Universalis
Monday 25 May 2015    (other days)
Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest, Doctor
 (Monday of week 8 in Ordinary Time)

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 66 (67)
The Lord is the source of all wisdom: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
O God, take pity on us and bless us,
  and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
  and all nations learn of your salvation.
(repeat antiphon*)
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
  let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
  for you judge the peoples with fairness
  and you guide the nations of the earth.
(repeat antiphon*)
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
  let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
  may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
  may the whole world revere him.
(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 is the source of all wisdom: 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
When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came.
Before his feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love.
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered his holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
And when the Spirit of our God
Came down his flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
It fills the Church of God, it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love and Power,
Open our ears to hear.
Let us not miss the accepted hour!
Save, Lord, by love or fear.

Psalm 72 (73)
Why should the just suffer?
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.
How good God is to the upright,
  to those who are pure of heart!
But as for me, my feet nearly stumbled,
  my steps were on the point of going astray,
as I envied the boasters and sinners,
  envied their comfort and peace.
For them there are no burdens,
  their bellies are full and sleek.
They do not labour, like ordinary men;
  they do not suffer, like mortals.
They wear their pride like a necklace,
  their violence covers them like a robe.
Wickedness oozes from their very being,
  the thoughts of their hearts break forth:
they deride, they utter abominations,
  and from their heights they proclaim injustice.
They have set their mouth in the heavens,
  and their tongue traverses the earth.
Thus they sit in their lofty positions,
  and the flood-waters cannot reach them.
They ask, “How can God know?
  Does the Most High have any understanding?”
Behold, then, the wicked, always prosperous:
  their riches growing for ever.
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.
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.

Psalm 72 (73)
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow.
I said, “It was pointless to purify my heart,
  to wash my hands in innocence –
for still I suffered all through the day,
  still I was punished every morning.”
If I had said, “I will speak like them,”
  I would have betrayed the race of your children.
I pondered and tried to understand:
  my eyes laboured to see –
until I entered God’s holy place
  and heard how they would end.
For indeed you have put them on a slippery surface
  and have thrown them down in ruin.
How they are laid waste!
  How suddenly they fall and perish in terror!
You spurn the sight of them, Lord,
  as a dream is abandoned when the sleeper awakes.
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.
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow.

Psalm 72 (73)
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness.
My heart was sore, my being was troubled –
  I was a fool, I knew nothing;
  I was like a dumb beast before you.
But still I stay with you:
  you hold my right hand.
You lead me according to your counsel,
  until you raise me up in glory.
For who else is for me, in heaven?
  On earth, I want nothing when I am with you.
My flesh and heart are failing,
  but it is God that I love:
  God is my portion for ever.
Behold, those who abandon you will perish:
  you have condemned all who go whoring away from you.
But for myself, I take joy in clinging to God,
  in putting my trust in the Lord, my God,
to proclaim your works at the gates of the daughters of Zion.
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.
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness.

How sweet is the taste of your sayings, O Lord,
sweeter than honey in my mouth.

First ReadingJob 2:1-13 ©
Once again the Sons of God came to attend on the Lord, and among them was Satan. So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Round the earth,’ he answered ‘roaming about.’ So the Lord asked him, ‘Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil. His life continues blameless as ever; in vain you provoked me to ruin him.’ ‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give away all he has to save his life. But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his bone and flesh; I warrant you, he will curse you to your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the Lord said to Satan ‘he is in your power. But spare his life.’ So Satan left the presence of the Lord.
  He struck Job down with malignant ulcers from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. Job took a piece of pot to scrape himself, and went and sat in the ash-pit. Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you now still mean to persist in your blamelessness? Curse God, and die.’ ‘That is how foolish women talk’ Job replied. ‘If we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too?’ And in all this misfortune Job uttered no sinful word.
  The news of all the disasters that had fallen on Job came to the ears of three of his friends. Each of them set out from home – Eliphaz of Teman, Bildad of Shuah and Zophar of Naamath – and by common consent they decided to go and offer him sympathy and consolation. Looking at him from a distance, they could not recognise him; they wept aloud and tore their garments and threw dust over their heads. They sat there on the ground beside him for seven days and seven nights. To Job they spoke never a word, so sad a sight he made.
Responsory
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger: your arrows have sunk deep in me. Through your anger all my body is sick.
Friends and neighbours avoid me like a leper. Through your anger all my body is sick.

Second Reading
Cuthbert's narration of the death of Bede
"I desire to see Christ"
On the Tuesday before Ascension, Bede began to suffer greater difficulties in breathing and his feet began to swell slightly. Nevertheless, he continued to teach us and dictate all day, and made jokes about his illness: “Learn quickly,” he would say, “because I don’t know how long I’ll last: my Creator may take me very soon.” But it seemed to us that he was perfectly conscious of his approaching end.
  He spent all night in giving thanks to God. As dawn broke on the Wednesday, he ordered us to finish writing what we had started, and we did this until the third hour [mid-morning]. Afterwards we carried the relics of the saints in solemn procession, as it was the custom to do on that day. One of us stayed with him, and asked him: “Dear master, the book is almost complete, there is one chapter left to go – would it be difficult for you if I asked you to do more dictation?.” “No,” Bede replied, “it is easy. Take your pen and ink, and write quickly” – which he did.
  At the ninth hour [mid-afternoon] he said to me “I have a few precious things in my cell: some pepper, some napkins, and some incense. Run quickly and call the priests of the monastery to me, so that I can give to them the few little gifts that God gave me.” When they came he spoke to them in turn, giving advice to each one and begging him to say a Mass and pray for him; which they all willingly promised to do.
  They were grief-stricken and wept, especially because he had said that he thought they would not see his face much more in this world. But at the same time it made them glad when he said “It is time – if it is my Maker’s will – to return to him who made me, who shaped me out of nothing and gave me existence. I have lived a long time, and the righteous judge has provided well for me all my life: now the time of my departure is at hand, for I long to dissolve and be with Christ; indeed, my soul longs to see Christ its king in all his beauty.” This is just one saying of his: he said many other things too, to our great benefit – and thus he spent his last day in gladness until the evening.
  Then Wilbert (the boy who asked him for dictation) asked him again: “Dear master, there is still one sentence left to write.” “Write it quickly,” he answered. A little later the boy said “now it is completed” and Bede replied “you have spoken truly, it is finished. Hold up my head, because I love to sit facing my holy place, the place where I used to pray, and as I sit I can call upon my Father.”
  And so, on the floor of his cell, he sat and sang “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit”; and as he named the Spirit, the Breath of God, he breathed the last breath from his own body. With all the labour that he had given to the praise of God, there can be no doubt that he went into the joys of heaven that he had always longed for.
Responsory
I spent the whole of my life within the monastery and gave my full attention to the study of scripture, always observing the regular discipline and daily choral duties. It was a joy to me to be ever studying, teaching or writing.
Whoever keeps my commandments and teaches others to do the same will be great in the kingdom of heaven. It was a joy to me to be ever studying, teaching or writing.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you enrich your Church
  with the grace of Saint Bede’s learning.
In your love, grant to us who serve you
  that his wisdom may always enlighten us,
  and his prayer help us.
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.

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