Universalis
Tuesday 26 September 2017    (other days)
Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs 
 or Tuesday of week 25 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
Worship, glory, praise and honour
To our God, high-throned above:
We, with many generations
Join to praise thy name of love.
In the scriptures, by the Spirit,
May we see the Saviour’s face,
Hear his word and heed his calling,
Know his will and grow in grace.

Psalm 9B (10)
Thanksgiving
The Lord will protect the rights of the oppressed.
With what purpose, Lord, do you stay away,
  hide yourself in time of need and trouble?
The wicked in their pride persecute the weak,
  trap them in the plots they have devised.
The sinner glories in his desires,
  the miser congratulates himself.
The sinner in his arrogance rejects the Lord:
  “there is no God, no retribution.”
This is what he thinks
 – and all goes well for him.
Your judgements are far beyond his comprehension:
  he despises all who stand against him.
The sinner says to himself: “I will stand firm;
  nothing can touch me, from generation to generation.”
His mouth is full of malice and deceit,
  under his tongue hide trouble and distress.
He lies in ambush by the villages,
  he kills the innocent in some secret place.
He watches the weak,
  he hides like a lion in its lair, and makes plans.
He plans to rob the weak,
  lure him to his trap and rob him.
He rushes in, makes a dive,
  and the poor victim is caught.
For he has said to himself, “God has forgotten.
  He is not watching, he will never see.”
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 will protect the rights of the oppressed.

Psalm 9B (10)
Lord, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.
Rise up, Lord, raise your hand!
  Do not forget the weak.
Why does the wicked man spurn God?
  Because he says to himself, “you will not take revenge.”
But you do see: you see the trouble and the pain,
  and then you take things into your own hands.
The weak fall to your care,
  and you are the help of the orphan.
Break the arms of the sinner and evil-doer:
  seek out wickedness until there is no more to be found.
The Lord is King for ever and for ever.
  The Gentiles have perished from his land.
You have heard the prayer of the weak, Lord,
  and you will strengthen their hearts.
You will lend your ear to the pleas of the orphans and the helpless,
  so mere mortals can frighten them no longer.
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, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.

Psalm 11 (12)
A prayer against the proud
The words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.
Save me, Lord, for the good men are all gone:
  there is no-one to be trusted among the sons of men.
Neighbour speaks falsehood to neighbour:
  with lying lips and crooked hearts they speak.
Let the Lord condemn all lying lips,
  all boastful tongues.
They say “Our tongues will make us great,
  our lips are ours, we have no master.”
“On account of the sufferings of the poor,
  the groans of the weak, I will rise up,” says the Lord.
  “I will bring to safety the one whom men despise.”
The words of the Lord are pure words,
  silver tried by fire, freed from dross,
  silver seven times refined.
You, Lord, will help us
  and guard us from now to all eternity –
while the wicked walk round outside,
  where the vilest are most honoured of the children of men.
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 words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

The Lord will guide the humble on the right path.
He will teach his ways to the meek.

First Reading
Ezekiel 36:16-36 ©
The future restoration of People of God
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, the members of the House of Israel used to live in their own land, but they defiled it by their conduct and actions; to me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstruation. I then discharged my fury at them because of the blood they shed in their land and the idols with which they defiled it. I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in foreign countries. I sentenced them as their conduct and actions deserved. And now they have profaned my holy name among the nations where they have gone, so that people say of them, “These are the people of the Lord; they have been exiled from his land.” But I have been concerned about my holy name, which the House of Israel has profaned among the nations where they have gone. And so, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord says this: I am not doing this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God. I shall rescue you from all your defilement. I shall summon the corn and make it plentiful, and no more bring famines on you. I shall increase the yield of fruit trees and fields so that you will no longer have the ignominy of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil conduct and actions. You will loathe yourselves for your sins and your filthy practices. I assure you that I am not doing this for your sake – it is the Lord who speaks. Be ashamed and blush for your conduct, House of Israel.
  The Lord says this: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will repopulate the cities and cause the ruins to be rebuilt. Waste land, once desolate for every passer-by to see, will now be farmed again. Everyone will say: This land, so recently a waste, is now like a garden of Eden, and the ruined cities once abandoned and levelled to the ground are now strongholds with people living in them. And the nations left round you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was ruined. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.
ResponsoryEzk 11:19-20
℟. I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh instead, so that they may keep my laws.* Then they shall be my people and I shall be their God.
℣. I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them.* Then they shall be my people and I shall be their God.

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 in the unity of 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.

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