Universalis
Friday 26 August 2016    (other days)
Saint David Lewis, Martyr 
 or Friday of week 21 in Ordinary Time 
 or Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God (Dominic Barberi), Priest 

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
In ancient times God spoke to us
Through prophets, and in varied ways,
But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
His radiance through eternal days.
To God the Father of the world,
His Son through whom he made all things,
And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
All glad creation glory sings.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 34 (35)
The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution
O Lord, arise to help me.
Judge, Lord, those who are judging me:
  attack those who are attacking me.
Take up your shield and come out to defend me.
  Brandish your spear and hold back my pursuers.
Say to my soul, “I am your deliverance.”
Let them be thrown into confusion,
  those who are after my life.
Let them be weakened and put to flight,
  those who plan harm to me.
Let them be like chaff blowing in the wind,
  when the angel of the Lord scatters them.
Let their paths be dark and slippery,
  when the angel of the Lord harries them.
For it was without cause that they spread out their nets to ensnare me,
  without cause that they dug a pit to take my life.
Let death come upon them suddenly,
  may they be entangled in their own nets.
But my soul will exult in the Lord
  and rejoice in his aid.
My bones themselves will say
  “Lord, who is your equal?”
You snatch the poor man
  from the hand of the strong,
the needy and weak
  from those who would destroy them.
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.
O Lord, arise to help me.

Psalm 34 (35)
Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.
Lying witnesses rose up against me;
  they asked me questions I could not answer.
They paid me back evil for the good I did,
  my soul is desolation.
Yet I – when they were ill, I put on sackcloth,
  I mortified my soul with fasting,
  I prayed for them from the depths of my heart.
I walked in sadness as for a close friend, for a brother;
  I was bowed down with grief as if mourning my own mother.
But they – when I was unsteady, they rejoiced and gathered together.
  They gathered and beat me: I did not know why.
They were tearing me to pieces, there was no end to it:
  they teased me, heaped derision on me, they ground their teeth at 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.
Amen.
Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.

Psalm 34 (35)
My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.
Lord, how long will you wait?
  Rescue my life from their attacks,
  my only life from the lions.
I will proclaim you in the great assembly,
  in the throng of people I will praise you.
Let not my lying enemies triumph over me,
  those who hate me for no reason,
who conspire against me by secret signs,
  who do not speak of peace,
  who plan crimes against the innocent,
who cry out slanders against me,
  saying “Yes! Yes! We saw it ourselves!”
You see them, Lord, do not stay silent:
  Lord, do not leave me.
Rise up and keep watch at my trial:
  my God and my Lord, watch over my case.
Judge me according to your justice,
  Lord: my God, let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not think to themselves,
  “Yes! We have what we wanted!”
Let them not say,
  “We have swallowed him up.”
But let those who support my cause rejoice,
  let them say always “How great is the Lord,
  who takes care of his servant’s welfare.”
And my tongue too will ponder your justice,
  and praise you all day long.
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.
My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

My son, keep my words in your heart.
Follow my commandments and you will live.

First Reading
Jeremiah 4:5-8,13-28 ©
Announce it in Judah,
proclaim it in Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet in the countryside,
shout the message aloud:
Mobilise!
Take to the fortified towns!
Signpost the way to Zion;
Run! Do not delay!
I am bringing you disaster from the North,
an immense calamity.
The lion is up from his thicket,
the destroyer of nations is on his way,
he has come from his home
to reduce your land to a desert;
your towns will be in ruins, deserted.
So wrap yourselves in sackcloth,
lament and wail,
since the burning anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us.
“Look, he is advancing like the clouds,
his chariots like a hurricane,
his horses swifter than eagles.
Trouble is coming! We are lost!”
Wash your heart clean of wickedness, Jerusalem,
and so be saved.
How long will you harbour in your breast
your pernicious thoughts?
For a voice from Dan shouts the news,
proclaims disaster from the highlands of Ephraim.
Give warning of it, announce it in Judah,
proclaim it to Jerusalem:
“Enemies are coming from a distant country,
shouting their war cry against the towns of Judah;
they surround Jerusalem like watchmen round a field
because she has apostatised from me – it is the Lord who speaks.
Your own behaviour and actions
have brought this on you.
This is your fate! How bitter!
How it pierces your heart!”
I am in anguish! I writhe with pain!
Walls of my heart!
My heart is throbbing!
I cannot keep quiet,
for I have heard the trumpet call
and the cry of war.
Ruin on ruin is the news:
the whole land is laid waste,
my tents are suddenly destroyed,
in one moment all that sheltered me is gone.
How long must I see the standard
and hear the trumpet call?
“This is because my people are stupid,
they do not know me,
they are slow-witted children,
they have no understanding:
they are clever enough at doing wrong,
but do not know how to do right.”
I looked to the earth, to see a formless waste;
to the heavens, and their light had gone.
I looked to the mountains, to see them quaking
and all the heights astir.
I looked, to see no man at all,
the very birds of heaven had fled.
I looked, to see the wooded country a wilderness,
all its towns in ruins,
at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of his burning anger.
Yes, thus speaks the Lord,
“The whole land shall be laid waste,
I will make an end of it once for all;
at which the earth will go into mourning,
and the heavens above grow dark.
For I have spoken and will not change my mind,
I have decided and will not go back on it.”
Responsory
℟. The whole earth trembles, O God, at the presence of your burning anger. Lord, have mercy on us:* do not utterly destroy us.
℣. Restore us again, O God our Saviour, and turn away your anger from us:* do not utterly destroy us.

Second Reading
From a commentary on Joel by St. Jerome, priest
Return to me
Return to me with all your heart and show a spirit of repentance with fasting, weeping and mourning; so that while you fast now, later you may be satisfied, while you weep now, later you may laugh, while you mourn now, you may some day enjoy consolation. It is customary for those in sorrow or adversity to tear their garments. The gospel records that the high priest did this to exaggerate the charge against our Lord and Saviour; and we read that Paul and Barnabas did so when they heard words of blasphemy. I bid you not to tear your garments but rather to rend your hearts which are laden with sin. Like wine skins, unless they have been cut open, they will burst of their own accord. After you have done this, return to the Lord your God, from whom you had been alienated by your sins. Do not despair of his mercy, no matter how great your sins, for great mercy will take away great sins.
  For the Lord is gracious and merciful and prefers the conversion of a sinner rather than his death. Patient and generous in his mercy, he does not give in to human impatience but is willing to wait a long time for our repentance. So extraordinary is the Lord’s mercy in the face of evil, that if we do penance for our sins, he regrets his own threat and does not carry out against us the sanctions he had threatened. So by the changing of our attitude, he himself is changed. But in this passage we should interpret “evil” to mean, not the opposite of virtue, but affliction, as we read in another place: Sufficient for the day are its own evils. And, again: If there is evil in the city, God did not create it.
  In like manner, given all that we have said above – that God is kind and merciful, patient, generous with his forgiveness, and extraordinary in his mercy toward evil – lest the magnitude of his clemency make us lax and negligent, he adds this word through his prophet: Who knows whether he will not turn and repent and leave behind him a blessing? In other words, he says: “I exhort you to repentance, because it is my duty, and I know that God is inexhaustibly merciful, as David says: Have mercy on me, God, according to your great mercy, and in the depths of your compassion, blot out all my iniquities. But since we cannot know the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and knowledge of God, I will temper my statement, expressing a wish rather than taking anything for granted, and I will say: Who knows whether he will not turn and repent? “ Since he says, Who, it must be understood that it is impossible or difficult to know for sure.
  To these words the prophet adds: Offerings and tribulations for the Lord our God. What he is saying to us in other words is that, God having blessed us and forgiven us our sins, we will then be able to offer sacrifice to God.
Responsory
℟. Turn back to God, each and every one of you, with clean hands and a pure and sincere heart,* so that the record of your sins may be blotted out.
℣. Rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn back to the Lord your God,* so that the record of your sins may be blotted out.

Let us pray.
O God, through the Precious Blood of your only Son you have redeemed all men.
Grant that in celebrating the mystery by which your martyr David Lewis was united to the sacrifice of your Son,
  your saving work may be complete in us,
  and we may become worthy to reap its fruit.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  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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