Universalis
Wednesday 21 February 2018    (other days)
Wednesday of the 1st week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, Doctor)

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.

Hymn
Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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 Lord saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

Repent and do penance.
Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

First Reading
Exodus 10:21-11:10 ©
The plague of darkness and the announcement of the plague of the firstborn
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand towards heaven, and let darkness, darkness so thick that it can be felt, cover the land of Egypt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand towards heaven, and for three days there was deep darkness over the whole land of Egypt. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days, but where the sons of Israel lived there was light for them.
  Pharaoh summoned Moses. ‘Go and offer worship to the Lord,’ he said ‘but your flocks and herds must remain here. Your children may go with you too.’ Moses replied, ‘But you must let us have means of offering sacrifices and holocausts to the Lord our God. Our livestock, too, must go with us; not one head of cattle must be left behind: it must be from our livestock that we provide for the worship of the Lord our God; until we reach the place, we do not know ourselves what worship we shall have to offer the Lord.’
  But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn, and he refused to let them go. Pharaoh said to Moses, ‘Out of my sight! Take care! Never appear before me again, for on the day you do, you die!’ Moses replied, ‘You yourself have said it: never again shall I appear before you.’
  Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘One disaster more I shall bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt, just one. After this he will let you go from here... Indeed, he will drive you out! Instruct the people that every man is to ask his neighbour, every woman hers, for silver ornaments and gold.’ And the Lord gave the people prestige in the eyes of the Egyptians, while Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, and of high prestige with Pharaoh’s courtiers and with the people.
  Moses said, ‘This is the Lord’s message, “Towards midnight I shall pass through Egypt. All the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die: from the firstborn of Pharaoh, heir to his throne, to the first-born of the maidservant at the mill, and all the first-born of the cattle. And throughout the land of Egypt there shall be such a wailing as never was heard before, nor will be again. But against the sons of Israel, against man or beast, never a dog shall bark, so that you may know that the Lord discriminates between Egypt and Israel. Then all these courtiers of yours will come down to me and bow low before me and say: Go away, you and all the people who follow you! After this, I shall go.”’ And, hot with anger, Moses left Pharaoh’s presence.
  Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh will not listen to you; so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.’ All these wonders Moses and Aaron worked in the presence of Pharaoh. But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn, and he did not let the sons of Israel leave his country.
Responsory
Ws 17:21, 18:1,4
℟. A fitting punishment it was for those who had kept your own sons in prison, that they should be imprisoned in darkness,* for through your sons that law which is light unfailing was to be given to the world.
℣. Over the Egyptians alone this heavy curtain of night was spread, brightest of all the light that shone on your chosen sons;* for through your sons that law which is light unfailing was to be given to the world.

Second Reading
From a demonstration by Aphraates, bishop
Circumcision of the heart
Law and covenant have been entirely changed. God changed the first pact with Adam, and gave a new one to Noah. He gave another to Abraham, and changed this to give a new one to Moses. When the covenant with Moses was no longer observed, he gave another pact in this last age, a pact never again to be changed.
  He established a new law for Adam, that he could not eat of the tree of life. He gave to Noah the sign of the rainbow in the clouds. He then gave Abraham, chosen for his faith, the mark and seal of circumcision for his descendants. Moses was given the Passover lamb, the propitiation for the people.
  All these covenants were different from each other. Moreover, the circumcision that is approved by the giver of those covenants is of the kind spoken of by Jeremiah: Circumcise your hearts. If God’s pact with Abraham was firm, so also is this covenant firm and trustworthy, nor can any other law be laid down, whether it originates outside the law or among those subject to the law.
  God gave Moses a law together with his prescriptions and precepts, and when it was no longer kept, he made the law and its precepts of no avail. He promised a new covenant, different from the first, though the giver of both is one and the same. This is the covenant that he promised: All shall know me from the least to the greatest. In this covenant there is no longer any circumcision of the flesh, any seal upon the people.
  We know, dearly beloved, that God established different laws in different generations which were in force as long as it pleased him. Afterward they were made obsolete. In the words of the apostle: In former times the kingdom of God existed in each generation under different signs.
  Moreover, our God is truthful and his commandments are most trustworthy. Every covenant was proved firm and trustworthy in its own time, and those who have been circumcised in heart are brought to life and receive a second circumcision beside the true Jordan, the waters of baptism that bring forgiveness of sins.
  Jesus, son of Nun, renewed the people’s circumcision with a knife of stone when he had crossed the Jordan with the Israelites. Jesus, our Saviour, renews the circumcision of the heart for the nations who have believed in him and are washed by baptism: circumcision by the sword of his word, sharper than any two-edged sword.
  Jesus, son of Nun, led the people across the Jordan into the promised land. Jesus, our Saviour, has promised the land of the living to all who have crossed the true Jordan, and have believed and are circumcised in heart.
  Blessed, then, are those who are circumcised in heart, and have been reborn in water through the second circumcision. They will receive their inheritance with Abraham, the faithful leader and father of all nations, for his faith was credited to him for righteousness.
Responsory
℟. I will establish a new covenant with the House Of Israel. I will put my law into their minds.* I will write it on their hearts, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.
℣. I will write my law not on stone tablets but on the pages of the human heart.* I will write it on their hearts, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.

Let us pray.
Look with favour on our Lenten observance, Lord,
  and while we subdue our bodies by self-denial,
  renew our spirit with the grace that prompts us to good works.
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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