Universalis
Monday 10 August 2020    (other days)
Saint Laurence, Deacon, Martyr 
Feast

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
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 2
The Messiah, king and victor

You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake; but he who endures to the end will be saved.
Why are the nations in a ferment?
  Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
  the leaders have united against the Lord,
  against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
  let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
  he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
  in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
  Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
  the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
  break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
  Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
  lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in 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.
You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake; but he who endures to the end will be saved.

Psalm 10 (11)
The Lord, support of the just

The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us.
I trust in the Lord, so why do you say to me:
  “Fly up to the mountain like a sparrow”?
“For the wicked have drawn their bows,
  fitted the arrow to the string,
  to shoot in darkness at the upright of heart.
When the foundations are being overthrown,
  what are the just to do?”
The Lord is in his holy temple;
  the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the poor,
  he examines the children of men.
The Lord scrutinises the just and the unjust,
  and his heart hates those who do evil.
He rains down coals upon the wicked,
  fire and brimstone and a scorching wind:
  this is what he gives them to drink.
For the Lord is just and loves just deeds,
  and the upright shall see his face.
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 sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us.

Psalm 16 (17)
Save me from wrongdoers

The Lord tried his chosen ones like gold in a furnace; he accepted them as a holy offering, thoroughly consumed by fire.
Hear the case I bring before you, Lord,
  listen to my plea.
Lend your ears to the voice of my pleading:
  on my lips there is no deceit.
Give judgement yourself in my favour,
  let your eyes see that justice is done.
Search my heart, inspect it by night,
  test me with fire –
  in me you will find no wrong.
My speech is not turned aside towards the works of men:
  and because of your words I keep far from the ways of the violent.
Keep my steps from leaving your paths,
  so that I may never stumble.
I have cried to you, God, because you will listen;
  turn your ear to me and listen to my words.
Pour out your kindness till men are astonished,
  you, who keep safe from attack
  all who trust in your strength.
Guard me as the apple of your eye,
  hide me in the shade of your wings,
  away from the wicked who have done me wrong.
In their rage, my enemies surround me,
  they have sealed up their hearts and their mouths utter threats.
They advance, they surround me,
  they watch for their chance to send me sprawling to the ground.
Their faces are like lions eager for their prey,
  like lion cubs lying and waiting in their den.
Rise up, O Lord, face my enemy and defeat him,
  with your sword rescue my life from the wicked.
By your hand, Lord, rescue me from death;
  from joining the dead, who have life no more.
From your storehouse you fill men’s bellies,
  their children are sated, they leave the rest to their heirs.
And I, being upright, shall see your face,
  the sight of you, when I wake, will be all that I need.
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 tried his chosen ones like gold in a furnace; he accepted them as a holy offering, thoroughly consumed by fire.

℣. Anguish and distress have taken hold of me.
℟. Yet will I delight in your commands.

First Reading
Acts 6:1-6,8:1,4-8 ©
About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
  That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the apostles fled to the country districts of Judaea and Samaria.
  Those who had escaped went from place to place preaching the Good News. One of them was Philip who went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.
Responsory
℟. Whoever declares publicly that he belongs to me, says the Lord,* I will do the same for him before my Father in heaven.
℣. Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me wherever I am.* I will do the same for him before my Father in heaven.

Second Reading
A sermon preached by St Augustine on the feast day of St Laurence

He administered the sacred chalice of Christ's blood

The Roman Church commends this day to us as the blessed Laurence’s day of triumph, on which he trod down the world as it roared and raged against him; spurned it as it coaxed and wheedled him; and in each case, conquered the devil as he persecuted him. For in that Church, you see, as you have regularly been told, he performed the office of deacon; it was there that he administered the sacred chalice of Christ’s blood; there that he shed his own blood for the name of Christ. The blessed apostle John clearly explained the mystery of the Lord’s supper when he said Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. St Laurence understood this, my brethren, and he did it; and he undoubtedly prepared things similar to what he received at that table. He loved Christ in his life, he imitated him in his death.
  And we too, brethren, if we truly love him, let us imitate him. After all, we shall not be able to give a better proof of love than by imitating his example; for Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, so that we might follow in his footsteps. In this sentence the apostle Peter appears to have seen that Christ suffered only for those who follow in his footsteps, and that Christ’s passion profits none but those who follow in his footsteps. The holy martyrs followed him, to the shedding of their blood, to the similarity of their sufferings. The martyrs followed, but they were not the only ones. It is not the case, I mean to say, that after they crossed, the bridge was cut; or that after they had drunk, the fountain dried up.
  The garden of the Lord, brethren, includes – yes, it truly includes – includes not only the roses of martyrs but also the lilies of virgins, and the ivy of married people, and the violets of widows. There is absolutely no kind of human beings, my dearly beloved, who need to despair of their vocation; Christ suffered for all. It was very truly written about him: who wishes all men to be saved, and to come to the acknowledgement of the truth.
  So let us understand how Christians ought to follow Christ, short of the shedding of blood, short of the danger of suffering death. The Apostle says, speaking of the Lord Christ, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not think it robbery to be equal to God. What incomparable greatness! But he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men, and found in condition as a man. What unequalled humility!
  Christ humbled himself: you have something, Christian, to latch on to. Christ became obedient. Why do you behave proudly? After running the course of these humiliations and laying death low, Christ ascended into heaven: let us follow him there. Let us listen to the Apostle telling us, If you have risen with Christ, savour the things that are above us, seated at God’s right hand.
Responsory
℟. Blessed Laurence cried out: I worship my God and serve him alone,* and I am not afraid of torture.
℣. My God is the rock where I take refuge,* and I am not afraid of torture.

HymnTe Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you inspired Saint Laurence with so ardent a love
  that his life was renowned for the service of your people
  and his death for the splendour of his martyrdom.
Help us to love what he loved
  and to live as he showed 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.
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.

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