Universalis
Tuesday 19 March 2019    (other days)
Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Solemnity

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 20 (21)
Thanksgiving for victory
The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said: ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife: she will give birth to a son, and you must call his name Jesus.’
Lord, the king will rejoice in your strength,
  he will triumph in your saving power.
You have granted him his heart’s desire,
  you have not denied the wish that he spoke.
For you showered him with blessings
  even before he asked for them.
  You have placed a crown of purest gold upon his head.
He asked you for life,
  and you granted it to him,
  length of days for ever and for ever.
Great is his glory through your help:
  you cover him with splendour and majesty.
You lay a blessing upon him that will last for ever,
  you make him rejoice in joy before you.
For the king hopes in the Lord,
  and through the kindness of the Most High he will not be shaken.
Stand high above us, Lord, in your power;
  and we will sing and celebrate your might.
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 angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said: ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife: she will give birth to a son, and you must call his name Jesus.’

Psalm 91 (92)
Praise of God, the Creator
Joseph arose from sleep and did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took Mary as his wife.
It is good to praise the Lord,
  and to sing psalms to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your mercy in the morning
  and your faithfulness by night;
on the ten-stringed lyre and the harp,
  with songs upon the lyre.
For you give me joy, Lord, in your creation:
  I rejoice in the work of your hands.
How great are your works, O Lord,
  how immeasurably deep your thoughts.
The fool does not hear,
  the slow-witted do not understand.
When the wicked sprout up like grass,
  and the doers of evil are in full bloom,
it will come to nothing, for they will perish for ever and ever;
  but you, Lord, are the Highest eternally.
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.
Joseph arose from sleep and did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took Mary as his wife.

Psalm 91 (92)
Joseph set out from Nazareth and went up to the city of David called Bethlehem, to be registered with Mary.
For behold, Lord, your enemies,
  how your enemies will perish,
  how wrongdoers will be scattered.
You will give me strength as the wild oxen have;
  I have been anointed with the purest oil.
I will look down upon my enemies,
  and hear the plans of those who plot evil against me.
The just will flourish like the palm tree,
  grow tall like the cedar of Lebanon.
They will be planted in the house of the Lord;
  in the courts of our God they will flourish.
They will bear fruit even when old,
  fresh and luxuriant through all their days.
They will proclaim how just is the Lord, my refuge,
  for in him there is no unrighteousness.
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.
Joseph set out from Nazareth and went up to the city of David called Bethlehem, to be registered with Mary.

℣. The virtuous man will bloom like the lily.
℟. He will grow for ever before the Lord.

First ReadingHebrews 11:1-16 ©
Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen. It was for faith that our ancestors were commended.
  It is by faith that we understand that the world was created by one word from God, so that no apparent cause can account for the things we can see.
  It was because of his faith that Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain, and for that he was declared to be righteous when God made acknowledgement of his offerings. Though he is dead, he still speaks by faith.
  It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not have to experience death: he was not to be found because God had taken him. This was because before his assumption it is attested that he had pleased God. Now it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who try to find him.
  It was through his faith that Noah, when he had been warned by God of something that had never been seen before, felt a holy fear and built an ark to save his family. By his faith the world was convicted, and he was able to claim the righteousness which is the reward of faith.
  It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going. By faith he arrived, as a foreigner, in the Promised Land, and lived there as if in a strange country, with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. They lived there in tents while he looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God.
  It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it. Because of this, there came from one man, and one who was already as good as dead himself, more descendants than could be counted, as many as the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore.
  All these died in faith, before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in the far distance and welcomed them, recognising that they were only strangers and nomads on earth. People who use such terms about themselves make it quite plain that they are in search of their real homeland. They can hardly have meant the country they came from, since they had the opportunity to go back to it; but in fact they were longing for a better homeland, their heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, since he has founded the city for them.
Responsory
℟. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God;* that is why his faith was counted as righteousness.
℣. Faith and deeds worked together; his faith became perfect by what he did:* that is why his faith was counted as righteousness.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest
The faithful foster-father and guardian
There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfil the task at hand.
  This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord.”
  What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.
  In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.
  Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.
  Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: “Enter into the joy of your Lord.” In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: “Enter into joy.” His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.
  Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.
Responsory
℟. God has made me a father to the king, and lord over all his household;* he has lifted me up to preserve the lives of many people.
℣. The Lord has been my protector and helper; he has become my saviour;* he has lifted me up to preserve the lives of many people.

HymnTe Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
  at the beginnings of our salvation,
  when Mary conceived your Son and brought him forth in to the world,
  you placed them under Joseph’s watchful care.
May his prayer still help your Church
  to be an equally faithful guardian of your mysteries
  and a sign of Christ to mankind.
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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