Universalis
Monday 29 August 2016    (other days)
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist 
 (Monday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity)

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 23 (24)
Come, let us adore the Lamb of God: Saint John went before him in his passion.
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
(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.
Come, let us adore the Lamb of God: Saint John went before him in his passion.*

* 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
Come, Spirit blest, with God the Son
and God the Father, ever one:
shed forth your grace within our breast
and live in us, a ready guest.
By every power, by heart and tongue,
by act and deed, your praise be sung.
Inflame with perfect love each sense,
that others’ souls may kindle thence.

Psalm 30 (31)
Trustful prayer in time of adversity
Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.
In you, Lord, I put my trust: may I never be put to shame.
  In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
  make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
  keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
  you will lead me out to the pastures,
  for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
  for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit:
  you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
You hate those who run after vain nothings;
  but I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your kindness,
  for you have looked on me, lowly as I am.
You saw when my soul was in need:
  you did not leave me locked in the grip of the enemy,
  but set my feet on free and open ground.
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.
Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.

Psalm 30 (31)
Lord, let your face shine on your servant.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am troubled:
  my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
  the very centre of my being is disturbed.
For my life is worn out with distress,
  my years with groaning;
my strength becomes weakness,
  my bones melt away.
I am a scandal and a disgrace,
  so many are my enemies;
to my friends and neighbours,
  I am a thing to fear.
When they see me in the street,
  they run from me.
I have vanished from their minds as though I were dead,
  or like a pot that is broken.
I know this – for I have heard the scolding of the crowd.
  There is terror all around,
for when they come together against me
  it is my life they are resolved to take.
But I put my trust in you, Lord;
  I say: “You are my God,
  my fate is in your hands.”
Tear me from the grip of my enemies,
  from those who hound me;
let your face shine upon your servant,
  in your kindness, save 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.
Lord, let your face shine on your servant.

Psalm 30 (31)
Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.
How very many are the pleasures, Lord,
  that you have stored up for those who fear you.
You have made these things ready for those who trust in you,
  to give them in the sight of all men.
Far away from the plottings of men
  you hide them in your secret place.
You keep them safe in your dwelling-place
  far from lying tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
  for he has shown me his wonderful kindness
  within the fortified city.
In my terror, I said
  “I am cut off from your sight”;
but you heard the voice of my prayer
  when I called to you.
Love the Lord, all his chosen ones.
The Lord keeps his faithful ones safe,
  heaps rich revenge on the arrogant.
Be brave, let your hearts be strong,
  all who trust in 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.
Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.

Guide me in your truth, Lord, and teach me;
for you are my God and my salvation.

First Reading
Jeremiah 19:1-5,10-20:6 ©
Then the Lord said to Jeremiah, ‘Go and buy an earthenware jug. Take some of the elders of the people and some priests with you. Go out towards the Valley of Ben-hinnom, as far as the entry of the Gate of the Potsherds. There proclaim the words I shall speak to you. You are to say, “Kings of Judah, citizens of Jerusalem! Listen to the word of the Lord! the Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: I am bringing down such a disaster on this place that the ears of every one who hears of it will ring. This is because they have abandoned me, have profaned this place, have offered incense here to alien gods which neither they, nor their ancestors, nor the kings of Judah, ever knew before. They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built high places for Baal to burn their sons there, which I had never ordered or decreed, which had never entered my thoughts.”
  ‘You are to break this jug in front of the men who are with you, and say to them, “The Lord Sabaoth says this: I am going to break this people and this city just as one breaks a potter’s pot, irreparably. Topheth will become a burial ground, for lack of other space. That is how I will treat this place – it is the Lord who speaks. And I mean to make this city like Topheth; the houses of Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be unclean like this place Topheth: all these houses on the roofs of which they offered incense to the whole array of heaven and poured their libations to alien gods.”’
  When Jeremiah came back from Topheth where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, he went and stood in the court of the Temple of the Lord and addressed all the people. ‘The Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this, “Yes, I am going to bring down every disaster I have threatened on this city and on all its outlying towns, since they have grown so stubborn and refused to listen to my words.”’
  Now the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was in charge of the police in the Temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah making this prophecy. Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and then put in the stocks at the Gate of Benjamin, the upper gate leading into the Temple of the Lord. Next day, Pashhur had Jeremiah taken out of the stocks; Jeremiah said to him, ‘Not Pashhur but Terror is the Lord’s name for you. For the Lord says this, “I am going to hand you over to terror, you and all your friends; they shall fall by the sword of their enemies; your own eyes shall see it. The whole of Judah, too, I will hand over to the king of Babylon; he will carry them off captives to Babylon and put them to the sword. And all the wealth of this city, all its stores, all its valuables, all the treasures of the kings of Judah, I will hand over to their enemies who will plunder them, round them up and carry them off to Babylon. As for you, Pashhur, and your whole household, you shall go into captivity; you shall go to Babylon; there you will die, and there be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.”’
Responsory
℟. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you!* How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused!
℣. You have grown stubborn and refused to listen to my words.* How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused!

Second Reading
From a homily by St. Bede the Venerable, priest
Precursor of Christ in birth and death
As forerunner of our Lord’s birth, preaching and death, the blessed John showed in his struggle a goodness worthy of the sight of heaven. In the words of Scripture: Though in the sight of men he suffered torments, his hope is full of immortality. We justly commemorate the day of his birth with a joyful celebration, a day which he himself made festive for us through his suffering and which he adorned with the crimson splendour of his own blood. We do rightly revere his memory with joyful hearts, for he stamped with the seal of martyrdom the testimony which he delivered on behalf of our Lord.
  There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: I am the truth? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.
  Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.
  Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men; he was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ. John was baptized in his own blood, though he had been privileged to baptize the Redeemer of the world, to hear the voice of the Father above him, and to see the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon him. But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.
  Since death was ever near at hand through the inescapable necessity of nature, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake. He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.
Responsory
℟. King Herod ordered John’s arrest and had him chained and put in prison.* Herod did this because of Herodias, whom he had married even though she was the wife of his brother Philip.
℣. The king sent off a guard and had John’s head cut off in prison.* Herod did this because of Herodias, whom he had married even though she was the wife of his brother Philip.

Let us pray.
God our Father,
  you appointed St John the Baptist
  to be the herald of the birth and death of Christ your Son.
Grant that as he died a martyr for justice and truth,
  so we also may courageously bear witness to your word.
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.

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