Thursday 17 January 2019    (other days)
Saint Antony, Abbot 
 (Thursday of week 1 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.

Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.
The Lord’s ways are pure;
  the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
  the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
  What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
  and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
  who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
  teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
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 word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)
Lord, your right hand upheld me.
You have given me the shield of your salvation;
  your right hand holds me up;
  by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
  my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
  I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
  they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
  and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
  you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
  they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
  trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
  and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
  at a mere rumour of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favour;
  they hide away and tremble where they hide.
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.
Lord, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.
The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
  Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
  you subject peoples to my rule,
  you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
  you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
  and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
  you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
  to David and his descendants 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.
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

℣. Lord, open my eyes.
℟. Let me consider the wonders of your law.

First Reading
Ecclesiasticus 42:15-43:13 ©
Praise of God in his creation
I will remind you of the works of the Lord,
  and tell of what I have seen.
By the words of the Lord his works come into being
  and all creation obeys his will.
As the sun in shining looks on all things,
  so the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
The Lord has not granted to the holy ones
  to tell of all his marvels
which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed
  for the universe to stand firm in his glory.
He has fathomed the deep and the heart,
  and seen into their devious ways;
for the Most High knows all the knowledge there is,
  and has observed the signs of the times.
He declares what is past and what will be,
  and uncovers the traces of hidden things.
Not a thought escapes him,
  not a single word is hidden from him.
He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom,
  he is from everlasting to everlasting,
nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away,
  he needs no one’s advice.
How desirable are all his works,
  how dazzling to the eye!
They all live and last for ever,
  whatever the circumstances all obey him.
All things go in pairs, by opposites,
  and he has made nothing defective;
the one consolidates the excellence of the other,
  who could ever be sated with gazing at his glory?
Pride of the heights, shining vault,
  so, in a glorious spectacle, the sky appears.
The sun, as he emerges, proclaims at his rising,
  ‘A thing of wonder is the work of the Most High!’
At his zenith he parches the land,
  who can withstand his blaze?
A man must blow a furnace to produce any heat,
  the sun burns the mountains three times as much;
breathing out blasts of fire,
  flashing his rays he dazzles the eyes.
Great is the Lord who made him,
  and whose word speeds him on his course.
And then the moon, always punctual,
  to mark the months and make division of time:
the moon it is that signals the feasts,
  a luminary that wanes after her full.
The month derives its name from hers,
  she waxes wonderfully in her phases,
banner of the hosts on high,
  shining in the vault of heaven.
The glory of the stars makes the beauty of the sky,
  a brilliant decoration to the heights of the Lord.
At the words of the Holy One they stand as he decrees,
  and never grow slack at their watch.
See the rainbow and praise its maker,
  so superbly beautiful in its splendour.
Across the sky it forms a glorious arc
  drawn by the hands of the Most High.
℟. Our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory, honour and power,* for you created all things, and by your will they were given existence and life.
℣. Yes, you have made heaven and earth, and all the marvels that are under heaven. You are the Lord of all,* for you created all things, and by your will they were given existence and life.

Second Reading
From the Life of Saint Antony by Saint Athanasius, bishop
Saint Antony receives his vocation
When Antony was about eighteen or twenty years old, his parents died, leaving him with an only sister. He cared for her as she was very young, and also looked after their home.
  Not six months after his parents’ death, as he was on his way to church for his usual visit, he began to think of how the apostles had left everything and followed the Saviour, and also of those mentioned in the book of Acts who had sold their possessions and brought the apostles the money for distribution to the needy. He reflected too on the great hope stored up in heaven for such as these. This was all in his mind when, entering the church just as the Gospel was being read, he heard the Lord’s words to the rich man: If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor – you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.
  It seemed to Antony that it was God who had brought the saints to his mind and that the words of the Gospel had been spoken directly to him. Immediately he left the church and gave away to the villagers all the property he had inherited, about 200 acres of very beautiful and fertile land, so that it would cause no distraction to his sister and himself. He sold all his other possessions as well, giving to the poor the considerable sum of money he collected. However, to care for his sister he retained a few things.
  The next time he went to church he heard the Lord say in the Gospel: Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Without a moment’s hesitation he went out and gave the poor all that he had left. He placed his sister in the care of some well-known and trustworthy virgins and arranged for her to be brought up in the convent. Then he gave himself up to the ascetic life, not far from his own home. He kept a careful watch over himself and practised great austerity. He did manual work because he had heard the words: If anyone will not work, do not let him eat. He spent some of his earnings on bread and the rest he gave to the poor.
  Having learned that we should always be praying, even when we are by ourselves, he prayed without ceasing. Indeed, he was so attentive when Scripture was read that nothing escaped him and because he retained all he heard, his memory served him in place of books.
  Seeing the kind of life he lived, the villagers and all the good men he knew called him the friend of God, and they loved him as both son and brother.
℟. If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;* then come, follow me.
℣. None of you can be my disciple unless he give up all his possessions;* then come, follow me.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Antony
  the grace of serving you in the wilderness.
Grant that through his intercession
  we may deny ourselves and love you above all things.
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.

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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