Universalis
Friday 6 March 2015    (other days)
Friday of the 2nd week 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
Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.

Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
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.
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)
O Lord, you know all my longing.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
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.
O Lord, you know all my longing.

Psalm 37 (38)
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
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 confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.

Turn back to the Lord your God,
because he is tenderness and compassion.

First Reading
Exodus 19:1-19,20:18-21 ©
Three months after they came out of the land of Egypt... on that day the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sinai. From Rephidim they set out again; and when they reached the wilderness of Sinai, there in the wilderness they pitched their camp; there facing the mountain Israel pitched camp.
  Moses then went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Say this to the House of Jacob, declare this to the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. From this you know that now, if you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations shall be my very own for all the earth is mine. I will count you a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation.” Those are the words you are to speak to the sons of Israel.’ So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, putting before them all that the Lord had bidden him. Then all the people answered as one, ‘All that the Lord has said, we will do.’ And Moses took the people’s reply back to the Lord.
  The Lord said to Moses, ‘I am coming to you in a dense cloud so that the people may hear when I speak to you and may trust you always.’
  Moses took the people’s reply back to the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will descend on the mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people. You will mark out the limits of the mountain and say, “Take care not to go up the mountain or to touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain will be put to death. No one must lay a hand on him: he must be stoned or shot down by arrow, whether man or beast; he must not remain alive.” When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they are to go up the mountain.’
  So Moses came down from the mountain to the people and bade them prepare themselves; and they washed their clothing. Then he said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day; do not go near any woman.’
  Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder.
  All the people shook with fear at the peals of thunder and the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the smoking mountain; and they kept their distance. ‘Speak to us yourself’ they said to Moses ‘and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we shall die.’ Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid; God has come to test you, so that your fear of him, being always in your mind, may keep you from sinning.’ So the people kept their distance while Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.
Responsory
If you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

Second Reading
From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
The covenant of the Lord
In the book of Deuteronomy Moses says to the people: The Lord your God made a covenant on Horeb; he made this covenant, not with your fathers but with you. Why did God not make this covenant with their fathers? Because the law is not aimed at the righteous. Their fathers were righteous: they had the power of the Decalogue implanted in their hearts and in their souls. That is, they loved the God who made them and did nothing unjust against their neighbour. For this reason they did not need to be admonished by written rebukes: they had the righteousness of the law in their hearts.
  When this righteousness and love for God had passed into oblivion and had been extinguished in Egypt, God had necessarily to reveal himself through his own voice, out of his great love for men. He led the people out of Egypt in power, so that man might once again become God’s disciple and follower. He made them afraid as they listened, to warn them not to hold their Creator in contempt.
  He fed them with manna, that they might receive spiritual food. In the book of Deuteronomy Moses says: He fed you with manna, which your fathers did not know, that you might understand that man will not live by bread alone but by every word of God coming from the mouth of God.
  He commanded them to love himself and trained them to practise righteousness toward their neighbour, so that man might not be unrighteous or unworthy of God. Through the Decalogue he prepared man for friendship with himself and for harmony with his neighbour. This was to man’s advantage, though God needed nothing from man.
  This raised man to glory, for it gave him what he did not have, friendship with God. But it brought no advantage to God, for God did not need man’s love. Man did not possess the glory of God, nor could he attain it by any other means than through obedience to God. This is why Moses said to the people: Choose life, that you may live and your descendants too; love the Lord your God, hear his voice and hold fast to him, for this is life for you and length of days.
  This was the life that the Lord was preparing man to receive when he spoke in person and gave the words of the Decalogue for all alike to hear. These words remain with us as well; they were extended and amplified through his coming in the flesh, but not annulled.
  God gave to the people separately through Moses the commandments that enslave: these were precepts suited to their instruction or their condemnation. As Moses said: The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you precepts of righteousness and of judgement. The precepts that were given them to enslave and to serve as a warning have been cancelled by the new covenant of freedom. The precepts that belong to man’s nature and to freedom and to all alike have been enlarged and broadened. Through the adoption of sons God had enabled man so generously and bountifully to know him as Father, to love him with his whole heart, and to follow his Word unfailingly.
Responsory
Moses, the servant of the Lord, fasted for forty days and forty nights, so that he might be prepared to receive the Law of the Lord.
Moses went up to the mountain of Sinai to the Lord, and stayed there for forty days and forty nights, so that he might be prepared to receive the Law of the Lord.

Let us pray.
Purify us, almighty God,
  through our whole-hearted endeavour to renew our lives,
so that we may approach the coming festival
  with single-minded devotion.
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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