Universalis
Wednesday 3 June 2020    (other days)
Saints Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs 
 on Wednesday of week 9 in Ordinary Time

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 99 (100)
The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
  and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
  (repeat antiphon*)
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
 – his people, the sheep of his flock.
  (repeat antiphon*)
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
  fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
  for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
  his faithfulness through all the ages.
  (repeat antiphon*)
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.
(repeat antiphon*)

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
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 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory

I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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.
I love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)

The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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 saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)

You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

℣. All wondered at these gracious words.
℟. They marvelled at what the Lord was saying.

First Reading
Job 32:1-6,33:1-22 ©

Elihu speaks on the mystery of God

Job’s three friends said no more to him, because he was convinced of his innocence. But another man was infuriated – Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram. He fumed with rage against Job for thinking that he was right and God was wrong; and he was equally angry with the three friends for giving up the argument and thus admitting that God could be unjust. While they were speaking, Elihu had held himself back, because they were older than he was; but when he saw that the three men had not another word to say in answer, his anger burst out. Thus Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite spoke next. He said:
I am still young,
  and you are old,
so I was shy, afraid,
  to tell you what I know.
Now, Job, be kind enough to listen to my words,
  and attend to all I have to say.
Now as I open my mouth,
  and my tongue shapes words against my palate,
my heart shall utter sayings full of wisdom,
  and my lips speak the honest truth.
Refute me, if you can.
  Prepare your ground to oppose me.
See, I am your fellow man, not a god;
  like you, I was fashioned out of clay.
God’s breath it was that made me,
  the breathing of Shaddai that gave me life.
Thus, no fear of me need disturb you,
  my hand will not lie heavy over you.
How could you say in my hearing –
  for the sound of your words did not escape me –
‘I am clean, and sinless,
  I am pure, free of all fault.
Yet he is inventing grievances against me,
  and imagining me his enemy.
He puts me in the stocks,
  he watches my every step’?
In saying so, I tell you, you are wrong:
  God does not fit man’s measure.
Why do you rail at him
  for not replying to you, word for word?
God speaks first in one way,
  and then in another, but no one notices.
He speaks by dreams, and visions that come in the night,
  when slumber comes on mankind,
  and men are all asleep in bed.
Then it is he whispers in the ear of man,
  or may frighten him with fearful sights,
to turn him away from evil-doing,
  and make an end of his pride;
to save his soul from the pit
  and his life from the pathway to Sheol.
With suffering, too, he corrects man on his sick-bed,
  when his bones keep trembling with palsy;
when his whole self is revolted by food,
  and his appetite spurns dainties;
when his flesh rots as you watch it,
  and his bare bones begin to show;
when his soul is drawing near to the pit,
  and his life to the dwelling of the dead.
ResponsoryRm 11:34
℟. How rich are the depths of God, how deep his wisdom and knowledge,* how inscrutable are his judgements!
℣. Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?* How inscrutable are his judgements!

Second Reading
A sermon by Pope Paul VI

The glory of the martyrs - a sign of rebirth

The African martyrs add another page to the martyrology – the Church’s roll of honour – an occasion both of mourning and of joy. This is a page worthy in every way to be added to the annals of that Africa of earlier times which we, living in this era and being men of little faith, never expected to be repeated.
  In earlier times there occurred those famous deeds, so moving to the spirit, of the martyrs of Scilli, of Carthage, and of that “white robed army” of Utica commemorated by Saint Augustine and Prudentius; of the martyrs of Egypt so highly praised by Saint John Chrysostom, and of the martyrs of the Vandal persecution. Who would have thought that in our days we should have witnessed events as heroic and glorious?
  Who could have predicted that to the famous African confessors and martyrs such as Cyprian, Felicity, Perpetua and – the greatest of all – Augustine, we would one day add names so dear to us as Charles Lwanga and Matthias Mulumba Kalemba and their 20 companions? Nor must we forget those members of the Anglican Church who also died for the name of Christ.
  These African martyrs herald the dawn of a new age. If only the mind of man might be directed not towards persecutions and religious conflicts but towards a rebirth of Christianity and civilisation!
  Africa has been washed by the blood of these latest martyrs, the first of this new age (and, God willing, let them be the last, although such a holocaust is precious indeed). Africa is reborn free and independent.
  The infamous crime by which these young men were put to death was so unspeakable and so expressive of the times. It shows us clearly that a new people needs a moral foundation, needs new spiritual customs firmly planted, to be handed down to posterity. Symbolically, this crime also reveals that a simple and rough way of life – enriched by many fine human qualities yet enslaved by its own weakness and corruption – must give way to a more civilised life wherein the higher expressions of the mind and better social conditions prevail.
Responsory
℟. God looks on, his angels look on, Christ, too, looks on as we struggle and strive in the contest of faith.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to join battle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ, the Judge!
℣. Let us be armed with a great determination and be prepared to face the combat, pure in heart, sound in faith, and full of courage.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to join battle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ, the Judge!

Let us pray.
Lord God, you have made the blood of martyrs
  become the seed of Christians.
In your love, grant that your Church,
  the field that was moistened by the blood of Saint Charles and his companions,
  may always yield a fertile harvest for you.
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 and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

Copyright © 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
 
This web site © Copyright 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Ltd · Contact us · Cookies/privacy
(top