Universalis
Friday 14 December 2018    (other days)
Saint John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor 
 (Friday of the 2nd week of Advent)

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 94 (95)
The Lord is the source of all wisdom: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
  (repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
  (repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
  (repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
  (repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
  (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 Advent of our God
  With eager prayers we greet
And singing haste up on the road
  His glorious gift to meet.
The everlasting Son
  Scorns not a Virgin’s womb;
That we from bondage may be won
  He bears a bondsman’s doom.
Daughter of Zion, rise
  To meet thy lowly King;
Let not thy stubborn heart despise
  The peace he deigns to bring.
In clouds of awful light,
  As Judge he comes again,
His scattered people to unite,
  With them in heaven to reign.
Let evil flee away
  Ere that dread hour shall dawn.
Let this old Adam day by day
  God’s image still put on.
Praise to the Incarnate Son,
  Who comes to set us free,
With God the Father, ever One,
  To all eternity.

Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
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.
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)
O Lord, you know all my longing.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
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.
O Lord, you know all my longing.

Psalm 37 (38)
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
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 confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.

℣. Lord, let your love come upon me.
℟. Grant me the saving help of your promise.

First ReadingIsaiah 27:1-13 ©
The Lord’s vine cultivated anew
That day,
sing of the delightful vineyard!
I, the Lord, am its keeper;
every moment I water it
for fear its leaves should fall;
night and day I watch over it.
I am angry no longer.
If thorns and briars come
I will declare war on them,
I will burn them every one.
Or if they would shelter under my protection,
let them make their peace with me,
let them make their peace with me.
In the days to come, Jacob will put out shoots,
Israel will bud and blossom
and fill the whole world with fruit.
Has he beaten her as he beat those who beat her?
Has he murdered her as he murdered those who murdered her?
You have punished it with expulsion and exile;
he pursued it with a blast as fierce as the wind from the east.
Now here is how Jacob’s guilt will be atoned for,
here is the ransom for its sin:
he treats all the altar stones
like lumps of chalk that are ground to powder.
Sacred poles and solar pillars stand no longer,
for the fortified city is abandoned now,
it lies deserted,
forsaken as a wilderness.
There the herd grazes,
there it rests and browses on the branches.
The boughs are dry and broken,
women come and use them for firewood;
for this is a nation without understanding
and so its Maker will have no pity for it,
he that shaped it will show it no favour.
That day, the Lord will start his threshing
from the course of the River to the wadi of Egypt,
and you will be gathered one by one,
sons of Israel.
That day, the great trumpet will be sounded,
and those lost in the land of Assyria will come,
and those exiled to the land of Egypt,
and they will worship the Lord
on the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.
Responsory
Cf. Mt 24:31; Is 27:13
℟. The Lord will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call,* and the angels will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
℣. They will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem,* and the angels will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Second Reading
From a Spiritual Canticle of St John of the Cross
Recognising the mystery hidden within Christ Jesus
Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them.
  We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.
  For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ: In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labours, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training.
  All these are lesser things, disposing the soul for the lofty sanctuary of the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ: this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.
  Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.
  Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations, but to be steadfast and rooted and grounded in love, so that they may know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth – to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.
  The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.
Responsory
℟. What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, things beyond our imagining – all that God has prepared for those who love him:* these are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
℣. The Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God:* these are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you gave Saint John of the Cross
  the grace of complete self-denial
  and an ardent love for the cross of Christ.
Grant that by following always in his footsteps
  we may come to the eternal vision of your glory.
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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