Universalis
Wednesday 18 January 2017    (other days)

 or Wednesday of week 2 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
O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 38 (39)
A prayer in sickness
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.
I said, “I will watch my ways,
  I will try not to sin in my speech.
I will set a guard on my mouth,
  for as long as my enemies are standing against me.”
I stayed quiet and dumb, spoke neither evil nor good,
  but my pain was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me,
  and fire blazed in my thoughts.
Then I spoke out loud:
  “Lord, make me know my end.
Let me know the number of my days,
  so that I know how short my life is to be.”
All the length of my days is a handsbreadth or two,
  the expanse of my life is as nothing before you.
For in your sight all men are nothingness:
  man passes away, like a shadow.
Nothingness, although he is busy:
  he builds up treasure, but who will collect it?
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.
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalm 38 (39)
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.
What, now, can I look forward to, Lord?
  My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
  do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
  for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
  for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
 – for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
  turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
  for I come as a stranger before you,
  a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
  before I leave this world,
  before I am no more.
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.
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

Psalm 51 (52)
Against calumny
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
Why do you take pride in your malice,
  you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
  your tongue is sharp as a razor –
  you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
  you speak lies rather than the truth;
  your tongue is in love with every deceit.
For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
  He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
  uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
  they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
  but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
  and in the power of his stratagems.”
But I flourish like an olive in the palace of God.
  I hope in the kindness of God,
  for ever, and through all ages.
I shall praise you for all time for what you have done.
  I shall put my hope in your name and in its goodness
  in the sight of your chosen ones.
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 trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

My soul waits for his word;
my soul puts its hope in the Lord.

First Reading
Deuteronomy 7:6-14,8:1-6 ©
Israel, the chosen people
These are the words that Moses spoke beyond Jordan to the whole of Israel:
  You are a people consecrated to the Lord your God; it is you that the Lord our God has chosen to be his very own people out of all the peoples on the earth.
  If the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, it was not because you outnumbered other peoples: you were the least of all peoples. It was for love of you and to keep the oath he swore to your fathers that the Lord brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know then that the Lord your God is God indeed, the faithful God who is true to his covenant and his graciousness for a thousand generations towards those who love him and keep his commandments, but who punishes in their own persons those that hate him. He is not slow to destroy the man who hates him; he makes him work out his punishment in person. You are therefore to keep and observe the commandments and statutes and ordinances that I lay down for you today.
  Listen to these ordinances, be true to them and observe them, and in return the Lord your God will be true to the covenant and the kindness he promised your fathers solemnly. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers; he will bless the fruit of your body and the produce of your soil, your corn, your wine, your oil, the issue of your cattle, the young of your flock, in the land he swore to your fathers he would give you. You will be more blessed than all peoples. No man or woman among you shall be barren, no male or female of your beasts infertile.
  All the commandments I enjoin on you today you must keep and observe so that you may live and increase in numbers and enter into the land that the Lord promised on oath to your fathers, and make it your own. Remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart – whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your fathers had known, to make you understand that man does not live on bread alone but that man lives on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet were not swollen, all those forty years.
  Learn from this that the Lord your God was training you as a man trains his child, and keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and so follow his ways and reverence him.
Responsory
℟. God first loved us and sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away,* and we have known and put our faith in God’s love towards us.
℣. The Lord has proved himself our Saviour; he has redeemed us in his love,* and we have known and put our faith in God’s love towards us.

Second Reading
Vatican II, "Lumen gentium"
Behold! I will save my people
By an utterly free and mysterious decree of his own wisdom and goodness, the eternal Father created the whole world. His plan was to dignify men with a participation in his own divine life. When in Adam men had fallen, he did not abandon them, but ceaselessly offered them help to salvation, in anticipation of Christ the Redeemer, ‘who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature’. All the elect, before time began, the Father ‘foreknew and predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he should be the firstborn among many brethren’.
  All those who would believe in Christ he planned to assemble in the holy Church, which was already foreshadowed from the beginning of the world. In a remarkable way the Church was prepared for throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of the Old Covenant. Established in the present era of time, she was made manifest by the outpouring of the Spirit. At the end of time she will achieve her glorious fulfilment. Then, as may be read in the holy Fathers, all just men from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect’, will be gathered together with the Father in the universal Church.
  Finally, those who have not yet received the gospel are related in various ways to the People of God.
  In the first place there is that people to whom the covenants and promises were made and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers, this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues.
  But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator. In the first place among these there are the Moslems; they profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and along with us adore the one and merciful God, who will judge mankind on the last day.
  Nor is God himself far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is he who gives to all men life and breath and every other gift, and who as Saviour wills that all men be saved.
  Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does divine Providence deny the help necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God but who strive, aided by his grace, to live a good life.
  Whatever goodness or truth is found amongst them, is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the gospel, and as given by him who enlightens all men that they may finally have life.
Responsory
℟. God’s plan, which he will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together,* everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.
℣. God wanted all perfection to be found in him and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,* everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
  ruler of all things in heaven and on earth,
listen favourably to the prayer of your people,
  and grant us your peace in our day.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

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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