Universalis
Wednesday 17 September 2014    (other days)
Wednesday of week 24 in Ordinary Time
 or Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Doctor

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
O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 102 (103)
Praise of the compassionate Lord
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  Never forget all he has done for you.
The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
  who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
  who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
  who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
  who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.
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 soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.

Psalm 102 (103)
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
  full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
  he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
  he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
  so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
  so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
  so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
  he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
  he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
  no trace of him remains.
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.
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

Psalm 102 (103)
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
  to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
  for those who keep his covenant,
  for those who remember his commandments
  and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
  and his rule shall extend over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels,
  strong in your strength, doers of his command,
  bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
  his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
  in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless the Lord!
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.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

Teach me the way of your precepts, O Lord,
and I will reflect on the wonders you have wrought.

First Reading
Ezekiel 10:18-22,11:14-25 ©
The glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold and paused over the cherubs. The cherubs spread their wings and rose from the ground to leave, and as I watched the wheels rose with them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. This was the creature that I had seen supporting the God of Israel beside the river Chebar, and I was now certain that these were cherubs. Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings. Their faces were just as I had seen them beside the river Chebar. Each moved straight forward.
  The word of the Lord was then addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel, these are told by the citizens of Jerusalem, “You have been sent away from the Lord; it is to us that the land was given as our domain.” Say therefore, “The Lord says this: Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for a while I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone.” Then say, “The Lord says this: I will gather you together from the peoples, I will bring you all back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. They will come and will purge it of all the horrors and the filthy practices. I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh instead, so that they will keep my laws and respect my observances and put them into practice. Then they shall be my people and I will be their God. But those whose hearts are set on their idols and their filthy practices I will call to account for their conduct – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
  The cherubs then spread their wings and the wheels began to move with them, while the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. And the glory of the Lord rose to leave the city and paused on the mountain to the east of the city.
  The spirit lifted me up in vision, in the spirit of God, and took me to the Chaldaeans, away to the exiles, and so the vision I had seen faded; and then I told the exiles everything that the Lord had shown me.
Responsory
The glory of the Lord rose to the threshold of the Temple, which was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord; and the glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold.
How often have I been ready to gather your children together, O Jerusalem, and you refused it! Behold, your house is left to you, a house uninhabited, and the glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold.

Second Reading
St Augustine's sermon On Pastors
No-one should seek what is his own, but what is Christ's
We have talked about what it means for a shepherd to “drink the milk of his flock.” Now, then, what does it mean when he “clothes himself in its wool”?
  To give milk is to give sustenance; to give wool is to give honour. These are the two things that pastors demand when they want to feed themselves rather than their sheep: the fulfilment of their bodily wants and the pleasure that comes from honour and praise.
  Clothing is a good image of honour because clothing covers nakedness. Now every man is weak – and whoever is placed over you is a man just like you. He has a body; he is mortal. He eats, he goes to sleep, he wakes up. He has been born and he will die. If you consider him in himself, he is nothing but a man; but by giving him honour you give him, as it were, clothing to cover up his human nakedness.
  See what kind of clothing Paul received from the good people of God: You welcomed me as an angel of God. I swear that you would even have gone so far as to pluck out your eyes and give them to me. But with all the honour that was given to him, did he spare the feelings of those who had gone astray, so that he could avoid being contradicted or being praised less than before? He did not. If he had withheld correction from those who needed it, he would have been one of those pastors who feed themselves and not their sheep. He would have been saying to himself, “What has that to do with me? Let them do as they like: my food is safe, my honour is safe – I have as much milk and wool as I want, so let everyone wander wherever he likes.” But then, if you think like that, are all your goods really safe if everyone goes wherever he wants? If you think like that, I refuse to make you a leader and you will be like every one of your own people: If one part of the body is hurt, all parts are hurt with it.
  So when the Apostle Paul is recalling how the Galatians behaved towards him, he does it because he does not want to seem forgetful of the honour they gave him. He remembers that they received him as if he had been an angel of God, that if it had been possible they would have torn out their own eyes to give to him. But despite all this, he has come to the sick, the rotting sheep to lance its abscesses and cut away its rotting flesh. He is driven to say Is it telling the truth that has made me your enemy?
  Paul received the sheep’s milk, as we heard before, and he received their wool to clothe him, but he did not neglect the care of his flock. He did not seek his own interests but those of Jesus Christ.
Responsory
If they make you master of the feast, do not give yourself airs: bear yourself as an equal, and make good provision for the guests.
Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all. Bear yourself as an equal, and make good provision for the guests.

Let us pray.
Look upon us, Lord, creator and ruler of the whole world:
  give us grace to serve you with all our heart
  that we may come to know the power of your forgiveness and love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and 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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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