Universalis
Wednesday 1 July 2015    (other days)
Wednesday of week 13 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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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 saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
that came from his lips.

First Reading
2 Samuel 4:2-5:7 ©
Ishbaal son of Saul had two freebooting chieftains; one was called Baanah, the other Rechab. They were the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, and Benjaminites – for Beeroth is regarded as belonging to Benjamin. The people of Beeroth had taken refuge in Gittaim where they have remained to this day as resident aliens. Jonathan son of Saul had a son with crippled feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried away he fell and was lamed. His name was Meribbaal.
  The sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, Rechab and Baanah, set out; they came to Ishbaal’s house at the hottest part of the day when he was taking his midday rest. The woman who kept the door had been cleaning wheat, and she had drowsed off to sleep. Rechab and his brother Baanah stole by and entered the house where Ishbaal was lying in his bedroom on his bed. They struck and killed him and cut off his head; and taking the head with them, they travelled all night by the road of the Arabah. They brought Ishbaal’s head to David at Hebron. ‘Here’ they said to the king ‘is the head of Ishbaal son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king today on Saul and on his offspring.’
  But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah by saying, ‘As the Lord lives, who has delivered me from all adversity, the man who thought to bring me good news when he told me Saul was dead, this man I seized and killed at Ziklag, rewarding him for his good news. How much more when bandits have killed an honest man in his house, and on his bed! Am I not bound to demand account of his blood from you, and wipe you from the earth?’ Then David gave an order to his soldiers, who put them to death, cut off their hands and feet, and hung them up beside the Pool of Hebron. Ishbaal’s head they took and buried in Abner’s grave at Hebron.
  All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron. ‘Look’ they said ‘we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, “You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.
  David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. He reigned in Hebron over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
  David and his men marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites living there. These said to David, ‘You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.’ (That is to say: David will never get in here.) But David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the Citadel of David.
Responsory
They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed, but the Lord himself has decreed: It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.
Why this tumult among nations, among people this useless murmuring? But the Lord himself has decreed: It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.

Second Reading
"The Way of Perfection" of St Teresa of Ávila
Thy kingdom come
What person, however careless, who had to address someone of importance, would not spend time in thinking how to approach him so as to please him and not be considered tedious? He would also think what he was going to ask for and what use he would make of it, especially if his petition were for some particular thing, as our good Jesus tells us our petitions must be. This point seems to me very important. Could you not, my Lord, have ended this prayer in a single sentence, by saying: “Give us, Father, whatever is good for us”? For, in addressing One Who knows everything, there would seem to be no need to say any more.
  Eternal Wisdom! Between you and your Father this was quite sufficient. This is how you made your request of him in the garden of Gethsemane. You showed him what you wished for and what you feared, but left it all in his hands. But you know us, my Lord, and you know that we have not given ourselves up to the will of your Father as completely as you did. For us, it is best to pray for specific things, so that as each of them comes to mind we can pause to consider whether it is something good that we are asking for; so that if it is not, we should refrain from asking for it. Otherwise (being what we are, free will and all) we will not accept what God chooses to give us even if it is far better than what we asked for, simply because it is not exactly what we asked for. We are the sort of people who cannot feel rich unless we feel the weight of the actual coins in our hand.
  Now the good Jesus bids us say these words, in which we pray that the Kingdom may come in us: Hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come. See how great our Master’s wisdom is! I am thinking of what it is we are asking for when we ask for the Kingdom: it is important that we should understand this. His Majesty saw that because of our weakness we could not hallow or praise or magnify or glorify the holy name of the Eternal Father in a way adequate to its greatness. We could not, that is, do it by ourselves, if His Majesty did not help us by giving us his kingdom here on earth. And so the good Jesus places these two petitions – Hallowed be thy name and Thy kingdom come next to each other, so that we can understand what we are asking for and why it is important to beg for it and to do all we can to please the one who is able to give it to us. Let me explain how I understand it.
  Now, then. The greatest joy in the kingdom of heaven (the greatest among many) seems to me to be that we will no longer be tied up with earthly concerns but will have rest and glory within us – rejoicing that gives joy to everyone, peace that lasts for ever – satisfaction in ourselves, a satisfaction that comes from seeing how everyone is praising the Lord and blessing and hallowing his name, while no-one offends him. Everyone loves him. Each soul has no wish other than to love him: it cannot stop loving him because it knows him truly.
  If only we knew him like that even here on earth, we would love him in the same way – not with that degree of perfection, of course, but in a very different way from the way we love him now.
Responsory
He who can give good things to his children urges us to ask, to seek and to knock. The more loyal our faith, the stronger our hope and the more ardent our desire, so much the more shall we receive.
In this matter of prayer, more is obtained by sighs than by speech, more by tears than by words. The more loyal our faith, the stronger our hope and the more ardent our desire, so much the more shall we receive.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  since by the adoption of grace
  you have made us children of light,
do not let false doctrine darken our minds,
  but grant that your light may shine within us
  and we may always live in the brightness of truth.
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.

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