Universalis
Saturday 25 February 2017    (other days)
Saturday after Sexagesima 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 94 (95)
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
(repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
(repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
(repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
(repeat antiphon*)
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’s is the earth and its fullness: come, let us adore him.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
How great the tale, that there should be,
In God’s Son’s heart, a place for me!
That on a sinner’s lips like mine
The cross of Jesus Christ should shine!
Christ Jesus, bend me to thy will,
My feet to urge, my griefs to still;
That e’en my flesh and blood may be
A temple sanctified to Thee.
No rest, no calm my soul may win,
Because my body craves to sin;
Till thou, dear Lord, thyself impart
Peace on my head, light in my heart.
May consecration come from far,
Soft shining like the evening star.
My toilsome path make plain to me,
Until I come to rest in thee.

Psalm 106 (107)
Thanksgiving after rescue
Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his kindness is for ever.
Let them say this, the people the Lord has redeemed,
  those whom he rescued from their enemies
  whom he gathered together from all lands,
  from east and west, from the north and the south.
They wandered through desert and wilderness,
  they could find no way to a city they could dwell in.
Their souls were weary within them,
  weary from hunger and thirst.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He set them on the right path
  towards a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who feeds hungry creatures
  and gives water to the thirsty to drink.
They sat in the darkness and shadow of death,
  imprisoned in chains and in misery,
because they had rebelled against the words of God
  and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He wore out their hearts with labour:
  they were weak, there was no-one to help.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them out of the darkness and shadow of death,
  he shattered their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who shatters doors of bronze,
  who breaks bars of iron.
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.
Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.

Psalm 106 (107)
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.
The people were sick because they transgressed,
  afflicted because of their sins.
All food was distasteful to them,
  they were on the verge of death.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
  delivered them from their ruin.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
Let them offer a sacrifice of praise
  and proclaim his works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
  those who trade across the great waters –
they have seen the works of the Lord,
  the wonders he performs in the deep.
He spoke, and a storm arose,
  and the waves of the sea rose up.
They rose up as far as the heavens
  and descended down to the depths:
the sailors’ hearts melted from fear,
  they staggered and reeled like drunkards,
  terror drove them out of their minds.
But they cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He turned the storm into a breeze
  and silenced the waves.
They rejoiced at the ending of the storm
  and he led them to the port that they wanted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
let them exalt him in the assembly of the people,
  give him praise in the council of the elders.
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.
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.

Psalm 106 (107)
The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.
The Lord has turned rivers into wilderness,
  he has made well-watered lands into desert,
  fruitful ground into salty waste
  because of the evil of those who dwelt there.
But he has made wilderness into ponds,
  deserts into the sources of rivers,
he has called together the hungry
  and they have founded a city to dwell in.
They have sowed the fields, planted the vines;
  they grow and harvest their produce.
He has blessed them and they have multiplied;
  he does not let their cattle decrease.
But those others became few and oppressed
  through trouble, evil, and sorrow.
He poured his contempt on their princes
  and set them to wander the trackless waste.
But the poor he has saved from their poverty
  and their families grow numerous as sheep.
The upright shall see, and be glad,
  and all wickedness shall block up its mouth.
Whoever is wise will remember these things
  and understand the mercies of the Lord.
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 upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.

Lord, your faithfulness reaches up to the clouds.
Your judgements reach down to the depths.

First Reading
Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14 ©
Light is sweet; at sight of the sun the eyes are glad. However great the number of the years a man may live, let him enjoy them all, and yet remember that dark days will be many. All that is to come is vanity.
Rejoice in your youth, you who are young;
let your heart give you joy in your young days.
Follow the promptings of your heart
and the desires of your eyes.
But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you to judgement.
Cast worry from your heart,
shield your flesh from pain.
Yet youth, the age of dark hair, is vanity. And remember your creator in the days of your youth, before evil days come and the years approach when you say, ‘These give me no pleasure’, before sun and light and moon and stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;
the day when those who keep the house tremble
and strong men are bowed;
when the women grind no longer at the mill,
because day is darkening at the windows
and the street doors are shut;
when the sound of the mill is faint,
when the voice of the bird is silenced,
and song notes are stilled,
when to go uphill is an ordeal
and a walk is something to dread.
Yet the almond tree is in flower,
the grasshopper is heavy with food
and the caper bush bears its fruit,
while man goes to his everlasting home. And the mourners are already walking to and fro in the street
before the silver cord has snapped,
or the golden lamp been broken,
or the pitcher shattered at the spring,
or the pulley cracked at the well,
or before the dust returns to the earth as it once came from it, and the breath to God who gave it.
  Vanity of vanities, Qoheleth says. All is vanity.
  Besides being a sage, Qoheleth also taught his knowledge to the people, having weighed, studied and amended a great many proverbs. Qoheleth tried to write in an attractive style and to set down truthful thoughts in a straightforward manner.
  The words of the sages are like goads, like pegs driven deep; a shepherd uses these for the good of his flocks.
  One last thing, my son, be warned that writing books involves endless hard work, and that much study wearies the body.
  To sum up the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments, since this is the whole duty of man. For God will call all hidden deeds, good or bad, to judgement.
Responsory
℟. O God, you have taught me from my youth and I proclaim your wonders still.* Do not reject me now that I am old.
℣. You will give me the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness for ever.* Do not reject me now that I am old.

Second Reading
From the Explanation on Ecclesiastes by St Gregory of Agrigentum
Come to the Lord and receive enlightenment
Light is sweet, says Ecclesiastes, at the sight of the sun the eyes are glad. Take away light, and the world is without beauty. Take away light, and life itself is without life. Moses, a man who saw God, says God saw the light and said it was good. So it is right for us to contemplate the great, the true, the eternal light that enlightens every man that comes into the world – that is, Christ the saviour and redeemer of the world, who was made man and lived the human condition to its very end. Of him the prophet David says in the Psalms,
Sing to the Lord and celebrate his name!
Make a road for him who rides upon the clouds –
  “The Lord” is his name.
Rejoice in his sight!
He called the light sweet and foretold that it would be good to see with his own eyes the Sun of glory, he who as God-in-man said I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark: he will have the light of life. And again: This is the judgement, that light has come into the world. In this way he used the light of the sun, which we perceive with our eyes, as a prefiguration of the coming of the Sun of justice. That Sun was sweet indeed for those who were found worthy to be taught by him and to see him with their own eyes just like any other man. He was not just any man, he was also the true God, and this is why he made the blind see, the lame walk and the deaf hear, this is why he cleansed people afflicted with leprosy and by his sole command called the dead back to life.
Moreover, even now, in the present, it is a most sweet activity to look on him with the eyes of the spirit, to contemplate his divine beauty and ponder it in our hearts. Thus through communion and togetherness we are enlightened and adorned, our spirits filled with sweetness and we ourselves wrapped in holiness as in a cloak. We attain understanding and finally we are filled with exultation in God which will last all the days of this our present life. As the wise preacher Ecclesiastes said, However great the number of years that a man may live, let him enjoy them all. Obviously the Sun of justice makes all who gaze on him rejoice. As the prophet David says:
The righteous are glad and exult in God’s sight;
  they rejoice in their gladness.
  and
Rejoice in the Lord, you just: it is good for the upright to praise him.
Responsory
℟. Glorify the Lord with me, together let us praise his name.* Look towards him and be radiant, let your faces not be abashed.
℣. He has taken us out of the power of darkness and has made it possible for us to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.* Look towards him and be radiant, let your faces not be abashed.

Let us pray.
Grant, almighty God,
that with our thoughts always on the things of the Spirit
  we may please you in all that we say and do.
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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