Universalis
Monday 28 September 2020    (other days)
Saint Wenceslaus (Wacław), Martyr 
 on Monday of week 26 in Ordinary Time

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 king of martyrs: 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 martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross they died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

Psalm 30 (31)
Trustful prayer in time of adversity

Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.
In you, Lord, I put my trust: may I never be put to shame.
  In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
  make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
  keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
  you will lead me out to the pastures,
  for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
  for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit:
  you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
You hate those who run after vain nothings;
  but I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your kindness,
  for you have looked on me, lowly as I am.
You saw when my soul was in need:
  you did not leave me locked in the grip of the enemy,
  but set my feet on free and open ground.
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.
Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.

Psalm 30 (31)

Lord, let your face shine on your servant.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am troubled:
  my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
  the very centre of my being is disturbed.
For my life is worn out with distress,
  my years with groaning;
my strength becomes weakness,
  my bones melt away.
I am a scandal and a disgrace,
  so many are my enemies;
to my friends and neighbours,
  I am a thing to fear.
When they see me in the street,
  they run from me.
I have vanished from their minds as though I were dead,
  or like a pot that is broken.
I know this – for I have heard the scolding of the crowd.
  There is terror all around,
for when they come together against me
  it is my life they are resolved to take.
But I put my trust in you, Lord;
  I say: “You are my God,
  my fate is in your hands.”
Tear me from the grip of my enemies,
  from those who hound me;
let your face shine upon your servant,
  in your kindness, save me.
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, let your face shine on your servant.

Psalm 30 (31)

Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.
How very many are the pleasures, Lord,
  that you have stored up for those who fear you.
You have made these things ready for those who trust in you,
  to give them in the sight of all men.
Far away from the plottings of men
  you hide them in your secret place.
You keep them safe in your dwelling-place
  far from lying tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
  for he has shown me his wonderful kindness
  within the fortified city.
In my terror, I said
  “I am cut off from your sight”;
but you heard the voice of my prayer
  when I called to you.
Love the Lord, all his chosen ones.
The Lord keeps his faithful ones safe,
  heaps rich revenge on the arrogant.
Be brave, let your hearts be strong,
  all who trust in the Lord.
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.
Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.

℣. Anguish and distress have taken hold of me.
℟. Yet will I delight in your commands.

First Reading
Philippians 1:12-26 ©

Paul is called to judgement

I am glad to tell you, brothers, that the things that happened to me have actually been a help to the Good News.
  My chains, in Christ, have become famous not only all over the Praetorium but everywhere, and most of the brothers have taken courage in the Lord from these chains of mine and are getting more and more daring in announcing the Message without any fear. It is true that some of them are doing it just out of rivalry and competition, but the rest preach Christ with the right intention, out of nothing but love, as they know that this is my invariable way of defending the gospel. The others, who proclaim Christ for jealous or selfish motives, do not mind if they make my chains heavier to bear. But does it matter? Whether from dishonest motives or in sincerity, Christ is proclaimed; and that makes me happy; and I shall continue being happy, because I know this will help to save me, thanks to your prayers and to the help which will be given to me by the Spirit of Jesus. My one hope and trust is that I shall never have to admit defeat, but that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results – I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake. This weighs with me so much that I feel sure I shall survive and stay with you all, and help you to progress in the faith and even increase your joy in it; and so you will have another reason to give praise to Christ Jesus on my account when I am with you again.
ResponsoryPh 1:20-21
℟. My one hope is that I shall never have to admit defeat,* but I trust that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death.
℣. Life to me, of course, is Christ. Death would bring me something more,* but I trust that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death.

Second Reading
From the first old Slavic legend

The throne of the king who judges the poor faithfully will be made firm for ever

At the death of Vratislaus the people of Bohemia made his son Wenceslaus their king. He was by God’s grace a man of utmost faith. He was charitable to the poor, and he would clothe the naked, feed the hungry and offer hospitality to travellers according to the summons of the Gospel. He would not allow widows to be treated unjustly; he loved all his people, both rich and poor; he also provided for the servants of God, and he adorned many churches.
  The men of Bohemia, however, became arrogant and prevailed upon Boleslaus, his younger brother. They told him, “Your brother Wenceslaus is conspiring with his mother and his men to kill you.”
  On the feasts of the dedication of the churches in various cities, Wenceslaus was in the habit of paying them a visit. One Sunday he entered the city of Boleslaus on the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian, and after hearing Mass, he planned to return to Prague. But Boleslaus, with his wicked plan in mind, detained him with the words: “Why are you leaving, brother?” The next morning when they rang the bell for matins, Wenceslaus, on hearing the sound, said: “Praise to you, Lord; you have allowed me to live to this morning.” And so he rose and went to matins. Immediately Boleslaus followed him to the church door.
  Wenceslaus looked back at him and said: “Brother, you were a good subject to me yesterday.” But the devil had already blocked the ears of Boleslaus and perverted his heart. Drawing his sword Boleslaus replied: “And now I intend to be a better one!” With these words he struck his brother’s head with his sword. But Wenceslaus turned and said: “Brother, what are you trying to do?” And with that he seized Boleslaus and threw him to the ground. But one of Boleslaus’ counsellors ran up and stabbed Wenceslaus in the hand. With his hand wounded, he let go of his brother and took refuge in the church. But two evil men struck him down at the church door; and then another rushed up and ran him through with a sword. Thereupon Wenceslaus died with the words: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!
Responsory
℟. The saint will blossom like the lily;* he will flourish for ever in the presence of our God.
℣. Planted in the house of the Lord, established in the courts of our God,* he will flourish for ever in the presence of our God.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  under your guidance Saint Wenceslaus learnt
  to lay aside an earthly kingdom for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Help us, by his prayers,
  to deny ourselves
  and to follow you with all our heart.
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 and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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