Universalis
Wednesday 23 May 2018    (other days)

 or Wednesday after Pentecost 
 or Saint Petroc, Abbot 

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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.
I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
  to generation upon generation
  my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
  “My kindness shall be established for ever”;
  your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
  I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
  I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
  the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
  Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
  great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
  Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
  when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
  through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
  you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
  Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
  your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
  kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
  They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
  and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
  and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
  and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
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.
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.
In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
  You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
  I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
  I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
  my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
  the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
  and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
  and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
  and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
  my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
  supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
  my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
  and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”
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 Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

Psalm 88 (89)
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.
“But if his children abandon my law
  and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
  and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
  I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
  nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
  I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
  I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
  his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
  a faithful witness in the sky.”
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.
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.

The words that you utter give light
and understanding to the simple.

First Reading
Ecclesiastes 5:9-6:8 ©
The vanity of riches
He who loves money never has money enough,
he who loves wealth never has enough profit;
this, too is vanity.
Where goods abound,
parasites abound;
and what is the good of them to their owner? That he can feast his eyes on them. The labourer’s sleep is sweet, whether he has eaten little or much; but the rich man’s wealth will not let him sleep at all. There is a great injustice that I observe under the sun: riches stored and turning to loss for their owner. One unlucky venture, and those riches are lost; a son is born to him, and he has nothing to leave him. Naked from his mother’s womb he came, as naked as he came he will depart again; nothing to take with him after all his efforts. This is a grievous wrong, that as he came, so must he go; what profit can he show after toiling to earn the wind, as he spends the rest of his days in darkness, grief, worry, sickness and resentment?
  This, then, is my conclusion: the right happiness for man is to eat and drink and be content with all the work he has to do under the sun, during the few days God has given him to live, since this is the lot assigned him. And whenever God gives a man riches and property, with the ability to enjoy them and to find contentment in his work, this is a gift from God. He will not need to brood, at least, over the duration of his life so long as God keeps his heart occupied with joy.
  There is an evil I observe under the sun, that weighs men down: suppose a man has received from God riches, property, honours – nothing at all left him to wish for. Yet God does not give him the chance to enjoy them, but some stranger enjoys them. There is vanity here, and grievous suffering. Or perhaps a man has had a hundred sons and as many daughters and lived for many years, and then derives no benefit from his estate, not even a tomb to call his own. Why then I say, better the untimely-born than he:
In darkness arriving,
in darkness departing;
even his name is wrapped in darkness.
Never seeing the sun,
never knowing rest;
the one no more than the other. Even if the man had lived a thousand years twice over, without deriving profit from his estate, do not both alike go to the same place?
Man toils but to eat,
yet his belly is never filled.
What advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what about the pauper who keeps up appearances before his fellow men?
Responsory
Pr 30:8; Ps 31:14-15
℟. Keep falsehood and lies far from me, Lord.* Give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat.
℣. I trust in you, Lord; my life is in your hands.* Give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat.

Second Reading
St Jerome's commentary on Ecclesiastes
Seek the things that are above
‘Every man to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and find enjoyment in his toil — this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.’ In comparison with the man who feeds upon his wealth in the gloom of cares and hoards up perishable things with great heaviness of life, he says that man is better who enjoys his present joys. For in one case there is perhaps little pleasure in enjoyment; but in the other there is only a multitude of cares. And he gives the reasons why it is a gift of God to enjoy wealth. Because ‘he will not much remember the days of his life’. If God calls him away in the happiness of his heart, it will not be in sadness, he will not be troubled by anxiety, taken away in happiness and present pleasure. But it is better that spiritual food and spiritual drink should be understood, according to the words of Saint Paul, and to see goodness in all one’s labour, for with great labour and zeal we can behold true goods. And this is our task, that we should rejoice in our zeal and our labour. Even though that is good, until Christ is manifest in our life it is not yet fully good.
  ‘All the toil of a man is for his mouth, yet his spirit is not filled. For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living.’ All, over which men labour in this world, is consumed in the mouth, and, munched by the teeth, it passes down to the stomach to be digested. For the little while that it delights the appetite, it seems to give pleasure while it is held in the mouth. When it has passed to the belly, there ceases to be any difference between sorts of food.
  After all this, the soul of the eater is not satisfied; either because it again longs for what it has eaten, and both the wise man and fool cannot live without food, and the poor man seeks for nothing except how he can keep the organism of his pitiful body alive and not die of hunger, or because the soul gains no advantage from the refreshment of the body and food is the same to the wise man and the fool alike and the poor man goes where he can see wealth.
  It is better however that we should understand this about the writer of Ecclesiastes who, being learned in the heavenly scriptures, has his labour in his mouth and yet his soul is not satisfied since he always longs to learn. In this matter the wise man has the advantage over the fool, that, when he feels that he is poor (by ‘poor’ we mean the man who is called blessed in the gospel), he hurries to find out those things which pertain to life, and he travels along that narrow, confined path which leads to life, and is poor in evil works, and knows where Christ dwells, who is life.
Responsory
℟. Lord, you gave me my life and guide it, do not abandon me to my wicked thoughts; never let haughty looks be mine, nor the assaults of passion come near me;* do not leave me, Lord, at the mercy of a shameless and unprofitable mind.
℣. Lord, do not abandon me, lest my mistakes multiply and my sins increase:* do not leave me, Lord, at the mercy of a shameless and unprofitable mind.

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 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.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

Copyright © 1996-2018 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.
 
This web site © Copyright 1996-2018 Universalis Publishing Ltd · Contact us · Cookies/privacy
(top