Universalis
Sunday 26 February 2017    (other days)
Sunday next before Lent (Quinquagesima) 

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
All creatures of our God and king,
Lift up your voice and with us sing:
Alleluia! alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam:
  O praise him, O praise him!
  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice:
  O praise him, O praise him!
  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou flowing water pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear:
Alleluia! alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light:
  O praise him, O praise him!
  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part:
O sing ye, alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on him cast your care:
  O praise him, O praise him!
  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple
Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place?
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
  the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
  and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
  Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
  who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
  and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
  seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
  The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
 – he is the king of glory.
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.
Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place?

Psalm 65 (66)
Hymn for a sacrifice of thanksgiving
All peoples, bless our God, who gave life to our souls, alleluia.
Cry out to God, all the earth,
  sing psalms to the glory of his name,
  give him all glory and praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous your works!
  Faced with the greatness of your power
  your enemies dwindle away.
Let all the earth worship you and sing your praises,
  sing psalms to your name.”
Come and see the works of God,
  be awed by what he has done for the children of men.
He turned the sea into dry land,
  and they crossed the waters on foot:
  therefore will we rejoice in him.
In his might he will rule for all time,
  his eyes keep watch on the nations:
  no rebellion will ever succeed.
Bless our God, you nations,
  and let the sound of your praises be heard.
Praise him who brought us to life,
  and saved us from stumbling.
For you have tested us, O Lord,
  you have tried us by fire, as silver is tried.
You led us into the trap,
  heaped tribulations upon us.
You set other men to rule over us –
  but we passed through fire and water,
  and you led us out to our rest.
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.
All peoples, bless our God, who gave life to our souls, alleluia.

Psalm 65 (66)
Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul, alleluia.
I shall enter your house with burnt-offerings.
  I shall fulfil my vows to you,
the vows that I made with my lips,
  the vows that I uttered in my troubles.
I shall offer you rich burnt-offerings,
  the smoke of the flesh of rams;
  I shall offer you cattle and goats.
Draw near and listen, you who fear the Lord,
  and I will tell all that he has done for me.
I cried out aloud to him,
  and his praise was on my tongue.
If I looked upon sin in the depths of my heart,
  the Lord would not hear me –
but the Lord has listened,
  he has heard the cry of my appeal.
Blessed be God, who has not spurned my prayer,
  who has not kept his mercy from me.
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.
Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul, alleluia.

The word of God is a living and active thing.
It is sharper than a double-edged sword.

First ReadingJob 1:1-22 ©
There was once a man in the land of Uz called Job: a sound and honest man who feared God and shunned evil. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. And he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred she-donkeys, and many servants besides. This man was indeed a man of mark among all the people of the East. It was the custom of his sons to hold banquets in each other’s houses, one after the other, and to send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. Once each series of banquets was over, Job would send for them to come and be purified, and at dawn on the following day he would offer a holocaust for each of them. ‘Perhaps’ Job would say ‘my sons have sinned and in their hearts affronted God.’ So that was what he used to do after each series.
  One day the Sons of God came to attend on the Lord, and among them was Satan. So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Round the earth,’ he answered ‘roaming about.’ So the Lord asked him, ‘Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Yes,’ Satan said ‘but Job is not God-fearing for nothing, is he? Have you not put a wall round him and his house and all his domain? You have blessed all he undertakes, and his flocks throng the countryside. But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his possessions: I warrant you, he will curse you to your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the Lord said to Satan ‘all he has is in your power. But keep your hands off his person.’ So Satan left the presence of the Lord.
  On the day when Job’s sons and daughters were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job. ‘Your oxen’ he said ‘were at the plough, with the donkeys grazing at their side, when the Sabaeans swept down on them and carried them off. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The fire of God’ he said ‘has fallen from the heavens and burnt up all your sheep, and your shepherds too: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The Chaldaeans,’ he said ‘three bands of them, have raided your camels and made off with them. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘Your sons and daughters’ he said ‘were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, when suddenly from the wilderness a gale sprang up, and it battered all four corners of the house which fell in on the young people. They are dead: I alone escaped to tell you.’
  Job rose and tore his gown and shaved his head. Then falling to the ground he worshipped and said:
‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
naked I shall return.
The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!’
In all this misfortune Job committed no sin nor offered any insult to God.
Responsory
℟. If we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too?* The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
℣. Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return.* The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Second Reading
The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great
An upright and honest man who feared God and shunned evil.
Some people are so simple that they do not know what uprightness is. Theirs is not the true simplicity of the innocent: they are as far from that as they are far from rising to the virtue of uprightness. As long as they do not know how to guard their steps by walking in uprightness, they can never remain innocent merely by walking in simplicity. This is why St Paul warns his disciples I hope that you are also wise in what is good, and innocent of what is bad but also Brothers, you are not to be childish in your outlook, though you can be babies as far as wickedness is concerned. Thus Christ our Truth enjoins his disciples with the words Be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves. In giving them this admonition, he had to join the two together, so that both the simplicity of the dove might be instructed by the craftiness of the serpent, and the craftiness of the serpent might be attempered by the simplicity of the dove.
  That is why the Holy Spirit has manifested his presence to mankind, not only in the form of a dove but also in the form of fire. For by the dove simplicity is indicated, and by fire, zeal. So he is manifested in a dove and in fire, because those who are full of the Spirit have the mildness of simplicity, but catch fire with zeal of uprightness against the offences of sinners.
  An upright and honest man who feared God and shunned evil. Undoubtedly whoever longs for the eternal country lives sincerely and uprightly: perfect in practice, and right in faith, sincere in the good that he does in this lower state, right in the high truths which he minds in his inner self. For there are some who are not sincere in the good actions that they do, looking not to be rewarded within themselves but to win favour from others. Hence it is well said by a certain wise man, Woe to the sinner who follows two ways. A sinner goes two ways when an action he performs belongs to God but what he aims at in his thought belongs to the world.
  It is well said, who feared God and shunned evil, for the holy Church of the elect starts on the path of simplicity and of uprightness from fear but completes that path in charity. When, from the love of God, she feels an unwillingness to sin, then she may shun evil. But when she is still doing good deeds from fear then she is not entirely shunning evil: the fact is that she would have sinned if she could have sinned without being punished.
  So then: when Job is said to have feared God, it is rightly related that he also shunned evil. Fear comes first and charity follows later; and when that has happened, the offence which is left behind in the mind is trodden underfoot by the desires of the heart.
Responsory
℟. May God equip you with everything good so that you may do his will,* working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.
℣. May he open your heart to his law and his commandments,* working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.

HymnTe Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
In your mercy, Lord,
  direct the affairs of men so peaceably
that your Church may serve you
  in tranquillity and 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 apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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Copyright © 1996-2017 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
 
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