, but like the cunning fellow that I am, I took you in by a trick. So we exploited you, did we, through one of the men that I have sent to you? Well, Titus went at my urging, and I sent the brother that came with him. Can Titus have exploited you? You know that he and I have always been guided by the same spirit and trodden in the same tracks.
  All this time you have been thinking that our defence is addressed to you, but it is before God that we, in Christ, are speaking; and it is all, my dear brothers, for your benefit. What I am afraid of is that when I come I may find you different from what I want you to be, and you may find that I am not as you would like me to be; and then there will be wrangling, jealousy, and tempers roused, intrigues and backbiting and gossip, obstinacies and disorder. I am afraid that on my next visit, my God may make me ashamed on your account and I shall be grieving over all those who sinned before and have still not repented of the impurities, fornication and debauchery they committed.
  This will be the third time I have come to you. The evidence of three, or at least two, witnesses is necessary to sustain the charge. I gave warning when I was with you the second time and I give warning now, too, before I come, to those who sinned before and to any others, that when I come again, I shall have no mercy. You want proof, you say, that it is Christ speaking in me: you have known him not as a weakling, but as a power among you? Yes, but he was crucified through weakness, and still he lives now through the power of God. So then, we are weak, as he was, but we shall live with him, through the power of God, for your benefit.
  Examine yourselves to make sure you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you acknowledge that Jesus Christ is really in you? If not, you have failed the test, but we, as I hope you will come to see, have not failed it. We pray to God that you will do nothing wrong: not that we want to appear as the ones who have been successful – we would rather that you did well even though we failed. We have no power to resist the truth; only to further it. We are only too glad to be weak provided you are strong. What we ask in our prayers is for you to be made perfect. That is why I am writing this from a distance, so that when I am with you I shall not need to be strict, with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for destroying.
  In the meantime, brothers, we wish you happiness; try to grow perfect; help one another. Be united; live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
  Greet one another with the holy kiss. All the saints send you greetings.
  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
℟. Farewell, my brothers. Strive for perfection and live in peace,* and the God of love and peace will be with you.
℣. May God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, keep your hearts and minds safe, in union with Christ Jesus.* And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Second Reading
From the sermons of Blessed Abbot Guerric
Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of Christians
Mary bore only one Son. In heaven, he is the only-begotten of the Father; on earth, likewise, he is the only-begotten of his Mother. She who is the only Virgin-Mother, she who glories in having borne the only-begotten of the Father, embraces that same only-begotten of hers in all his members so she can truly be called mother of all in whom she sees that Christ her Son has been formed or is being formed.
  The first Eve is not so much a mother as a stepmother since she handed on to her children an inheritance of certain death rather than the beginning of light. She is indeed called the mother of all the living, but she turned out to be more precisely the murderer of the living, or mother of the dead, since the only fruit of her child-bearing was death. And as Eve was incapable of fulfilling the vocation of her title, Mary consummated the mystery. She herself, like the Church of which she is the type, is a mother of all who are reborn to life.
  She is in fact the mother of the Life by which everyone lives, and when she brought it forth from herself she in some way brought to rebirth all those who were to live by that Life.
  Thus the blessed Mother of Christ, knowing that she is the mother of all Christians by reason of this mystery, shows herself a mother by her care and loving attention. For her heart is not hardened against these children as if they were not her own; her womb carried a child once only, yet it remains ever fruitful, never ceasing to bring forth the fruits of her motherly compassion.
  In short, if the Servant of Christ by his care and heartfelt tenderness bears his little children again and again until Christ be formed in them, how much more is this true of the very Mother of Christ? Paul begot his children by preaching the word of truth through which they were born again; but Mary in a manner far more holy and like to God, by giving birth to the Word himself. I do indeed praise the ministry of preaching in Paul, but far more do I admire and venerate that mystery of generation in Mary. Then again, is it not true that her children seem to recognise her as their Mother by a kind of instinctive devotion which faith gives them as second nature, so that first and foremost in all their needs and dangers they run to call upon her name just as children run to their mother’s breast? So I think it is quite reasonable to understand of these children that promise of the Prophet to her: ‘Your children shall live in you’; provided that the prophecy is always understood to refer principally to the Church. Already we really dwell in the help of the Mother of the Most High; we do live in her protection, as if under the shadow of her wing. And afterwards in participating in her glory we shall be cherished as if in her bosom. Then a single cry of rejoicing and thanksgiving will be heard addressed to this Mother: ‘The dwelling place of all of us who rejoice and are glad is in you, holy Mother of God.’
℟. It is by the Holy Spirit that Mary has conceived this child. She will bear a son* and he will save his people from their sins.
℣. His greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth. He shall be a man of peace* and he will save his people from their sins.

Let us pray.
Grant us, Lord, we pray,
  the joy of continued health of mind and body:
and through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever-virgin,
  free us of this present sadness
  and fill us with eternal joy.
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.

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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