Universalis
Monday 23 October 2017    (other days)
Saint John of Capistrano, Priest 
 or Monday after the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity 

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 of truth, prepare our minds
To hear and heed your holy word;
Fill every heart that longs for you
With your mysterious presence, Lord.
Almighty Father, with your Son
And blessed Spirit, hear our prayer:
Teach us to love eternal truth
And seek its freedom everywhere.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 6
A prayer for relief from affliction
Lord, save me in your merciful love.
Lord, do not condemn me in your fury:
  do not destroy me in your anger.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick;
  heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed,
  and you, Lord – how long?
Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit:
  in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you?
  Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?
I struggle and groan,
  soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness:
  I grow older as my enemies watch.
Leave me, all who do evil,
  for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer,
  granted me what I asked.
Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
  let shame and confusion overtake them soon.
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, save me in your merciful love.

Psalm 9A (9)
Thanksgiving for victory
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
  I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph,
  make music to your name, O Most High.
Because my enemies are in full retreat;
  they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour,
  upheld my case,
  taken your seat on the throne of judgement.
You have rebuked the nations,
  condemned the wicked,
  wiped out their name for ever and for ever.
My enemies are no more;
  their land is a desert for ever.
You have demolished their cities,
  their very memory is wiped away.
But the Lord will reign for ever:
  he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice,
  judge the peoples impartially.
The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
  a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name;
  for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek you.
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 is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.

Psalm 9A (9)
I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.
Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion,
  proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood:
  he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.
Take pity on me, Lord:
  see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death,
  and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Zion;
  I will rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have fallen into the pit that they made,
  into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth:
  the sinner is trapped by his very own action.
Sinners will go down to the underworld,
  and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten:
  the hope of the weak will never perish.
Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent:
  let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord:
  let them know that they are only men.
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 will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.

Give me understanding, and I will follow your law.
I will keep it wholeheartedly.

First ReadingEsther 3:1-15 ©
The Jews in peril
Shortly afterwards, King Ahasuerus singled out Haman son of Hammedatha, from the land of Agag, for promotion. He raised him in rank and precedence above all his colleagues, the other officers of state, and gave orders that all the officials employed at the Chancellery were to bow down and prostrate themselves before Haman. Mordecai refused either to bow or prostrate himself. ‘Why do you flout the royal command?’ the officials of the Chancellery asked Mordecai. They asked him this day after day, but he took no notice of them. In the end they reported the matter to Haman, wishing to see whether Mordecai would persist in his attitude, since he had told them he was a Jew. When Haman had seen for himself that Mordecai did not bow or prostrate himself before him, he was seized with fury. Having been told what race Mordecai belonged to, he could not be content with murdering Mordecai but made up his mind to wipe out all the members of Mordecai’s race, the Jews, throughout the empire of Ahasuerus.
  In the first month, that is the month of Nisan, of the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast the pur (that is, the lot) before Haman for the day and the month. The lot falling on the twelfth month, which is Adar, Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘There is a certain unassimilated nation scattered among the other nations throughout the provinces of your realm; their laws are different from those of all the other nations and they ignore the royal edicts; hence it is not in the king’s interests to tolerate them. If it please the king to decree their destruction, I am prepared to pay ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s receivers, to be credited to the royal treasury.’
  The king then took his signet ring off his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the persecutor of the Jews. ‘Keep the money,’ he said ‘and you can have the people too; do what you like with them.’
  Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal scribes were summoned, and copies were made of the orders addressed by Haman to the king’s satraps, to the governors ruling each province and to the principal officials of each people, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language. The edict was signed in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with his ring, and letters were sent by runners to every province of the realm ordering the destruction, slaughter and annihilation of all Jews, young and old, women and children, on the one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and the seizing of their possessions.
  The text of this decree, to be promulgated as law in each province, was published to the various peoples, so that each might be ready for the day aforementioned. At the king’s command, the runners set out with all speed; the decree was first promulgated in the citadel of Susa.
  While the king and Haman gave themselves up to feasting and drinking, consternation reigned in the city of Susa.
Responsory
Est 13:9,17; Ps 44:26
℟. Lord, Lord, King and Master of all things, everything is subject to your power and there is no-one who can withstand your will.* Deliver us for the sake of your name.
℣. Hear my supplication and turn our grief into rejoicing.* Deliver us for the sake of your name.

Second Reading
A treatise by St John of Capestrano
The lives of good clerics bring light and serenity
Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. They must learn from their eminent teacher, Jesus Christ, what he declared not only to his apostles and disciples, but also to all the priests and clerics who were to succeed them, when he said: You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavour? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
  Truly the unclean, immoral cleric is trampled underfoot like worthless manure. He is saturated with the filth of vice and entangled in the chains of sin. In this condition he must be considered worthless both to himself and to others. As Gregory says: “When a man’s life is frowned upon, it follows that his preaching will be despised.”
  Presbyters who are born leaders deserve to be doubly honoured, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. It is indeed a double task that worthy priests perform, that is to say, it is both exterior and interior, both temporal and spiritual, and, finally, both a passing task and an eternal one.
  Even though they dwell on earth and are bound by the same necessities of nature along with all mortal creatures, at the same time they are engaged in earnest communication with the angels in heaven, so that they may be pleasing to their king and learn how to serve him. Therefore, just as the sun rises over the world in God’s heaven, so clerics must let their light shine before men so that they may see their good deeds and give praise to their heavenly Father.
  You are the light of the world. Now a light does not illumine itself, but instead it diffuses its rays and shines all around upon everything that comes into its view. So it must be with the glowing lives of upright and holy clerics. By the brightness of their holiness they must bring light and serenity to all who gaze upon them. They have been placed here to care for others. Their own lives should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the house of the Lord.
Responsory
℟. Do not remain silent when you should speak, and do not hide your wisdom;* for wisdom is recognised in speech, and it is the tongue that gives good counsel.
℣. Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires,* for wisdom is recognised in speech, and it is the tongue that gives good counsel.

Let us pray.
Almighty God, you sent Saint John of Capestrano
  to comfort Christian people in a time of distress.
Keep us, we pray, in the safety of your protection,
  and give your Church lasting peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of 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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