Universalis
Tuesday 21 February 2017    (other days)
Tuesday of week 7 in Ordinary Time 
 or 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. Alleluia.

Hymn
Worship, glory, praise and honour
To our God, high-throned above:
We, with many generations
Join to praise thy name of love.
In the scriptures, by the Spirit,
May we see the Saviour’s face,
Hear his word and heed his calling,
Know his will and grow in grace.

Psalm 67 (68)
The Lord's triumphal journey
Let God arise, let those who hate him flee before him.
God arises and his enemies are scattered:
  those who hate him flee from his sight.
You blow them away like wisps of smoke;
  as wax melts in front of a fire,
  so the wicked melt away before God.
The righteous are glad and exult in God’s sight;
  they rejoice in their gladness.
Sing to the Lord and celebrate his name!
Make a road for him who rides upon the clouds –
  “The Lord” is his name.
Rejoice in his sight,
  the father of orphans, defender of widows,
  God in his holy dwelling-place,
God, who gives the lonely a house to dwell in,
  God, who leads captives out into prosperity;
  but the rebellious shall live in a desert land.
God, when you set out in the sight of your people,
  when you crossed the wilderness – the earth shook.
The heavens sent down dew at your coming –
  the God of Sinai, the God of Israel.
At your bidding the rains came, O God,
  your inheritance was worn out but you refreshed it.
All your creatures took up residence there,
  in your goodness you made a place for the needy.
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.
Let God arise, let those who hate him flee before him.

Psalm 67 (68)
This God of ours is a God who saves. The Lord holds the keys of death.
The Lord gives out the word,
  and a great army of maidens brings the news:
“The kings of the armies are fleeing, they are fleeing,
  and the fair one at home is dividing the spoils.
While you sleep among the sheepfolds,
  the wings of the dove shine with silver,
  her feathers glow with green gold.
Through her the Almighty scatters the kings,
  and the mountain of Zalmon is white with snow.”
The mountain of Bashan is God’s mountain;
  the mountain of God is a high-peaked mountain.
Why do you envy it, you high-peaked mountains,
  envy the mountain that God has chosen?
  The Lord will dwell there for ever.
The chariots of God are ten thousand thousand:
  the Lord has come from Sinai to his holy sanctuary.
You have scaled the heights, you have taken captives,
  you have received men as gifts
  so that even the rebels live with the Lord God.
Blessings on the Lord, day after day!
  God will carry us, God our saviour.
Our God is a God of salvation,
  our Lord is a Lord who rescues from death.
Truly God will break the heads of his enemies,
  take the scalps of those who tread the path of crime.
The Lord has spoken:
  “I shall bring them back from Bashan,
  I shall bring them back from the depths of the sea,
so that your feet may be dipped in blood
  and the tongues of your dogs receive food from your enemies.”
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.
This God of ours is a God who saves. The Lord holds the keys of death.

Psalm 67 (68)
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord.
They have seen your processions, O God,
  the processions of God, my king, to his sanctuary.
First came the singers, last the musicians,
  between them the maidens playing their drums.
“Bless God in the assemblies:
  bless the Lord, you who spring from Israel!”
There was young Benjamin, leading them,
  the princes of Judah in their rich robes,
  the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
O God, command in your strength;
  make firm what you have achieved in us.
From your temple in Jerusalem,
  kings shall bring you tribute.
Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds,
  the herd of bulls, the lords of peoples.
  Let them lie prostrate before you with tribute of silver.
Scatter the peoples that delight in war.
  Nobles will come from Egypt,
  Ethiopia will stretch out its hands to God.
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
  celebrate the Lord.
Sing to God who rides on the highest heavens,
  at the origin of all things.
Listen! – he speaks, a voice of power.
Acknowledge the strength of the Lord:
  his majesty is over Israel,
  his strength is in the clouds.
God inspires awe in his holy place;
  he, the God of Israel, gives power to his people;
  he gives them strength.
Blessed be God!
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.
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord.

I will hear whatever the Lord God has to say:
words of peace for his people.

First Reading
Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 ©
There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
a time for planting,
a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing,
a time for healing;
a time for knocking down,
a time for building.
A time for tears,
a time for laughter;
a time for mourning,
a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away,
a time for gathering them up;
a time for embracing,
a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching,
a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for throwing away.
A time for tearing,
a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.
A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.
What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes? I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at. All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.
  I know there is no happiness for man except in pleasure and enjoyment while he lives. And when man eats and drinks and finds happiness in his work, this is a gift from God.
  I know that what God does he does consistently. To this nothing can be added, from this nothing taken away; yet God sees to it that men fear him. What is, already was; what is to be, has been already; yet God cares for the persecuted. But I still observe that under the sun crime is where law should be, the criminal where the good should be. ‘God’ I thought to myself ‘will judge both virtuous and criminal, because there is a time here for all that is purposed or done.’ I also thought that mankind behaves like this so that God may show them up for what they are, and expose them for the brute beasts they are to each other. Indeed, the fate of man and beast is identical; one dies, the other too, and both have the selfsame breath; man has no advantage over the beast, for all is vanity. Both go to the same place; both originate from the dust and to the dust both return. Who knows if the spirit of man mounts upward or if the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?
  I see there is no happiness for man but to be happy in his work, for this is the lot assigned him. Who then can bring him to see what is to happen after his time?
Responsory
℟. Our time is growing short: those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it.* I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.
℣. There is a season for everything; there is no activity, here beneath the heavens, but has its allotted time for beginning and coming to an end.* I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Second Reading
A sermon on Ecclesiastes by St Gregory of Nyssa
There is a time to be born and a time to die
There is a time to be born and a time to die. The fact that there is a natural link between birth and death is expressed very clearly in this text of Scripture. Death invariably follows birth, and everyone who is born comes at last to the grave.
  There is a time to be born and a time to die. God grant that mine may be a timely birth and a timely death! Of course no one imagines that the Speaker regards as acts of virtue our natural birth and death, in neither of which our own will plays any part. A woman does not give birth because she chooses to do so; neither does anyone die as a result of his own decision. Obviously, there is neither virtue nor vice in anything that lies beyond our control. So we must consider what is meant by a timely birth and a timely death.
  It seems to me that the birth referred to here is our salvation, as is suggested by the prophet Isaiah. This reaches its full term and is not stillborn when, having been conceived by the fear of God, the soul’s own birth pangs bring it to the light of day. We are in a sense our own parents, and we give birth to ourselves by our own free choice of what is good. Such a choice becomes possible for us when we have received God into ourselves and have become children of God, children of the Most High. On the other hand, if what the Apostle calls the form of Christ has not been produced in us, we abort ourselves. The man of God must reach maturity.
  Now if the meaning of a timely birth is clear, so also is the meaning of a timely death. For Saint Paul every moment was a time to die, as he proclaims in his letters: I swear by the pride I take in you that I face death every day. Elsewhere he says, For your sake we are put to death daily and we felt like men condemned to death.
  How Paul died daily is perfectly obvious. He never gave himself up to a sinful life but kept his body under constant control. He carried death with him, Christ’s death, wherever he went. He was always being crucified with Christ. It was not his own life he lived; it was Christ who lived in him. This surely was a timely death – a death whose end was true life.
  I put to death and I shall give life, God says, teaching us that death to sin and life in the Spirit is his gift, and promising that whatever he puts to death he will restore to life again.
Responsory
℟. It is I who deal death and life; when I have struck it is I who heal;* and none can deliver from my hand.
℣. I hold the keys of death and the underworld,* and none can deliver from my hand.

Let us pray.
Grant, almighty God,
that with our thoughts always on the things of the Spirit
  we may please you in all that we say and do.
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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