Universalis
Saturday 10 December 2016    (other days)
Saint Melchiades, Pope 
 or Saturday of the 2nd week of Advent 

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
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 105 (106)
The Lord's goodness and his people's infidelity
O Lord, remember us: come to us with your help
Give praise to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his kindness is for ever.
Who shall tell of his powerful deeds?
  Who shall proclaim the praises of the Lord?
Blessed are they who keep his decrees,
  who do right at all times.
Remember us, Lord, in your love for your people,
  and bring us your salvation,
so that we may see the good things you have kept for your chosen ones,
  that we may rejoice in the joys of your people,
  that we may glory with those whom you have made your heirs.
Like our fathers, we too have sinned:
  we have done wrong, we have transgressed.
Our fathers, in Egypt, did not understand your miracles;
  they did not remember the abundance of your mercies,
  but rebelled as they approached the Red Sea.
Still he saved them, for his own name’s sake,
  and to make known his mighty power.
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up.
  He led them through its depths as if through a desert.
He saved them from the hands of those who hated them,
  he set them free from slavery at the hands of their enemies.
The water covered their oppressors:
  not one was left alive.
Then they believed his word,
  and they sang his praises.
But soon they forgot what he had done,
  and refused to submit to his direction.
They embraced desire in the desert
  and put God to the test in the waterless places.
He gave them all they requested,
  he filled their hearts with his abundance.
But in the camp, they grew jealous of Moses
  and Aaron, consecrated to the Lord.
The earth opened and swallowed Dathan,
  covered the party of Abiram.
Fire broke out against them,
  flames burnt up the sinners.
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, remember us: come to us with your help

Psalm 105 (106)
Take care you do not forget the covenant the Lord your God has made with you.
At Horeb they made a calf
  and worshipped a statue.
They exchanged the glory of their people
  for the likeness of a bull, that eats grass.
They forgot their God, who had saved them,
  who had done great miracles for them in Egypt,
  wonders in the land of Ham,
  terrors at the Red Sea.
Then he said that he would destroy them,
  but Moses, his chosen one, was there:
he stood in the breach before him
  to turn aside his wrath,
  to prevent the destruction.
To them, the Promised Land meant nothing,
  they did not believe the Lord’s word.
They stayed muttering in their tents,
  they were deaf to the voice of the Lord.
So he raised his hand against them
  to crush them in the desert,
to scatter their seed among the nations,
  to disperse them in foreign lands.
They made themselves followers of Baal-Peor,
  they ate the sacrifices of the dead.
They angered the Lord by their actions,
  and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and gave judgement,
  and the plague was stopped.
For this, he is revered as one of the just,
  from generation to generation,
  for all eternity.
At the waters of Meribah they so angered the Lord
  that Moses suffered on their account:
they so embittered his spirit
  that his lips spoke rash words.
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.
Take care you do not forget the covenant the Lord your God has made with you.

Psalm 105 (106)
O Lord, save us; gather us from among the nations.
They did not destroy the peoples
  as the Lord had told them they must.
They mingled themselves with the peoples,
  and learned to do as they did.
They served the same idols
  until it became their undoing.
They sacrificed their own sons
  and their daughters to demons.
They poured out innocent blood.
  The blood of their own sons and daughters
  was sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.
Their blood polluted the land,
  and their actions defiled them.
  They devoted themselves to whoring.
The Lord blazed out in anger against his own people,
  he detested his own chosen race.
He gave them into the hands of foreigners,
  they were conquered by those who hated them.
Their enemies persecuted them
  and humbled them beneath their hands.
Many times he freed them,
  but they turned him against themselves
  by falling back into wickedness.
Still he looked upon their distress
  when he heard their cries.
He remembered his covenant,
  and in his infinite kindness he repented.
He made them an object of pity
  and kindness to all their captors.
Save us, O Lord, our God,
  and gather us from among the nations,
so that we may proclaim your holy name,
  and rejoice as we praise you.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  from the beginning and for all time.
  And all the people shall cry, “Amen! Alleluia!”
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, save us; gather us from among the nations.

The Lord proclaims his word to Jacob;
to Israel, his laws and decrees.

First ReadingIsaiah 29:1-8 ©
Woe, Ariel, Ariel,
city where David encamped.
Let a year or two pass,
let the feasts make their full round
then I will lay siege to Ariel,
and there will be moaning and bemoaning.
You will be an Ariel for me,
like David I will encamp against you,
I will blockade you with palisades,
and mount siege-works against you.
Thrown down – you will speak from the ground,
your words will come muffled by dust.
Your voice will rise from the earth like a ghost’s,
you will speak from the dust in a whisper.
Suddenly, unexpectedly,
you will be visited by the Lord of Hosts
with thunder, earthquake, mighty din,
hurricane, tempest, flame of devouring fire.
The horde of your enemies shall be scattered like fine dust,
the tyrant horde like flying chaff;
the horde of all the nations at war with Ariel
shall vanish like a dream, like a vision at night.
And all those fighting against her,
the entrenchments besieging her,
shall be like the hungry man who dreams he eats,
and wakes with an empty belly,
like the thirsty man who dreams he drinks
and wakes exhausted, his throat parched;
so shall it be with the horde of all the nations
making war on Mount Zion.
Responsory
℟. Fear not, Jerusalem, for you will not be put to shame* when you will be visited by the Lord of hosts.
℣. The multitude of all the nations that fight against you shall be like flying chaff,* when you will be visited by the Lord of hosts.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Blessed Isaac of Stella, abbot
Mary and the Church
The Son of God is the first-born of many brothers. Although by nature he is the only-begotten, by grace he has joined many to himself and made them one with him. For to those who receive him he has given the power to become the sons of God.
  He became the Son of man and made many men sons of God, uniting them to himself by his love and power, so that they became as one. In themselves they are many by reason of their human descent, but in him they are one by divine rebirth.
  The whole Christ and the unique Christ – the body and the head – are one: one because born of the same God in heaven, and of the same mother on earth. They are many sons, yet one son. Head and members are one son, yet many sons; in the same way, Mary and the Church are one mother, yet more than one mother; one virgin, yet more than one virgin.
  Both are mothers, both are virgins. Each conceives of the same Spirit, without concupiscence. Each gives birth to a child of God the Father, without sin. Without any sin, Mary gave birth to Christ the head for the sake of his body. By the forgiveness of every sin, the Church gave birth to the body, for the sake of its head. Each is Christ’s mother, but neither gives birth to the whole Christ without the cooperation of the other.
  In the inspired Scriptures, what is said in a universal sense of the virgin mother, the Church, is understood in an individual sense of the Virgin Mary, and what is said in a particular sense of the virgin mother Mary is rightly understood in a general sense of the virgin mother, the Church. When either is spoken of, the meaning can be understood of both, almost without qualification.
  In a way, every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s Word, a mother of Christ, his daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful. These words are used in a universal sense of the Church, in a special sense of Mary, in a particular sense of the individual Christian. They are used by God’s Wisdom in person, the Word of the Father.
  This is why Scripture says: I will dwell in the inheritance of the Lord. The Lord’s inheritance is, in a general sense, the Church; in a special sense, Mary; in an individual sense, the Christian.
  Christ dwelt for nine months in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb. He dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith. He will dwell for ever in the knowledge and love of each faithful soul.
Responsory
℟. I will set up my dwelling among you, and I will not cast you off.* I will live in your midst; I will be your God and you shall be my people.
℣. You are the temple of the living God, as God himself has said:* I will live in your midst; I will be your God and you shall be my people.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
  let the splendour of your glory dawn in our hearts.
May the coming of your only Son dispel all darkness
  and reveal that we are children of light.
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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