Saturday 23 August 2014    (other days)
Saturday of week 20 in Ordinary Time
 or Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord
The Lord has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.
The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
  he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
  Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
  around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.
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 has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.

Psalm 49 (50)
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.
Listen, my people, and I will speak;
  Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
  for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
  nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
  and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
  Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
  for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
  or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
  to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
  I will rescue you, and you will honour 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.
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.

Psalm 49 (50)
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.
To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
  Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
  and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
  you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
  and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
  you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
  so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
  I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
  lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
  whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.
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.
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.

We ceaselessly pray to God for you.
For you to have the fullest knowledge of God’s will.

First ReadingIsaiah 37:21-35 ©
Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah. ‘This’ he said ‘is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says in answer to the prayer you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria. Here is the oracle that the Lord has pronounced against him:
“She despises you, she scorns you,
the virgin, daughter of Zion;
she tosses her head behind you,
the daughter of Jerusalem.
Whom have you insulted, whom did you blaspheme?
Against whom raised your voice
and lifted your insolent eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel.
Through your minions you have insulted the Lord;
you have said: With my many chariots
I have climbed the tops of mountains,
the utmost peaks of Lebanon.
I have felled its tall forest of cedars,
its finest cypresses.
I have reached its furthest recesses,
its forest garden.
Yes I have dug wells and drunk
of alien waters;
I have put down my feet, and have dried up
all the rivers of Egypt.
“Do you hear? Long ago
I planned for it,
from days of old I designed it,
now I carry it out.
Your part was to bring down in heaps of ruins
fortified cities.
Their inhabitants, hands feeble,
dismayed, discomfited,
were like plants of the field,
like tender grass,
like grass of housetop and meadow,
under the east wind.
I know whenever you rise and whenever you sit,
your going out, your coming in.
Because you have raved against me
and your insolence has come to my ears,
I will put my ring through your nostrils,
my bit between your lips,
to make you return by the road
on which you came.
“This shall be the sign for you:
This year will be eaten the self-sown grain,
next year what sprouts in the fallow,
but in the third year sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
The surviving remnant of the House of Judah shall bring forth
new roots below and fruits above.
For a remnant shall go out from Jerusalem,
and survivors from Mount Zion.
The jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
‘This, then, is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city,
he will let fly no arrow against it,
confront it with no shield,
throw up no earthwork against it.
By the road that he came on he will return;
he shall not enter this city. It is the Lord who speaks.
I will protect this city and save it
for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”’
The Lord has comforted his people: he has redeemed Jerusalem, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Second Reading
St Ambrose on Psalm 48
Through his blood Christ reconciled the world to God
When Christ reconciled the world to God he himself was certainly not in need of reconciliation. What sin could he do penance for, when he had no sin in him? Moreover, when the Jews were asking for the half-shekel, the offering given for sin according to the Law, he said to Peter: ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when Peter replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’
  He showed that he does not owe an offering for any sin of his own, for he was not a slave of sin: the Son of God was free from all fault. For the son gives freedom; it is the slave who is guilty. So Jesus is completely free, and he does not make payment to redeem his soul. The price of his blood was more than enough to redeem all the sins of the entire world. It is right that he who owes nothing for himself should be able to give freedom to others.
  Let me say more. Christ owes nothing for his own redemption and owes nothing as propitiation for sin. But more than that, if you consider any one of us then you will see that none of us owes anything as a propitiatory offering, because Christ himself is that offering, the offering for all and the redemption of all.
  What man’s blood now has the power to redeem him, when Christ has shed his own blood for the redemption of all? Is there anyone whose blood could be compared to Christ’s? Or what man is so powerful that his could make an offering of propitiation greater than the offering that Christ made of himself when he alone reconciled the world to God by his blood? What greater sacrificial victim can there be, what superior sacrifice, what better advocate could there be than Christ, who became the atonement for the sins of all, who gave his life for our redemption?
  Individual propitiation, individual redemption is not needed, because the blood of Christ is the price of all. By that blood the Lord Jesus redeemed us, and he alone has reconciled us to the Father. He laboured at this to the end, for he took our own burdens on himself when he said, Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.
You were estranged from God, you were his enemies in heart and mind, and your deeds were evil. But now, by Christ’s death in his earthly body, God has reconciled you to himself, in order to bring you holy, pure and faultless into his presence.
God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in him, in order to bring you holy, pure and faultless into his presence.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you have prepared for those who love you
  what no eye has seen, no ear has heard.
Fill our hearts with your love,
  so that, loving you above all and in all,
  we may attain your promises
  which the heart of man has not conceived.
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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