Universalis
Monday 27 April 2015    (other days)
Monday of the 4th week of Eastertide
 or Saint Asicus, Bishop

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 66 (67)
The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
(repeat antiphon*)
O God, take pity on us and bless us,
  and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
  and all nations learn of your salvation.
(repeat antiphon*)
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
  let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
  for you judge the peoples with fairness
  and you guide the nations of the earth.
(repeat antiphon*)
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
  let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
  may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
  may the whole world revere him.
(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.
The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.*

* 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
Love’s redeeming work is done,
fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
death in vain forbids him rise;
Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our victorious King;
where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
following our exalted Head;
made like him, like him we rise,
ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection thou!

Psalm 72 (73)
Why should the just suffer?
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart. Alleluia.
How good God is to the upright,
  to those who are pure of heart!
But as for me, my feet nearly stumbled,
  my steps were on the point of going astray,
as I envied the boasters and sinners,
  envied their comfort and peace.
For them there are no burdens,
  their bellies are full and sleek.
They do not labour, like ordinary men;
  they do not suffer, like mortals.
They wear their pride like a necklace,
  their violence covers them like a robe.
Wickedness oozes from their very being,
  the thoughts of their hearts break forth:
they deride, they utter abominations,
  and from their heights they proclaim injustice.
They have set their mouth in the heavens,
  and their tongue traverses the earth.
Thus they sit in their lofty positions,
  and the flood-waters cannot reach them.
They ask, “How can God know?
  Does the Most High have any understanding?”
Behold, then, the wicked, always prosperous:
  their riches growing 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.
Amen.
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart. Alleluia.

Psalm 72 (73)
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow. Alleluia.
I said, “It was pointless to purify my heart,
  to wash my hands in innocence –
for still I suffered all through the day,
  still I was punished every morning.”
If I had said, “I will speak like them,”
  I would have betrayed the race of your children.
I pondered and tried to understand:
  my eyes laboured to see –
until I entered God’s holy place
  and heard how they would end.
For indeed you have put them on a slippery surface
  and have thrown them down in ruin.
How they are laid waste!
  How suddenly they fall and perish in terror!
You spurn the sight of them, Lord,
  as a dream is abandoned when the sleeper awakes.
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.
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow. Alleluia.

Psalm 72 (73)
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness. Alleluia.
My heart was sore, my being was troubled –
  I was a fool, I knew nothing;
  I was like a dumb beast before you.
But still I stay with you:
  you hold my right hand.
You lead me according to your counsel,
  until you raise me up in glory.
For who else is for me, in heaven?
  On earth, I want nothing when I am with you.
My flesh and heart are failing,
  but it is God that I love:
  God is my portion for ever.
Behold, those who abandon you will perish:
  you have condemned all who go whoring away from you.
But for myself, I take joy in clinging to God,
  in putting my trust in the Lord, my God,
to proclaim your works at the gates of the daughters of Zion.
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.
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness. Alleluia.

My heart and my flesh, alleluia,
shout joy to the living God, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 13:1-18 ©
Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea: it had seven heads and ten horns, with a coronet on each of its ten horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles. I saw that the beast was like a leopard, with paws like a bear and a mouth like a lion; the dragon had handed over to it his own power and his throne and his worldwide authority. I saw that one of its heads seemed to have had a fatal wound but that this deadly injury had healed and, after that, the whole world had marvelled and followed the beast. They prostrated themselves in front of the dragon because he had given the beast his authority; and they prostrated themselves in front of the beast, saying, ‘Who can compare with the beast? How could anybody defeat him?’ For forty-two months the beast was allowed to mouth its boasts and blasphemies and to do whatever it wanted; and it mouthed its blasphemies against God, against his name, his heavenly Tent and all those who are sheltered there. It was allowed to make war against the saints and conquer them, and given power over every race, people, language and nation; and all people of the world will worship it, that is, everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the sacrificial Lamb. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen: Captivity for those who are destined for captivity; the sword for those who are to die by the sword. This is why the saints must have constancy and faith.
  Then I saw a second beast; it emerged from the ground; it had two horns like a lamb, but made a noise like a dragon. This second beast was servant to the first beast, and extended its authority everywhere, making the world and all its people worship the first beast, which had had the fatal wound and had been healed. And it worked great miracles, even to calling down fire from heaven on to the earth while people watched. Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, it was able to win over the people of the world and persuade them to put up a statue in honour of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and still lived. It was allowed to breathe life into this statue, so that the statue of the beast was able to speak, and to have anyone who refused to worship the statue of the beast put to death. He compelled everyone – small and great, rich and poor, slave and citizen – to be branded on the right hand or on the forehead, and made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell anything unless he had been branded with the name of the beast or with the number of its name.
  There is need for shrewdness here: if anyone is clever enough he may interpret the number of the beast: it is the number of a man, the number 666.
Responsory
He who wins the victory will be clothed in white, and I will not remove his name from the book of the living. In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that he belongs to me, alleluia.
The man who stands firm to the end will be saved. In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that he belongs to me, alleluia.

Second Reading
St Basil the Great on the Holy Spirit
The Spirit gives life
For this cause the Lord, who gives us our life, gave us the covenant of baptism, containing a type of life and death, for the water fulfils the image of death, and the Spirit gives us the promise of life. Hence it follows that the answer to our question why the water was associated with the Spirit is clear. The reason is because in baptism two ends were proposed: on the one hand, the destroying of the body of sin, that it may never ripen into death; on the other hand, our coming to life in the Spirit, ripening and having our fruit in holiness. Like a tomb, the water receives the body, symbolizing death; while the Spirit pours in the quickening power, renewing our souls from the deadness of sin into their original life. This then is what it is to be born again of water and of the Spirit, the water bringing the necessary death while the Spirit creates life within us.
  In three immersions, then, and with three invocations, the great mystery of baptism is performed. Thus the symbol of death is made complete, and by the passing on of the divine knowledge the baptized have their souls enlightened. It follows that if there is any grace in the water, it is not of the nature of the water, but of the presence of the Spirit. For baptism is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God. So in training us for the life that follows on the resurrection the Lord sets out all the manner of life required by the Gospel, laying down for us the law of gentleness, of endurance of wrong, of freedom from the defilement that comes of the love of pleasure, and from covetousness – all this so that we can by our own choice achieve all that the life to come of its inherent nature possesses.
  Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the status of adopted sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory – in a word, our being brought into a state of all fullness of blessing both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us. Through faith we behold the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, but we still have to wait for the full enjoyment of them. If such is the promise, what will the perfection be like? If these are the first fruits, what will be the complete fulfilment?
Responsory
When we rise up from the water, cleansed of our sins, the Holy Spirit – the dove bringing God’s offer of peace – comes down on us from heaven, where dwells the Church, foreshadowed by the ark, alleluia.
How rich in blessings is the sacrament of baptism whereby we are set free for eternal life: the Holy Spirit – the dove bringing God’s offer of peace – comes down on us from heaven, where dwells the Church, foreshadowed by the ark, alleluia.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  when our world lay in ruins,
  you raised it up again on the foundation of your Son’s Passion and Death.
Give us grace to rejoice in the freedom from sin
  which he gained for us,
  and bring us to everlasting joy.
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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