Universalis
Saturday 6 February 2016    (other days)
Saints Paul Miki and his Companions, Martyrs 
 (Saturday after Sexagesima)

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
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord
The Lord has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.
The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
  he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
  Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
  around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.
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 has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.

Psalm 49 (50)
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.
Listen, my people, and I will speak;
  Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
  for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
  nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
  and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
  Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
  for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
  or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
  to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
  I will rescue you, and you will honour 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.
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.

Psalm 49 (50)
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.
To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
  Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
  and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
  you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
  and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
  you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
  so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
  I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
  lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
  whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.
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.
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.

We ceaselessly pray to God for you.
For you to have the fullest knowledge of God’s will.

First Reading
2 Thessalonians 3:1-18 ©
Finally, brothers, pray for us; pray that the Lord’s message may spread quickly, and be received with honour as it was among you; and pray that we may be preserved from the interference of bigoted and evil people, for faith is not given to everyone. But the Lord is faithful, and he will give you strength and guard you from the evil one, and we, in the Lord, have every confidence that you are doing and will go on doing all that we tell you. May the Lord turn your hearts towards the love of God and the fortitude of Christ.
  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, brothers, to keep away from any of the brothers who refuses to work or to live according to the tradition we passed on to you.
  You know how you are supposed to imitate us: now we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we ever have our meals at anyone’s table without paying for them; no, we worked night and day, slaving and straining, so as not to be a burden on any of you. This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves an example for you to follow.
  We gave you a rule when we were with you: do not let anyone have any food if he refuses to do any work. Now we hear that there are some of you who are living in idleness, doing no work themselves but interfering with everyone else’s. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we order and call on people of this kind to go on quietly working and earning the food that they eat.
  My brothers, never grow tired of doing what is right. If anyone refuses to obey what I have written in this letter, take note of him and have nothing to do with him, so that he will feel that he is in the wrong; though you are not to regard him as an enemy but as a brother in need of correction.
  May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time and in every way. The Lord be with you all.
  From me, PAUL, these greetings in my own handwriting, which is the mark of genuineness in every letter; this is my own writing. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Responsory
When you received God’s message, you received it not as the word of man but as what it truly is, the very word of God.
You have heard the message of the truth, the Good News of your salvation: you received it not as the word of man but as what it truly is, the very word of God.

Second Reading
From an account of the martyrdom of Saint Paul Miki and his companions, by a contemporary writer
You shall be my witnesses
The crosses were set in place. Father Pasio and Father Rodriguez took turns encouraging the victims. Their steadfast behaviour was wonderful to see. The Father Bursar stood motionless, his eyes turned heavenward. Brother Martin gave thanks to God’s goodness by singing psalms. Again and again he repeated: “Into your hands, Lord, I entrust my life.” Brother Francis Branco also thanked God in a loud voice. Brother Gonsalvo in a very loud voice kept saying the Our Father and Hail Mary.
  Our brother, Paul Miki, saw himself standing now in the noblest pulpit he had ever filled. To his “congregation” he began by proclaiming himself a Japanese and a Jesuit. He was dying for the Gospel he preached. He gave thanks to God for this wonderful blessing and he ended his “sermon” with these words: “As I come to this supreme moment of my life, I am sure none of you would suppose I want to deceive you. And so I tell you plainly: there is no way to be saved except the Christian way. My religion teaches me to pardon my enemies and all who have offended me. I do gladly pardon the Emperor and all who have sought my death. I beg them to seek baptism and be Christians themselves.”
  Then he looked at his comrades and began to encourage them in their final struggle. Joy glowed in all their faces, and in Louis’ most of all. When a Christian in the crowd cried out to him that he would soon be in heaven, his hands, his whole body strained upward with such joy that every eye was fixed on him.
  Anthony, hanging at Louis’ side, looked toward heaven and called upon the holy names – “Jesus, Mary!” He began to sing a psalm: “Praise the Lord, you children!” (He learned it in catechism class in Nagasaki. They take care there to teach the children some psalms to help them learn their catechism).
  Others kept repeating “Jesus, Mary!” Their faces were serene. Some of them even took to urging the people standing by to live worthy Christian lives. In these and other ways they showed their readiness to die.
  Then, according to Japanese custom, the four executioners began to unsheathe their spears. At this dreadful sight, all the Christians cried out, “Jesus, Mary!” And the storm of anguished weeping then rose to batter the very skies. The executioners killed them one by one. One thrust of the spear, then a second blow. It was over in a very short time.
Responsory
We ought to boast about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we have our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we have been redeemed and saved.
It has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, through whom we have been redeemed and saved.

Let us pray.
Lord God, source of strength to all the saints,
  you called your martyrs Paul and his companions to undergo the cross that they might enter into life.
  Let their prayer help us to keep the faith to the end of our days.
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.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

Copyright © 1996-2016 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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