Universalis
Tuesday 23 September 2014    (other days)
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
 (Tuesday of week 25 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
Worship, glory, praise and honour
To our God, high-throned above:
We, with many generations
Join to praise thy name of love.
In the scriptures, by the Spirit,
May we see the Saviour’s face,
Hear his word and heed his calling,
Know his will and grow in grace.

Psalm 9B (10)
Thanksgiving
The Lord will protect the rights of the oppressed.
With what purpose, Lord, do you stay away,
  hide yourself in time of need and trouble?
The wicked in their pride persecute the weak,
  trap them in the plots they have devised.
The sinner glories in his desires,
  the miser congratulates himself.
The sinner in his arrogance rejects the Lord:
  “there is no God, no retribution.”
This is what he thinks
 – and all goes well for him.
Your judgements are far beyond his comprehension:
  he despises all who stand against him.
The sinner says to himself: “I will stand firm;
  nothing can touch me, from generation to generation.”
His mouth is full of malice and deceit,
  under his tongue hide trouble and distress.
He lies in ambush by the villages,
  he kills the innocent in some secret place.
He watches the weak,
  he hides like a lion in its lair, and makes plans.
He plans to rob the weak,
  lure him to his trap and rob him.
He rushes in, makes a dive,
  and the poor victim is caught.
For he has said to himself, “God has forgotten.
  He is not watching, he will never see.”
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 protect the rights of the oppressed.

Psalm 9B (10)
Lord, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.
Rise up, Lord, raise your hand!
  Do not forget the weak.
Why does the wicked man spurn God?
  Because he says to himself, “you will not take revenge.”
But you do see: you see the trouble and the pain,
  and then you take things into your own hands.
The weak fall to your care,
  and you are the help of the orphan.
Break the arms of the sinner and evil-doer:
  seek out wickedness until there is no more to be found.
The Lord is King for ever and for ever.
  The Gentiles have perished from his land.
You have heard the prayer of the weak, Lord,
  and you will strengthen their hearts.
You will lend your ear to the pleas of the orphans and the helpless,
  so mere mortals can frighten them no longer.
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.
Lord, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.

Psalm 11 (12)
A prayer against the proud
The words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.
Save me, Lord, for the good men are all gone:
  there is no-one to be trusted among the sons of men.
Neighbour speaks falsehood to neighbour:
  with lying lips and crooked hearts they speak.
Let the Lord condemn all lying lips,
  all boastful tongues.
They say “Our tongues will make us great,
  our lips are ours, we have no master.”
“On account of the sufferings of the poor,
  the groans of the weak, I will rise up,” says the Lord.
  “I will bring to safety the one whom men despise.”
The words of the Lord are pure words,
  silver tried by fire, freed from dross,
  silver seven times refined.
You, Lord, will help us
  and guard us from now to all eternity –
while the wicked walk round outside,
  where the vilest are most honoured of the children of men.
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 words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

The Lord will guide the humble on the right path.
He will teach his ways to the meek.

First Reading
Ezekiel 36:16-36 ©
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, the members of the House of Israel used to live in their own land, but they defiled it by their conduct and actions; to me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstruation. I then discharged my fury at them because of the blood they shed in their land and the idols with which they defiled it. I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in foreign countries. I sentenced them as their conduct and actions deserved. And now they have profaned my holy name among the nations where they have gone, so that people say of them, “These are the people of the Lord; they have been exiled from his land.” But I have been concerned about my holy name, which the House of Israel has profaned among the nations where they have gone. And so, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord says this: I am not doing this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord–it is the Lord who speaks– when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God. I shall rescue you from all your defilement. I shall summon the corn and make it plentiful, and no more bring famines on you. I shall increase the yield of fruit trees and fields so that you will no longer have the ignominy of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil conduct and actions. You will loathe yourselves for your sins and your filthy practices. I assure you that I am not doing this for your sake–it is the Lord who speaks. Be ashamed and blush for your conduct, House of Israel.
  The Lord says this: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will repopulate the cities and cause the ruins to be rebuilt. Waste land, once desolate for every passer-by to see, will now be farmed again. Everyone will say: This land, so recently a waste, is now like a garden of Eden, and the ruined cities once abandoned and levelled to the ground are now strongholds with people living in them. And the nations left round you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was ruined. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.
Responsory
I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh instead, so that they may keep my laws. Then they shall be my people and I shall be their God.
I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them. Then they shall be my people and I shall be their God.

Second Reading
St Augustine's sermon On Pastors
The church, like a vine, grows and spreads everywhere
They are straying across the mountains and the high hills, they have been scattered over all the face of the earth. What does this mean, scattered over all the face of the earth? That they attach themselves to earthly things, the things that glitter on the face of the earth: they love and desire them. They do not want to die and be hidden away in Christ. Over all the face of the earth not only because they love earthly things but because across all the earth there are sheep astray. They are everywhere, but one thing, pride, is the mother of them all, just as Christians who are spread over all the world have one mother, the Church.
  So it is not to be wondered at that pride gives birth to dissension while love generates unity. The Church is the mother of all, and everywhere the shepherd in her seeks those who are astray, strengthens those who are weak, cares for the sick and puts the broken together again. Many of them are not even known to one another, but she knows them all because she is merged with them all.
  She is like a vine that has grown and sprouted everywhere. Those in love with earthly things are like sterile shoots pruned away by the grower’s knife because of their sterility, cut away so that the vine should not have to be cut down. And those sterile shoots, once they are pruned away, lie on the ground and stay there. But the vine grows over all, and it knows those shoots that remain part of it, and it knows the cut-off shoots that lie next to it.
  But from where they lie she calls them back, for as St Paul says of the broken branches, God has the power to graft them back again. Whether you speak of sheep straying away from the flock or branches cut off from the vine, God is equally able to call back the lost sheep and to graft back the lost branches: the Lord, the true vine-dresser. They have been scattered over all the face of the earth and no-one misses them, no-one calls them back – no-one among the bad shepherds. No-one misses them – that is, no man does.
  Well then, shepherds, hear the words of the Lord. As I live, says the Lord God... See how he starts. It is like an oath sworn by God, calling his very life to witness. As I live, says the Lord God. The shepherds are dead but the sheep are safe. As I live, says the Lord God. What shepherds are dead? Those who have sought their own interests rather than Christ’s. So what of the shepherds who seek Christ’s interests and not their own? Of course there will be such shepherds, of course they will be found: there is no lack of them and there never will be.
Responsory
We have confidence in God through Christ. It is he who made us capable of serving the new covenant which consists not of a written law, but of the Spirit.
There is nothing in us which allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God. It is he who made us capable of serving the new covenant which consists not of a written law, but of the Spirit.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God,
  who, by a singular grace, allowed the priest Saint Pio to participate in the cross of your Son,
  and by means of his ministry renewed the wonders of your mercy,
grant, through his intercession,
  that, constantly united to the passion of Christ,
  we may happily arrive at the glory of the resurrection.
Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  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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