Thursday 25 August 2016    (other days)
Saint Joseph of Calasanz, Priest 
 or Thursday of week 21 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Louis 

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.

Uncover my eyes, Lord,
and I will consider the wonders of your Law.

First Reading
Jeremiah 3:1-5,19-4:4 ©
If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him
to marry someone else,
may she still go back to him?
Has not that piece of land
been totally polluted?
And you, who have prostituted yourself with so many lovers,
you would come back to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.
Lift your eyes to the bare heights and look!
Is there a single place where you have not offered your body?
You waited by the roadside for clients
like an Arab in the desert.
You have polluted the country
with your prostitution and your vices:
this is why the showers have been withheld,
the late rains have not come.
And you maintained a prostitute’s bold front,
never thinking to blush.
Even then did you not cry to me, “My father!
You, the friend of my youth!
Will he keep his resentment for ever,
will he maintain his wrath to the end?”
That was what you said, and still you went on sinning,
you were so obstinate.
And I was thinking:
How I wanted to rank you with my sons,
and give you a country of delights,
the fairest heritage of all the nations!
I had thought you would call me: My father,
and would never cease to follow me.
But like a woman betraying her lover,
the House of Israel has betrayed me –
it is the Lord who speaks.
A noise is heard on the bare heights:
the weeping and entreaty of the sons of Israel,
because they have gone so wildly astray,
and forgotten the Lord their God.
‘Come back, disloyal sons,
I want to heal your disloyalty.’
‘We are here, we are coming to you,
for you are the Lord our God.
The heights are a delusion after all,
so is the tumult of the mountains.
‘The Lord our God is, after all,
the saving of Israel.
The Thing of Shame has devoured what our ancestors worked for
since our youth
(their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters).
Let us lie down in our shame, let our dishonour be our covering,
for we have sinned against the Lord our God
(we and our ancestors since our youth until today;
and we have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God).’
‘If you wish to come back, Israel – it is the Lord who speaks –
it is to me you must return.
Do away with your abominations
and you will have no need to avoid me.
If you swear, “As the Lord lives!”
truthfully, justly, honestly,
the nations will bless themselves by you,
and glory in you.
For thus speaks the Lord
to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
Clean your ground thoroughly,
sow nothing among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves for the Lord; off with the foreskin of your hearts
(men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem),
lest my wrath should leap out like a fire,
and burn with no one to quench it,
in return for the wickedness of your deeds.’
℟. If our crimes are witness against us, then, Lord, for your name’s sake, act!* Yes, our apostasies have been many, we have sinned against you.
℣. If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?* Yes, our apostasies have been many, we have sinned against you.

Second Reading
From St Joseph de Calasanz to Cardinal M.A. Tonti
Let us strive to cling to Christ and please him alone
Everybody realises the great dignity and merit of that ministry in which men devote themselves to the education of boys, especially poor boys, so that they may learn the way to eternal life. When, in the interests of soul and body, knowledge is imparted, piety cultivated, Christian doctrine inculcated, their teachers share in a certain manner in the work of their guardian angels.
  Help of the most excellent kind is given to young people, whatever their origin or station, so that not only are they preserved from evil but they are more easily and gently drawn towards good. It is universally accepted that when the young receive such aid, they become so much changed for the better as to be no longer recognizable for what they previously were. The young, like tender plants, are easily trained in the desired direction, but if allowed to toughen, we find that our best efforts may fail to correct their wills.
  The education of youth, particularly of the poor, while it assists them to grow in human dignity, also concerns all members of Christian society. Parents rejoice to see their children being led along the right path; civil authorities approve the formation of good-living subjects and citizens. The Church especially has cause to be glad, for, as lovers of Christ and defenders of the gospel, the young are more speedily and efficaciously brought into her many and varied fields of life and action.
  Those who undertake this work of teaching, surely a task to be carried out with the greatest care, must be endowed with overflowing charity, inexhaustible patience, and, above all, profound humility. So may they be found worthy for the Lord, in answer to their humble entreaties, to make them fellow-workers with Truth itself; may he strengthen them to carry out their noble office, and finally, may he grant them a heavenly reward in accordance with the saying: ‘Those who instruct many in virtue will shine like stars for all eternity.’
  They will attain more easily to this, if, having made profession of perpetual service, they strive wholeheartedly to cleave to Christ and to please him only, who said: ‘Whatever you did to one of the least of my little ones, you did it to me.’
℟. In our great longing for you, we desired nothing better than to offer you our own lives as well as God’s gospel,* so greatly have we learned to love you.
℣. My little children, I shall always be concerned about you, until I can see Christ’s image formed in you,* so greatly have we learned to love you.

Let us pray.
God our Father,
  for the education and religious upbringing of the young
  you gave Saint Joseph of Calasanz remarkable gifts of priestly charity and patience.
Grant that while we honour him as a master of wisdom,
  we may imitate him by teaching the true way of life.
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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