Universalis
Thursday 26 April 2018    (other days)
Thursday of the 4th week of Eastertide 

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
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 victor 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 43 (44)
In time of defeat
Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face. Alleluia.
Our own ears have heard, O God,
  and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
  what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
  and put us in their place,
  struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
  it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
  the light of your face,
  for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
  who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
  in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
  my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
  you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
  and proclaim your name for all ages.
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 own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face. Alleluia.

Psalm 43 (44)
If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you. Alleluia.
But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
  so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
  and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
  you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
  not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
  mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
  the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
  I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
  my enemies and my persecutors.
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.
If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you. Alleluia.

Psalm 43 (44)
Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.
All this happened to us,
  but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
  our hearts did not turn away;
  our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
  with horrors all about us:
  you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
  if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
  He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
  that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
  Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
  How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
  our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
  In your mercy, redeem 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.
Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.

God raised the Lord, alleluia,
and will raise us too by his power, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 15:5-16:21 ©
The seven chalices of God’s wrath
After this, in my vision, the sanctuary, the Tent of the Testimony, opened in heaven, and out came the seven angels with the seven plagues, wearing pure white linen, fastened round their waists with golden girdles. One of the four animals gave the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the anger of God who lives for ever and ever. The smoke from the glory and the power of God filled the temple so that no one could go into it until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
  Then I heard a voice from the sanctuary shouting to the seven angels, ‘Go, and empty the seven bowls of God’s anger over the earth.’
  The first angel went and emptied his bowl over the earth; at once, on all the people who had been branded with the mark of the beast and had worshipped its statue, there came disgusting and virulent sores.
  The second angel emptied his bowl over the sea, and it turned to blood, like the blood of a corpse, and every living creature in the sea died.
  The third angel emptied his bowl into the rivers and water-springs and they turned into blood. Then I heard the angel of water say, ‘You are the holy He-Is-and-He-Was, the Just One, and this is a just punishment: they spilt the blood of the saints and the prophets, and blood is what you have given them to drink; it is what they deserve.’ And I heard the altar itself say, ‘Truly, Lord God Almighty, the punishments you give are true and just.’
  The fourth angel emptied his bowl over the sun and it was made to scorch people with its flames; but though people were scorched by the fierce heat of it they cursed the name of God who had the power to cause such plagues, and they would not repent and praise him.
  The fifth angel emptied his bowl over the throne of the beast and its whole empire was plunged into darkness. Men were biting their tongues for pain, but instead of repenting for what they had done, they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores.
  The sixth angel emptied his bowl over the great river Euphrates; all the water dried up so that a way was made for the kings of the East to come in. Then from the jaws of dragon and beast and false prophet I saw three foul spirits come; they looked like frogs and in fact were demon spirits, able to work miracles, going out to all the kings of the world to call them together for the war of the Great Day of God the Almighty.- This is how it will be: I shall come like a thief. Happy is the man who has stayed awake and not taken off his clothes so that he does not go out naked and expose his shame. – They called the kings together at the place called, in Hebrew, Armageddon.
  The seventh angel emptied his bowl into the air, and a voice shouted from the sanctuary, ‘The end has come.’ Then there were flashes of lightning and peals of thunder and the most violent earthquake that anyone has ever seen since there have been men on the earth. The Great City was split into three parts and the cities of the world collapsed; Babylon the Great was not forgotten: God made her drink the full wine-cup of his anger. Every island vanished and the mountains disappeared; and hail, with great hailstones weighing a talent each, fell from the sky on the people. They cursed God for sending a plague of hail; it was the most terrible plague.
Responsory
Mt 24:43; Rv 16:15; cf. 1 Th 5:3
℟. If the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched.* When I come, says the Lord, I shall come like a thief. Happy the man who is awake when I come, alleluia.
℣. When people say, ‘There is peace and security,’ then suddenly destruction will come upon them.* When I come, says the Lord, I shall come like a thief. Happy the man who is awake when I come, alleluia.

Second Reading
From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
The new commandment
The Lord Jesus declares that he is giving his disciples a new commandment, that they should love one another: I give you a new commandment: love one another.
  But wasn’t this commandment already part of the ancient law of God, where it is written You shall love your neighbour as yourself? Why, then, is it called a new one by the Lord, when it is really so old? Is it new because he has divested us of our old humanity and clothed us with the new? It is true that love renews those who listen to it (or rather, those who act in obedience to it) but it is that particular love which the Lord distinguished from all carnal affection by adding love one another as I have loved you.
  This is the love that renews us, making us new men, heirs of the New Testament, singers of the new song. It was this love, my beloved brethren, that renewed the patriarchs and prophets of old, and later renewed the blessed apostles. This is the love that is now renewing the nations, and from among the universal race of man, which overspreads the whole world, is making and gathering together a new people, the body of the newly-married spouse of the only-begotten Son of God. Of her the Song of Songs says, Who is she who is coming up, clothed in white? Clothed in white because she has been renewed; and how else can she have been renewed but by the new commandment?
  Because of this, the members of the people of God have a mutual interest in one another; and if one member suffers then all the members suffer with it; and if one member is honoured then all the members rejoice with it. For this they hear and this they observe: I give you a new commandment: love one another: not as people who pretend to love in order to corrupt one another, nor indeed as people love one another genuinely but in a human way. Rather, they love one another as those who belong to God. All of them are children of the Most High and consequently brethren of his only Son. They share with each other the love with which he leads them to the end that will bring them fulfilment and the true satisfaction of their real desires. For when God is all in all, there is no desire that is unfulfilled.
  This love is bestowed on us by him who said, Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another. He loved us so that we should love one another. By loving us he bound us to one another in mutual love, and by this gentle bond united us into the body of which he is the most noble Head.
Responsory
℟. This is the commandment that Christ gave us:* he who loves God must love his brother also, alleluia.
℣. The whole law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets depend on these two commandments:* he who loves God must love his brother also, alleluia.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you restore our human nature
  to a dignity higher than you gave it at creation.
Look with favour on the mystery of your love;
  keep your gifts of grace intact
  in those whose life you have renewed in baptism,
  the sacrament of new birth.
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, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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