Universalis
Saturday 3 December 2016    (other days)
Saint Francis Xavier, Priest 
 (Saturday of the 1st week of Advent)

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
The Advent of our God
  With eager prayers we greet
And singing haste up on the road
  His glorious gift to meet.
The everlasting Son
  Scorns not a Virgin’s womb;
That we from bondage may be won
  He bears a bondsman’s doom.
Daughter of Zion, rise
  To meet thy lowly King;
Let not thy stubborn heart despise
  The peace he deigns to bring.
In clouds of awful light,
  As Judge he comes again,
His scattered people to unite,
  With them in heaven to reign.
Let evil flee away
  Ere that dread hour shall dawn.
Let this old Adam day by day
  God’s image still put on.
Praise to the Incarnate Son,
  Who comes to set us free,
With God the Father, ever One,
  To all eternity.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord is faithful to his promises
Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
  proclaim his works among the peoples.
Sing and make music to him
  and reflect on all the wonders he has performed.
Glory in his holy name,
  let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord in his power,
  always seek his face.
Remember the wonders he performed,
  his miracles and the judgements he has uttered.
Seed of Abraham, his servants,
  children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord himself is our God,
  his rule extends over the whole earth.
He has always remembered his covenant,
  that he made to last a thousand generations,
the agreement he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.
He made it a decree for Jacob,
  an eternal covenant for Israel, saying
“I will give you Canaan
  and measure it out as your inheritance.”
Although they were few in number,
  a handful of wanderers,
although they were travelling from nation to nation,
  from one kingdom to another,
he let no harm come to them,
  he rebuked kings in their defence:
“do not touch my anointed ones,
  do no harm to my prophets.”
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.
Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.
The Lord called down famine upon the land, he ground away every stick of bread.
He had sent a man to them, Joseph, and he was sold as a slave.
They confined his feet in fetters and put a ring around his neck –
until the Lord’s word came, the Lord spoke and justified him.
The king sent for him and released him – the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him to rule over his house, made him lord of all his possessions,
so that he could make the princes as wise as himself and teach wisdom to the elders.
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 did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.
And so Israel passed into Egypt
  and Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
The Lord made his people grow enormously
  and strengthened them against their enemies.
Then he turned the hearts of men against his chosen people,
  so that they hated them and made plots against them.
He sent Moses, his servant,
  and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
He made them prophesy
  the signs and prodigies he would work in the land of Ham.
He sent shadows and darkness,
  but they would not listen to his words.
He turned their rivers into blood,
  killing all the fish.
Frogs ate up the earth,
  even in the secret gardens of the palaces.
He summoned flies
  and insects throughout the land.
He sent stones of hail and fire
  to devastate their land.
He struck their vines and their fig-trees,
  broke down the trees of their country.
He spoke, and locusts came,
  and worms without number:
they ate all the grain of the land,
  consumed all of the fruit.
He struck down the first-born of their land,
  the flower of all their strength.
He led his people out with silver and gold;
  not a single one of them stumbled.
Egypt rejoiced to see them go,
  to see the last of the people they feared.
He sent a cloud to protect them,
  and fire to light up their nights.
He led out his people in exultation,
  his chosen ones in gladness.
He gave them the territory of the nations,
  the fruits of the labours of the peoples.
All this he did
  so that they would keep his decrees
  and follow his laws.
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 remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.

The Lord proclaims his word to Jacob;
to Israel, his laws and decrees.

First ReadingIsaiah 21:6-12 ©
For this is what the Lord has said to me,
‘Go and post the watchman,
and let him report what he sees.
‘If he sees cavalry,
horsemen two by two,
men mounted on camels,
let him observe, closely observe.’
The look-out shouts,
‘On a watchtower, Lord,
I stand all day;
and at my post
I keep guard all night.’
Look, here come the cavalry,
horsemen two by two.
They spoke to me; they said,
‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon,
and all the images of her gods
are shattered on the ground.’
You who are threshed,
you who are winnowed,
what I have learnt
from the Lord of Hosts,
from the God of Israel,
I am telling you now.
Oracle on Edom:
Someone shouts to me from Seir,
‘Watchman, what time of night?
Watchman, what time of night?’
The watchman answers,
‘Morning is coming, then night again.
If you want to, why not ask,
turn round, come back?’
Responsory
℟. The angel cried aloud, Babylon, great Babylon is fallen. And now I heard another voice from heaven say,* Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt.
℣. Her guilt mounts up to heaven: the Lord has kept her sins in remembrance.* Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt.

Second Reading
A letter from St Francis Xavier to St Ignatius
Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel
We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. No Portuguese live here, the country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.
  I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
  I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.
  Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: “What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”
  I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.
  This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like – even to India.
Responsory
℟. The harvest is rich but the labourers are few,* so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.
℣. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth;* so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you won so many peoples to yourself
  by the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier.
Give us the same zeal that he had for the faith,
  and let your Church rejoice
  and see the virtue and number of her children increase
  throughout the world.
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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