Universalis
Friday 21 July 2017    (other days)
Saint Laurence of Brindisi, Priest, Doctor 
 or Friday of week 15 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
In ancient times God spoke to us
Through prophets, and in varied ways,
But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
His radiance through eternal days.
To God the Father of the world,
His Son through whom he made all things,
And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
All glad creation glory sings.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 68 (69)
I am consumed with zeal for your house
I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God.
Save me, O God,
  for the waters have come up to my neck.
I am stuck in bottomless mud;
  I am adrift in deep waters
  and the flood is sweeping me away.
I am exhausted with crying out, my throat is parched,
  my eyes are failing as I look out for my God.
Those who hate me for no reason
  are more than the hairs of my head.
They are strong, my persecutors, my lying enemies:
  they make me give back things I never took.
God, you know my weakness:
  my crimes are not hidden from you.
Let my fate not put to shame those who trust in you,
  Lord, Lord of hosts.
Let them not be dismayed on my account,
  those who seek you, God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I am taunted
  and covered in confusion:
I have become a stranger to my own brothers,
  a wanderer in the eyes of my mother’s children –
because zeal for your house is consuming me,
  and the taunts of those who hate you
  fall upon my head.
I have humbled my soul with fasting
  and they reproach me for it.
I have made sackcloth my clothing
  and they make me a byword.
The idlers at the gates speak against me;
  for drinkers of wine, I am the butt of their songs.
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 am wearied with all my crying as I await my God.

Psalm 68 (69)
For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
But I turn my prayer to you, Lord,
  at the acceptable time, my God.
In your great kindness, hear me,
  and rescue me with your faithful help.
Tear me from the mire, before I become stuck;
  tear me from those who hate me;
  tear me from the depths of the waters.
Do not let the waves overwhelm me;
  do not let the deep waters swallow me;
  do not let the well’s mouth engulf me.
Hear me, Lord, for you are kind and good.
  In your abundant mercy, look upon me.
Do not turn your face from your servant:
  I am suffering, so hurry to answer me.
Come to my soul and deliver it,
  rescue me from my enemies’ attacks.
You know how I am taunted and ashamed;
  how I am thrown into confusion.
You can see all those who are troubling me.
  Reproach has shattered my heart – I am sick.
I looked for sympathy, but none came;
  I looked for a consoler but did not find one.
They gave me bitterness to eat;
  when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
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.
For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Psalm 68 (69)
Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul.
I am weak and I suffer,
  but your help, O God, will sustain me.
I will praise the name of God in song
  and proclaim his greatness with praises.
This will please the Lord more than oxen,
  than cattle with their horns and hooves.
Let the humble see and rejoice.
  Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live,
for the Lord has heard the needy
  and has not despised his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
  the seas and all that swims in them.
For the Lord will make Zion safe
  and build up the cities of Judah:
  there they will live, the land will be theirs.
The seed of his servants will inherit the land,
  and those who love his name will dwell there.
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.
Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul.

The Lord will teach us his ways
and we shall walk in his paths.

First Reading
2 Chronicles 20:1-9,13-24 ©
The help God offered to the faithful King Jehoshaphat
After this the Moabites and Ammonites, with some of the Melinites started to make war on Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat received the following intelligence, ‘A vast horde is advancing against you from Edom, from the other side of the sea; they are already at Hazazon-tamar, that is, En-gedi.’
  Jehoshaphat was alarmed and resolved to have recourse to the Lord; he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; they came seeking the Lord from every single town in Judah.
  At this assembly of the people of Judah and Jerusalem in the Temple of the Lord, Jehoshaphat stood before the new court and said, ‘O Lord, God of our ancestors, are you not the God who dwells in the heavens? Do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Such power and might are in your hands that no one can resist you. Are you not our God, you who have dispossessed the inhabitants of this land for Israel your people, and given it to the descendants of Abraham whom you will love for ever? They have settled in it and built a sanctuary there for your name, saying, “Should calamity befall us, or war, punishment, pestilence, or famine, then we shall stand before this Temple and before you, for your name is in this Temple. From the depths of our distress we shall cry to you, and you will hear and save us.”’
  All the men of Judah, even down to their youngest children and their wives, stood in the presence of the Lord. In the middle of the assembly the spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah the Levite, one of the sons of Asaph. ‘Listen all you men of Judah,’ he cried ‘and you who live in Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! The Lord says this to you, “Do not be afraid, do not be daunted by this vast horde; this battle is not yours but God’s. March out against them tomorrow; they are coming up by the Slope of Ziz and you will come on them in the Valley of Soph, near the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight there. Take up your position, stand firm, and see what salvation the Lord has in store for you. Judah and Jerusalem, be fearless, be dauntless; march out against them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”’
  Jehoshaphat bent his head, his face to the ground, and all Judah with those who lived in Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshipping him. Then the Levites – Kohathites and Korahites – began praising the Lord the God of Israel at the tops of their voices.
  They rose early in the morning and left for the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were setting out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me Judah and all who live in Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be secure; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’ Then, having held a conference with the people, he set the cantors of the Lord in sacred vestments at the head of the army, to sing praises to him. ‘Give praise to the Lord,’ they sang ‘for his love is everlasting.’ As they began to sing their joy and their praise, the Lord laid an ambush for the Ammonites and Moab and the mountain folk of Seir who had come to attack Judah, and routed them. The Ammonites and Moabites turned on the mountain folk of Seir to inflict the ban on them and destroy them altogether, but they only helped each other to their own undoing.
  When the men of Judah reached the spot that looks out on the wilderness and turned to face the horde, they found only corpses lying on the ground; no one had escaped.
Responsory
Ep 6:12-14; 2 Ch 20:17
℟. Our fight is not against human foes but against cosmic powers, against the authorities and potentates of this dark world, against the superhuman forces of evil in the heavens.* Stand firm, I say, and fasten onto the belt of truth.
℣. You have but to stand firm and watch the Lord coming to your aid.* Stand firm, I say, and fasten onto the belt of truth.

Second Reading
A sermon of St Laurence of Brindisi
Preaching is an apostolic task
In common with the angels of heaven and the spirits of God, we have been created in the image and likeness of God. If, in common with them, we are to lead a spiritual life, we need as our food the grace of the Holy Spirit and the charity of God. But grace and charity are nothing without faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Nor can faith come about without the preaching of the word of God. ‘Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the preaching of Christ.’ Thus the preaching of the word of God is as necessary for our spiritual life as sowing is for our bodily life. This is why Christ says: ‘A sower went out to sow his seed.’ The sower who went out is the preacher of holiness. Sometimes we read that God himself was the preacher of holiness, as in the desert when his very voice gave from heaven the law of justice to the whole people. Sometimes the preacher was an angel of the Lord; at the Place of Weepers he rebuked the people for breaking God’s law, so that the children of Israel, when they heard the words of the angel, were cut to the heart, lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. Again, Moses preached the law of God to the whole people in the plains of Moab, as we can read in Deuteronomy. Finally Christ, God and man, came to preach the word of the Lord, and he sent out the apostles on this task, just as previously he had sent the prophets.
  Preaching, then, is an apostolic task, an angelic task, a Christian task, a divine task. The word of God is so filled with manifold goodness that it is like a treasury of all good things. From this word come faith, hope, charity, all the virtues, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the gospel beatitudes, all good works, all merit in this life, all the glory of paradise. ‘Receive the implanted word which is able to save your souls.’
  For the word of God is light to the mind and fire to the will, enabling man to know and to love God. To the interior man who lives by grace for the Spirit of God, it is bread and water; but it is a bread sweeter than honey from the comb, a water better than milk or wine. For the soul it is a spiritual treasure-house of merits, and so is called gold and very precious stones. For the heart that is obstinately hardened in vice it is a hammer; and against the devil, the world and the flesh it is a sword that slays every sin.
Responsory
℟. Go up to a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion.* Say to the towns of Judah: Here is your God.
℣. Follow me; go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.* Say to the towns of Judah: Here is your God.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Laurence of Brindisi
  the spirit of counsel and fortitude,
  so that your name might be glorified and souls be saved.
At the intercession of Saint Laurence
  grant that we may see what we have to do,
  and, in your mercy, give us the strength to do it.
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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