Universalis
Wednesday 28 January 2015    (other days)
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor
 (Wednesday of week 3 in Ordinary Time)

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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.
I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
  to generation upon generation
  my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
  “My kindness shall be established for ever”;
  your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
  I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
  I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
  the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
  Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
  great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
  Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
  when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
  through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
  you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
  Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
  your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
  kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
  They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
  and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
  and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
  and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
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.
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.
In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
  You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
  I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
  I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
  my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
  the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
  and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
  and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
  and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
  my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
  supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
  my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
  and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”
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 Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

Psalm 88 (89)
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.
“But if his children abandon my law
  and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
  and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
  I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
  nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
  I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
  I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
  his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
  a faithful witness in the sky.”
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.
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.

The words that you utter give light
and understanding to the simple.

First Reading
Deuteronomy 29:1-5,9-28 ©
Curses on the breakers of the covenant
Moses called the whole of Israel together and said to them: ‘You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, to his servants and to his whole land, the great ordeals your own eyes witnessed, the signs and those great wonders. But until today the Lord has given you no heart to understand, no eyes to see, no ears to hear.
  For forty years I led you in the wilderness; the clothes on your back did not wear out and your sandals did not wear off your feet. You had no bread to eat, you drank no wine, no strong drink, learning thus that I, the Lord, am your God.
  All of you stand here today in the presence of the Lord your God: your heads of tribes, your elders, your scribes, all the men of Israel, with your children and your wives (and the stranger too who is in your camp, whether he cuts wood or draws water for you), and you are about to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, a covenant ratified with dire sanctions, which he has made with you today, and by which, today, he makes a nation of you and he himself becomes a God to you, as he has promised and as he has sworn to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
  ‘Not with you alone do I make this covenant today and pronounce these sanctions, but with him also who is not here today, as well as with him who stands with us here in the presence of the Lord our God.
  Yes, you know those among whom we lived in Egypt, those through whose lands we journeyed, the nations through whom we have passed. You have seen their abominations and their idols, the wood, the stone, the silver and gold they have in their countries.
  Let there be no man or woman among you, no clan or tribe, whose heart turns away from the Lord your God today to go and serve the gods of those nations. Let there be no root among you bearing fruit that is poisonous and bitter. If, after hearing these sanctions, such a man should bless himself in his heart and say, “I may follow the dictates of my own heart and still lack nothing; much water drives away thirst,” the Lord will not pardon him. The wrath and jealousy of the Lord will blaze against such a man; every curse written in this book will fall on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. The Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel to his destruction, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in the Book of this Law.
  The future generation, your children who are to come after you, as also the stranger from a distant country, will see the plagues of that land and the diseases the Lord will inflict on it, and will exclaim, “Sulphur, salt, scorched earth, the whole land through! No one will sow, nothing grow, no grass spring ever again. Like this, Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and his wrath.” And all the nations will exclaim, “Why has the Lord treated this land like this? Why this great blaze of anger?” And people will say, “Because they deserted the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they went and served other gods and worshipped them, gods they had not known, gods that were no part of their heritage from him, for this the anger of the Lord has blazed against this land, bringing on it all the curses written in this book. In anger, in fury, in fierce wrath the Lord has torn them from their country and flung them into another land where they are today.”
  Things hidden belong to the Lord our God but things revealed are ours and our children’s for all time, so that we may observe all the words of this Law.
Responsory
Christ was accursed for our sake so that the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans, so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.
God brought us out of the land of Egypt; he delivered us from the house of slavery, so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.

Second Reading
From a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest
The Cross exemplifies every virtue
Why did the Son of God have to suffer for us? There was a great need, and it can be considered in a twofold way: in the first place, as a remedy for sin, and secondly, as an example of how to act.
  It is a remedy, for, in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the passion of Christ. Yet, it is no less an example, for the passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly should do nothing but disdain what Christ disdained on the cross and desire what he desired, for the cross exemplifies every virtue.
  If you seek the example of love: Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends. Such a man was Christ on the cross. And if he gave his life for us, then it should not be difficult to bear whatever hardships arise for his sake.
  If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth. Therefore Christ’s patience on the cross was great. In patience let us run for the prize set before us, looking upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him, bore his cross and despised the shame.
  If you seek an example of humility, look upon the crucified one, for God wished to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to die.
  If you seek an example of obedience, follow him who became obedient to the Father even unto death. For just as by the disobedience of one man, namely, Adam, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, many were made righteous.
  If you seek an example of despising earthly things, follow him who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Upon the cross he was stripped, mocked, spat upon, struck, crowned with thorns, and given only vinegar and gall to drink.
  Do not be attached, therefore, to clothing and riches, because they divided my garments among themselves. Nor to honours, for he experienced harsh words and scourgings. Nor to greatness of rank, for weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on my head. Nor to anything delightful, for in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Responsory
I prayed, and understanding was given to me; I entreated, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing.
Your purpose none may know, unless you grant your gift of wisdom, sending us from heaven your own Holy Spirit. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing.

Let us pray.
Lord, our God, since it was by your gift that Saint Thomas became so great a saint and theologian,
  give us grace to understand his teaching and follow his way of life.
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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