Universalis
Friday 27 May 2016    (other days)
Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop 
 or Friday of week 8 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
God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

Psalm 54 (55)
Against a faithless friend
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.
Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
  and do not hide when I call on you:
  turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
  by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
  they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
  and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
  terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
  I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
  and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
  from the stormy wind and the tempest.”
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.
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.

Psalm 54 (55)
The Lord will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.
Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
  for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
  high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
  scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
  I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
  perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
  my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
  we walked together in the house of 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.
The Lord will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.

Psalm 54 (55)
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.
Let death break in upon them!
  Let them go down alive to the underworld,
  for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
  and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
  and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
  and give it peace from those who attack me –
  for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
  God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
  they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
  he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
  but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
  but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
  and he will give you sustenance.
  He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
  to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
  will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in you.
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.
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

My son, attend to my wisdom,
and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

First ReadingJob 12:1-25 ©
Job spoke next. He said:
Doubtless, you are the voice of the people,
  and when you die, wisdom will die with you!
I can reflect as deeply as ever you can,
  I am no way inferior to you.
  And who, for that matter, has not observed as much?
A man becomes a laughing-stock to his friends
  if he cries to God and expects an answer.
  The blameless innocent incurs only mockery.
‘Add insult to injury,’ think the prosperous
  ‘strike the man now that he is staggering!’
And yet, the tents of brigands are left in peace,
  and those who challenge God live in safety,
  and make a god of their two fists!
If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
  seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
  and the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
There is not one such creature but will know
  this state of things is all of God’s own making.
He holds in his power the soul of every living thing,
  and the breath of each man’s body.
The ear is a judge of speeches, is it not,
  just as the palate can tell one food from another?
Wisdom is found in the old,
  and discretion comes with great age.
But in him there is wisdom, and power, too,
  and decision no less than discretion.
What he destroys, none can rebuild;
  whom he imprisons, none can release.
Is there a drought? He has checked the waters.
  Do these play havoc with the earth? He has let them loose.
In him is strength, in him resourcefulness,
  beguiler and beguiled are both alike his slave.
He robs the country’s counsellors of their wits,
  turns judges into fools.
His hands untie the belt of kings,
  and bind a rope about their loins.
He makes priests walk barefoot,
  and overthrows the powers that are established.
He strikes the cleverest speakers dumb,
  and robs old men of their discretion.
He pours contempt on the nobly born,
  and unties the girdle of the strong.
He robs the depths of their darkness,
  brings deep shadow to the light.
He builds a nation up, then strikes it down,
  or makes a people grow, and then destroys it.
He strips a country’s leaders of their judgement,
  and leaves them to wander in a trackless waste,
to grope about in unlit darkness,
  and totter like a man in liquor.
Responsory
℟. In God there is wisdom, and power, too, and decision no less than discretion.* What he destroys, none can rebuild; whom he imprisons, none can release.
℣. Once he has decided, who can change his mind? Whatever he plans, he carries out.* What he destroys, none can rebuild; whom he imprisons, none can release.

Second Reading
A letter by Pope St Gregory the Great
The nation of angels was bathed with the light of holy faith
Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth, because the grain of wheat has fallen into the earth and has died. Christ has died in order to reign in heaven. Not only that: by his death we live; by his weakness we are strengthened; by his passion we are freed from suffering; impelled by his love, we are seeking in Britain brothers whom we do not know; through his help we have found those for whom we were searching, although we were not acquainted with them.
  Who, dear brother, is capable of describing the great joy of believers when they have learned what the grace of Almighty God and your own cooperation achieved among the Angles? They abandoned the errors of darkness and were bathed with the light of holy faith. With full awareness they trampled on the idols which they had previously adored with savage fear. They are now committed to Almighty God. The guidelines given them for their preaching restrain them from falling into evil ways. In their minds they are submissive to the divine precepts and consequently feel uplifted. They bow down to the ground in prayer lest their minds cling too closely to earthly things. Whose achievement is this? It is the achievement of him who said: My Father is at work until now and I am at work as well.
  God chose illiterate preachers and sent them into the world in order to show the world that conversion is brought about not by men’s wisdom but rather by his own power. So in like manner God worked through weak instruments and wrought great things among the Angles. Dear brother, in this heavenly gift there is something which should inspire us with great fear and great joy.
  For I know through your love for that people, specially chosen for you, that Almighty God has performed great miracles. But it is necessary that the same heavenly gift should cause you to rejoice with fear and to fear with gladness. You should be glad because by means of external miracles the souls of the Angles have been led to interior grace. But you should tremble, lest on account of these signs, the preacher’s own weak soul be puffed up with presumption; lest, while seeming externally raised aloft in honour, it fall internally as a result of vainglory.
  We should remember that when the disciples on their joyous return from their preaching mission said to their heavenly master: Lord, in your name even devils were subjected to us, he immediately retorted: Do not rejoice about this but rather that your names are inscribed in heaven.
Responsory
℟. My friends, join in imitating me. You have us for a model: watch those whose way of life conforms to it.* The lessons I taught you, the tradition I passed on, all that you heard me say or saw me do – put into practice, and the God of peace will be with you.
℣. I appeal to you, my brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, agree among yourselves.* The lessons I taught you, the tradition I passed on, all that you heard me say or saw me do – put into practice, and the God of peace will be with you.

Let us pray.
Almighty God, you led the English people to the gospel
  by the preaching of Saint Augustine of Canterbury.
Grant that his work may last on in the Church
  and bear fruit in every generation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and 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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

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