Universalis
Sunday 26 March 2017    (other days)
4th Sunday of Lent 

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
Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild
forty days and forty nights
tempted still, yet undefiled.
Shall not we thy sorrow share,
and from earthly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?
And if Satan, vexing sore,
flesh or spirit should assail,
thou, his vanquisher before,
grant we may not faint or fail.
So shall we have peace divine;
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us too shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that with thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide.

Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple
Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place?
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
  the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
  and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
  Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
  who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
  and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
  seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
  The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
 – he is the king of glory.
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.
Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place?

Psalm 65 (66)
Hymn for a sacrifice of thanksgiving
All peoples, bless our God, who gave life to our souls.
Cry out to God, all the earth,
  sing psalms to the glory of his name,
  give him all glory and praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous your works!
  Faced with the greatness of your power
  your enemies dwindle away.
Let all the earth worship you and sing your praises,
  sing psalms to your name.”
Come and see the works of God,
  be awed by what he has done for the children of men.
He turned the sea into dry land,
  and they crossed the waters on foot:
  therefore will we rejoice in him.
In his might he will rule for all time,
  his eyes keep watch on the nations:
  no rebellion will ever succeed.
Bless our God, you nations,
  and let the sound of your praises be heard.
Praise him who brought us to life,
  and saved us from stumbling.
For you have tested us, O Lord,
  you have tried us by fire, as silver is tried.
You led us into the trap,
  heaped tribulations upon us.
You set other men to rule over us –
  but we passed through fire and water,
  and you led us out to our rest.
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.
All peoples, bless our God, who gave life to our souls.

Psalm 65 (66)
Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul.
I shall enter your house with burnt-offerings.
  I shall fulfil my vows to you,
the vows that I made with my lips,
  the vows that I uttered in my troubles.
I shall offer you rich burnt-offerings,
  the smoke of the flesh of rams;
  I shall offer you cattle and goats.
Draw near and listen, you who fear the Lord,
  and I will tell all that he has done for me.
I cried out aloud to him,
  and his praise was on my tongue.
If I looked upon sin in the depths of my heart,
  the Lord would not hear me –
but the Lord has listened,
  he has heard the cry of my appeal.
Blessed be God, who has not spurned my prayer,
  who has not kept his mercy from 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.
Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul.

Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.
You have the message of eternal life.

First Reading
Leviticus 8:1-17,9:22-24 ©
The consecration of the priests
The Lord spoke to Moses; he said:
  ‘Take Aaron, his sons with him, and the vestments, and the chrism, the bull for the sacrifice for sin, the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. Then call the whole community together at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.’
  Moses followed the orders of the Lord; the community gathered at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and Moses said to them, ‘This is what the Lord has ordered to be done.’
  He made Aaron and his sons come forward, and washed them with water.
  He put the tunic on him, passed the girdle round his waist, dressed him in the robe and put the ephod on him. Then he put round his waist the woven band of the ephod with which he clothed him. He put the pectoral on him, and placed the Urim and Thummim in it. He put the turban on his head, with the golden plate on the front; this is the sacred diadem as the Lord prescribed it to Moses.
  Then Moses took the chrism and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, to consecrate them. He sprinkled the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and its furnishing, the basin and its stand, to consecrate them. Then he poured the chrism on Aaron’s head, consecrating him by unction.
  Then Moses made Aaron’s sons come forward; he put the tunics on them, passed the girdles round their waists and put on their head-dress, as the Lord had ordered Moses.
  Then he had the bull for the sacrifice for sin brought forward. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the victim’s head and Moses immolated it. Then he took the blood and with his finger put some of it on the horns round the altar, to take away its sin. Then he poured out the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar, which he consecrated by performing the rite of atonement over it. Then he took all the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty mass which is over the liver, the two kidneys and their fat; and he burnt them all on the altar. The bull’s skin, its flesh and its dung he burnt outside the camp, as the Lord had ordered Moses.
  Then Aaron raised his hands towards the people and blessed them. Having thus performed the sacrifice for sin, the holocaust and the communion sacrifice, he came down and entered the Tent of Meeting with Moses. Then they came out together to bless the people and the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole people – a flame leaped forth from before the Lord and consumed the holocaust and the fat that was on the altar. At this sight the people shouted for joy and fell on their faces.
Responsory
℟. Of priests there was a succession, since death denied them permanence,* but Christ remains for ever and can never lose his priesthood.
℣. The Lord raised up Aaron to a holy office; he conferred on him the priesthood of the nation and honoured him with glory,* but Christ remains for ever and can never lose his priesthood.

Second Reading
From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
Christ is the way to the light, the truth and the life
The Lord tells us: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. In these few words he gives a command and makes a promise. Let us do what he commands so that we may not blush to covet what he promises and to hear him say on the day of judgement: “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining my promises. Have you fulfilled them?” If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” he will tell you: “I commanded you to follow me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life. What life, if not the life about which it is written: With you is the fountain of life?
  Let us do now what he commands. Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord. Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following him. Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the one addressed in these words: You have broken my chains? Another psalm says of him: The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.
  Those who have been freed and raised up follow the light. The light they follow speaks to them: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness. The Lord gives light to the blind. Brethren, that light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith. His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind. We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth; we need him to give us light. He mixed saliva with earth, and so it was prophesied: Truth has sprung up from the earth. He himself has said: I am the way, the truth and the life.
  We shall be in possession of the truth when we see face to face. This is his promise to us. Who would dare to hope for something that God in his goodness did not choose to promise or bestow?
  We shall see face to face. The Apostle says: Now I know in part, now obscurely through a mirror, but then face to face. John the Apostle says in one of his letters: Dearly beloved, we are now children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. We know that when he is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. This is a great promise.
  If you love me, follow me. “I do love you,” you protest, “but how do I follow you?” If the Lord your God said to you: “I am the truth and the life,” in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask him to show you the way to reach them. You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality; if only it were possible for my soul to find them!”
Responsory
℟. I hate the ways of falsehood.* Your word is a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path.
℣. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life.* Your word is a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path.

Let us pray.
Lord God, in your surpassing wisdom
  you reconcile man to yourself through your Word.
Grant that your Christian people may come with eager faith and ready will
  to celebrate the Easter festival.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

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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