Wednesday 19 September 2018    (other days)
Saint Januarius, Bishop, Martyr 
 or Wednesday of week 24 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury 

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.

The martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross they died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

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.
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.
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.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

℣. Make me grasp the way of your precepts, Lord.
℟. I will meditate on your wonders.

First Reading
Ezekiel 10:18-22,11:14-25 ©
The glory of the Lord abandons the condemned City
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.
Ezk 10:4,18; Mt 23:37-38
℟. 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
A sermon of St Augustine on the anniversary of his ordination
For you I am a bishop, with you I am a Christian
From the moment this burden, about which such a difficult account has to be rendered, was placed on my shoulders, anxiety about the honour shown to me has always haunted me. What is to be dreaded about the office I hold, if not that I may take more pleasure (which is so dangerous) in the honour shown to me than in what bears fruit in your salvation? Whenever I am terrified by what I am for you, I am given comfort by what I am with you. For you I am a bishop, but with you I am, after all, a Christian. The former signifies an office undertaken, the latter, grace; the former is a name for danger, the latter a name for salvation.
  Finally, as if on the open sea, I am being tossed about by the stormy activity involved in being a bishop; but as I recall by whose blood I have been redeemed, I enter a safe harbour in the tranquil recollection of being a Christian. Thus, while toiling away at my own proper office, I take my rest in the marvellous benefit conferred on us all in common. So I hope that the fact that I have been bought, together with you, gives me more pleasure than my having been placed at your head; then, as the Lord has commanded, I will be more effectively your servant, and be preserved from ingratitude for the price for which I was bought to be, not too unworthily, your fellow-servant. I am certainly obliged to love the Redeemer, and I know what he said to Peter: Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep. Once he said it, twice, a third time. Love was being questioned and toil demanded, because where the love is greater, the work is less of a burden.
  What shall I pay back to the Lord for all that he has paid back to me? If I say that I am paying back by herding his sheep, even then it is not I who am doing it, but the grace of God within me. So when can I be found to be paying back to him, if he is always there before me? And yet, because we give our love freely, because we are herding his sheep, we look for a reward. How can this be? How can it be consistent to say “I give my love freely, which is why I am herding sheep” and at the same time “I request a reward because I am herding sheep”? This could not possibly happen: in no way at all could a reward be sought from one who is loved freely, unless the reward actually were the very one who is being loved. I mean, if what we are paying back for his having redeemed us is our herding his sheep, being his shepherds, what are we paying back for the fact of his having made us shepherds? Being bad shepherds, you see (may God preserve us from it) is something that we are through our own badness, whereas being good shepherds (God grant it may be so!) is something that can come only through his grace. So it is, my brethren, that we command and implore you not to receive the grace of God in vain. Make my ministry fruitful. You are God’s agriculture. From the outside, receive the work of the planter and the waterer; but from the inside, receive the work of the One who makes you grow. Please, give me your help by both your prayers and your obedience, so that I may find my delight not in being in charge of you but in being of use to you.
℟. Januarius was a true martyr, who shed his blood for the name of Christ. He had no worldly ambitions, nor was he afraid of the threats of magistrates,* and he has now attained the kingdom of heaven.
℣. The Lord guided him on a straight path and showed him that God is king,* and he has now attained the kingdom of heaven.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  as, by your grace, we keep the memory of Saint Januarius,
grant that we may share with him
  the eternal joy you have promised us.
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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