Universalis
Wednesday 28 September 2016    (other days)
Wednesday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity 
 or Saint Wenceslaus (Wacław), Martyr 
 or Saints Laurence Ruiz and his Companions, Martyrs 

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
O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 38 (39)
A prayer in sickness
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.
I said, “I will watch my ways,
  I will try not to sin in my speech.
I will set a guard on my mouth,
  for as long as my enemies are standing against me.”
I stayed quiet and dumb, spoke neither evil nor good,
  but my pain was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me,
  and fire blazed in my thoughts.
Then I spoke out loud:
  “Lord, make me know my end.
Let me know the number of my days,
  so that I know how short my life is to be.”
All the length of my days is a handsbreadth or two,
  the expanse of my life is as nothing before you.
For in your sight all men are nothingness:
  man passes away, like a shadow.
Nothingness, although he is busy:
  he builds up treasure, but who will collect it?
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.
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalm 38 (39)
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.
What, now, can I look forward to, Lord?
  My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
  do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
  for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
  for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
 – for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
  turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
  for I come as a stranger before you,
  a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
  before I leave this world,
  before I am no more.
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, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

Psalm 51 (52)
Against calumny
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
Why do you take pride in your malice,
  you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
  your tongue is sharp as a razor –
  you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
  you speak lies rather than the truth;
  your tongue is in love with every deceit.
For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
  He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
  uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
  they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
  but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
  and in the power of his stratagems.”
But I flourish like an olive in the palace of God.
  I hope in the kindness of God,
  for ever, and through all ages.
I shall praise you for all time for what you have done.
  I shall put my hope in your name and in its goodness
  in the sight of your chosen ones.
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.
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

My soul waits for his word;
my soul puts its hope in the Lord.

First Reading
Philippians 2:12-30 ©
My dear friends, continue to do as I tell you, as you always have; not only as you did when I was there with you, but even more now that I am no longer there; and work for your salvation ‘in fear and trembling.’ It is God, for his own loving purpose, who puts both the will and the action into you. Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing and then you will be innocent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and underhand brood, and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life. This would give me something to be proud of for the Day of Christ, and would mean that I had not run in the race and exhausted myself for nothing. And then, if my blood has to be shed as part of your own sacrifice and offering – which is your faith – I shall still be happy and rejoice with all of you, and you must be just as happy and rejoice with me.
  I hope, in the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy to you soon, and I shall be reassured by having news of you. I have nobody else like him here, as wholeheartedly concerned for your welfare: all the rest seem more interested in themselves than in Jesus Christ. But you know how he has proved himself by working with me on behalf of the Good News like a son helping his father. That is why he is the one that I am hoping to send you, as soon as I know something definite about my fate. But I continue to trust, in the Lord, that I shall be coming soon myself.
  It is essential, I think, to send brother Epaphroditus back to you. He was sent as your representative to help me when I needed someone to be my companion in working and battling, but he misses you all and is worried because you heard about his illness. It is true that he has been ill, and almost died, but God took pity on him, and on me as well as him, and spared me what would have been one grief on top of another. So I shall send him back as promptly as I can; you will be happy to see him again, and that will make me less sorry. Give him a most hearty welcome, in the Lord; people like him are to be honoured. It was for Christ’s work that he came so near to dying, and he risked his life to give me the help that you were not able to give me yourselves.
Responsory
℟. You have been called and chosen. Work to justify this by good deeds:* then you will be granted admittance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
℣. Be like children of light, having nothing to do with the worthless deeds of darkness:* then you will be granted admittance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Second Reading
St Polycarp's letter to the Philippians
Let us run in faith and holiness
Now I beseech you all to obey the word of righteousness, and to endure with all the endurance which you also saw before your eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and in the other Apostles. Be certain that all of these did not run in vain but in faith and righteousness, and that they are with the Lord, with whom they suffered, in the place which is their due. They did not love this present world but they loved him who died on our behalf and was raised by God for our sakes.
  Therefore stand fast in these things and follow the example of the Lord, firm and unchangeable in faith, loving the brotherhood, affectionate to one another, joined together in the truth, rivalling one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no man. When you can do good do not defer it, for almsgiving sets free from death. Let each of you be subject to the others so that the Gentiles find no fault in your behaviour. Let your good works earn you praise and ensure that the Lord is not blasphemed in you. As Scripture says, Woe to him through whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed. Teach sobriety to all and be an example of it in your own lives.
  I am deeply sorry that Valens, who was at one time one of your clergy, so little understands the place which was given to him. His example makes me warn you to keep from avarice and be pure and truthful. Keep yourselves from all evil. For how may he who cannot attain self-control in these matters enjoin it on another? If any man does not abstain from avarice he will be defiled by idolatry and considered as one of the Gentiles who know nothing of God’s judgement. As Paul says, Do we not know that it is God’s people who will judge the world?
  I have not seen or heard any other errors of this sort among you — you with whom the blessed Paul laboured, you whom he praised in the beginning of his Epistle. He boasted of you in all the Churches who at that time knew the Lord, (for we ourselves had not yet come to know him).
  So, brethren, I am deeply sorry for Valens and his wife and I pray that the Lord may grant them true repentance. Be moderate yourselves in this matter and do not regard these people as enemies but call them back as fallible and straying parts of your own body, that you may make that body whole again. By doing this you will build up your own spiritual strength.
Responsory
℟. You must work out your own salvation in fear and trembling,* for it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his own chosen purpose.
℣. This says the Lord: Apart from me you can do nothing,* for it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his own chosen purpose.

Let us pray.
Lord,
  you reveal your mighty power
  most of all by your forgiveness and compassion:
fill us constantly with your grace
  as we hasten to share the joys you have promised us in heaven.
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 apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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