Wednesday 1 July 2015    (other days)
Saint Oliver Plunket, Bishop, Martyr
 or Wednesday of week 13 in Ordinary Time

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

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.

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 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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.
I love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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.
The Lord saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
that came from his lips.

First Reading
2 Samuel 4:2-5:7 ©
Ishbaal son of Saul had two freebooting chieftains; one was called Baanah, the other Rechab. They were the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, and Benjaminites – for Beeroth is regarded as belonging to Benjamin. The people of Beeroth had taken refuge in Gittaim where they have remained to this day as resident aliens. Jonathan son of Saul had a son with crippled feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried away he fell and was lamed. His name was Meribbaal.
  The sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, Rechab and Baanah, set out; they came to Ishbaal’s house at the hottest part of the day when he was taking his midday rest. The woman who kept the door had been cleaning wheat, and she had drowsed off to sleep. Rechab and his brother Baanah stole by and entered the house where Ishbaal was lying in his bedroom on his bed. They struck and killed him and cut off his head; and taking the head with them, they travelled all night by the road of the Arabah. They brought Ishbaal’s head to David at Hebron. ‘Here’ they said to the king ‘is the head of Ishbaal son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king today on Saul and on his offspring.’
  But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah by saying, ‘As the Lord lives, who has delivered me from all adversity, the man who thought to bring me good news when he told me Saul was dead, this man I seized and killed at Ziklag, rewarding him for his good news. How much more when bandits have killed an honest man in his house, and on his bed! Am I not bound to demand account of his blood from you, and wipe you from the earth?’ Then David gave an order to his soldiers, who put them to death, cut off their hands and feet, and hung them up beside the Pool of Hebron. Ishbaal’s head they took and buried in Abner’s grave at Hebron.
  All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron. ‘Look’ they said ‘we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, “You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.
  David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. He reigned in Hebron over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
  David and his men marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites living there. These said to David, ‘You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.’ (That is to say: David will never get in here.) But David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the Citadel of David.
They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed, but the Lord himself has decreed: It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.
Why this tumult among nations, among people this useless murmuring? But the Lord himself has decreed: It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.

Second Reading
A letter of St Oliver Plunkett
We shall have martyrs' blood to irrigate and fertilise the Church
The kindness and charity of your lordship are such that you have been pleased to express appreciation of my poor service in cultivating the vineyard of the Lord in this afflicted country and in corresponding with the Holy See, venerated and loved by me with a spiritual affection and reverence, as also with an earthly affection because as a good mother it nourished me for many years in Rome while I lectured there, as well as with other honours too great for my weakness to bear. God knows that I think of nothing else, day and night, than the service of souls, which is the service desired of me by the Sacred Congregation and the Holy See. Political or temporal matters have no part in my life: neither in my mind nor on my lips nor with my pen are they given any place. God knows how I laboured last year, 1670, in visiting six large dioceses, in holding a provincial council and various diocesan synods, and how I laboured this present year in the dioceses of Clogher, Down arid Dromore, as well as my own.
  We are in greater fear and trembling here now. In Scotland parliament has decreed that for the future it will be a lese-majesty to hear Mass. It seems as if the times of Nero, Domitian and Diocletian have come round again. We shall have martyrs’ blood to irrigate and fertilise the Church. These edicts do not at present include Ireland, because it is not named by the King in them, but I am sure that, as usual, we shall not be forgotten.
  Sentence of death was passed against me on the fifteenth. It has not caused me the least terror or deprived me of even a quarter of an hour’s sleep. I am as innocent of all treason as the child born yesterday. As for my character, profession and function, I did own it publicly, and that being also a motive of my death, I die most willingly. And being the first among the Irish, I shall, with God’s grace, give good example to the others not to fear death. I expect daily to be brought to the place of execution where my bowels are to be cut out and burned before my face, and then my head to be cut off. What speech I will have at my death will be sent to you. If I had obtained sufficient time to have brought my witnesses from Ireland, I think I should have defended myself as regards these romances of treason; but it was not granted to me, and I was brought to my trial destitute of all legal ways of defence.
Rejoice and be glad when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account: the kingdom of heaven is yours.
Blessed are you who endure to the end in the cause of right: the kingdom of heaven is yours.

Let us pray.
O God, you were pleased to endow your blessed Martyr Bishop Oliver
  with a wonderful spirit of courage in defence of the Catholic faith:
  grant that by his prayers and his example
  we may follow his firmness in faith
  and enjoy his protection in danger.
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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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