Universalis
Friday 20 October 2017    (other days)

 or Friday of week 28 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.


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
God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

Psalm 54 (55)
Against a faithless friend
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.
Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
  and do not hide when I call on you:
  turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
  by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
  they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
  and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
  terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
  I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
  and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
  from the stormy wind and the tempest.”
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.
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.

Psalm 54 (55)
The Lord will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.
Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
  for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
  high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
  scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
  I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
  perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
  my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
  we walked together in the house 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.
Amen.
The Lord will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.

Psalm 54 (55)
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.
Let death break in upon them!
  Let them go down alive to the underworld,
  for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
  and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
  and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
  and give it peace from those who attack me –
  for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
  God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
  they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
  he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
  but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
  but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
  and he will give you sustenance.
  He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
  to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
  will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in you.
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.
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

My son, attend to my wisdom,
and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

First Reading
Malachi 1:1-14,2:13-16 ©
A prophecy concerning negligent priests and repudiation
The word of the Lord to Israel through the ministration of Malachi.
  I have shown my love for you, says the Lord. But you ask, ‘How have you shown your love?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? – it is the Lord who speaks; yet I showed my love for Jacob and my hatred for Esau. I turned his towns into a wilderness and his heritage into desert pastures. Should Edom say, ‘We have been struck down but we will rebuild our ruins’, this is the reply of the Lord of Hosts: Let them build! I will pull down. They shall be known as Unholy Land and “Nation with which the Lord is angry for ever”. Your eyes are going to see this and you will say, ‘The Lord is mighty beyond the borders of Israel.’
  The son honours his father, the slave respects his master. If I am indeed father, where is my honour? If I am indeed master, where is my respect? the Lord of Hosts asks this of you, priests, you who despise my name. You ask, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By putting polluted food on my altar. You ask, ‘How have we polluted it?’ By holding the table of the Lord in contempt. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you bring the lame and the diseased, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your high commissioner, and see if he is pleased with this or receives you graciously, says the Lord of Hosts. Now try pleading with God to take pity on us (this is your own fault); do you think he will receive you graciously? says the Lord of Hosts. Oh, is there no one among you who will shut the doors and stop you from lighting useless fires on my altar? I am not pleased with you, says the Lord of Hosts; from your hands I find no offerings acceptable. But from farthest east to farthest west my name is honoured among the nations and everywhere a sacrifice of incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering too, since my name is honoured among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts. But you, you profane it by thinking of the Lord’s table as defiled and by holding in contempt the food placed on it. ‘How tiresome it all is!’ you say; and you sniff disdainfully at me, says the Lord of Hosts. You bring a stolen, lame or diseased animal, you bring that as an offering! Am I to accept this from your hand? says the Lord of Hosts. Cursed be the rogue who owns a male which he has vowed to offer from his flock, and instead sacrifices a blemished animal to me! For I am a great king, says the Lord of Hosts, and my name is feared throughout the nations.
  And here is something else you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and wailing, because he now refuses to consider the offering or to accept it from your hands. And you ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the Lord stands as witness between you and the wife of your youth, the wife with whom you have broken faith, even though she was your partner and your wife by covenant. Did he not create a single being that has flesh and the breath of life? And what is this single being destined for? God-given offspring. Be careful for your own life, therefore, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel, and I hate people to parade their sins on their cloaks, says the Lord of Hosts. Respect your own life, therefore, and do not break faith like this.
Responsory
Ml 2:5-6; Ps 110:4
℟. My covenant was with Levi, the priest; it stood for life and peace; it stood for fear and trembling.* The teaching of truth was in his mouth; falsehood was not to be found on his lips.
℣. The Lord has sworn an oath he will not retract: You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.* The teaching of truth was in his mouth; falsehood was not to be found on his lips.

Second Reading
St Augustine: The City of God
Everywhere a spotless sacrifice is being offered to my name
A true sacrifice is anything that we do with the aim of being united to God in holy fellowship – anything that is directed towards that supreme good and end in which alone we can be truly blessed. It follows that even an act of compassion towards men is not a sacrifice, if it is not done for the sake of God. Although it is performed by man, sacrifice is still a divine thing, as the Latin word indicates: “sacri-ficium,” “holy-doing” or “holy-making.” Man himself can be a sacrifice, if he is consecrated in the name of God, and vowed to God – a sacrifice in so far as he dies to the world in order to live to God. This is also an act of compassion: compassion of a man for himself. Thus it is written: take pity on your own soul by doing what is pleasing to God.
  True sacrifices are acts of compassion to ourselves or others, done with God in mind. Such acts have no other object than the relief of distress or the giving of happiness. Finally, the only true happiness is the one the psalmist speaks of: but for myself, I take joy in clinging to God. From all this it follows that the whole redeemed city (that is to say, the congregation or community of the saints) is offered to God as our sacrifice through the great High Priest who offered himself to God for us so that we might be the body belonging to so great a head. He took on the form of a servant and suffered for us. It was under this form that he both offered and was offered: at the same time mediator, and priest, and sacrifice.
  St Paul starts by exhorting us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, as an act of homage justly owed to him. He tells us not to con-form ourselves to the world but to be trans-formed by renewing our will and our thinking: seeking to find out the will of God, to discover what is good, what is acceptable, what is perfect; for we ourselves are the whole of that sacrifice. He continues: In the light of the grace I have received I want to urge each one among you not to exaggerate his real importance. Each of you must judge himself soberly by the standard of the faith God has given him. Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other. Our gifts differ according to the grace given us.
  This is the sacrifice of Christians: we, being many, are one body in Christ. And, as the faithful know, this also is the sacrifice which the Church continually celebrates in the sacrament of the altar, in which she teaches that she herself is offered in the offering she makes to God.
Responsory
℟. With what gift shall I come into the Lord’s presence? O man, God has taught you what is good. This is what he asks of you, only this:* to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.
℣. To the Lord your God belong the heavens and the earth with all that is in it; and now, what does the Lord ask of you?* To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  open our hearts to your grace.
Let it go before us and be with us,
  that we may always be intent upon doing your will.
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.
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 apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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