Universalis
Friday 5 February 2016    (other days)
Saint Agatha, Virgin, Martyr 
 (Friday of week 4 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
Deus, in adiutórium meum inténde.
  Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Amen. Allelúia.
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.

Hymnus
I. Quando Officium lectionis dicitur noctu vel summo mane:
Galli cantu mediánte
noctis iam calíginem
et profúndæ noctis atram
levánte formídinem,
Deus alme, te rogámus
supplicésque póscimus.
Vigil, potens, lux venísti
atque custos hóminum,
dum tenérent simul cuncta
médium siléntium,
rédderent necnon mortálem
mórtui effígiem,
Excitáres quo nos, Christe,
de somno malítiæ,
atque gratis liberáres
noctúrno de cárcere,
redderésque nobis lucem
vitæ semper cómitem.
Honor Patri sit ac tibi,
Sancto sit Spirítui,
Deo trino sed et uni,
paci, vitæ, lúmini,
nómini præ cunctis dulci
divinóque númini. Amen.
II. Quando Officium lectionis dicitur diurno tempore:
Adésto, rerum cónditor,
patérnæ lucis glória,
cuius amóta grátia
nostra pavéscunt péctora,
Tuóque plena Spíritu,
secum Deum gestántia,
nil rapiéntis pérfidi
diris patéscant fráudibus,
Ut inter actus sǽculi,
vitæ quos usus éxigit,
omni caréntes crímine
tuis vivámus légibus.
Sit, Christe, rex piíssime,
tibi Patríque glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
in sempitérna sǽcula. Amen.
Hymn
God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

Ps 54:2-9
Contra perfidum amicum
Cœpit Iesus pavere et tædere” (Mc 14, 33).
Deus meus, ne despéxeris deprecatiónem meam a tribulatióne peccatóris.
2Auribus pércipe, Deus, oratiónem meam†
  et ne abscondáris a deprecatióne mea;*
  3inténde mihi et exáudi me.
Excússus sum in meditatióne mea et conturbátus sum*
  4a voce inimíci et a tribulatióne peccatóris.
Quóniam devolvérunt in me iniquitátem*
  et in ira molésti erant mihi.
5Cor meum torquétur intra me,*
  et formído mortis cécidit super me.
6Timor et tremor venérunt super me,*
  et contéxit me pavor.
7Et dixi: «Quis dabit mihi pennas sicut colúmbæ,*
  et volábo et requiéscam?
8Ecce elongábo fúgiens*
  et manébo in solitúdine.
9Exspectábo eum, qui salvum me fáciat*
  a spíritu procéllæ et tempestáte».
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Amen.
Deus meus, ne despéxeris deprecatiónem meam a tribulatióne peccatóris.
Psalm 54 (55)
Against a faithless friend
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.
Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
  and do not hide when I call on you:
  turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
  by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
  they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
  and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
  terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
  I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
  and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
  from the stormy wind and the tempest.”
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 reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.

Ps 54:10-15
Liberábit nos Dóminus de manu inimíci et insidiatóris.
10Díssipa, Dómine, dívide linguas eórum,*
  quóniam vidi violéntiam et contentiónem in civitáte.
11Die ac nocte circúmeunt eam super muros eius,
12iníquitas et labor et insídiæ in médio eius;*
  et non defécit de platéis eius frauduléntia et dolus.
13Quóniam si inimícus meus maledixísset mihi,*
  sustinuíssem útique;
et si is, qui óderat me, super me magnificátus fuísset,*
  abscondíssem me fórsitan ab eo.
14Tu vero, homo coæquális meus,*
  familiáris meus et notus meus,
15qui simul habúimus dulce consórtium:*
  in domo Dei ambulávimus in concúrsu.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Amen.
Liberábit nos Dóminus de manu inimíci et insidiatóris.
Psalm 54 (55)
The Lord will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.
Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
  for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
  high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
  scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
  I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
  perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
  my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
  we walked together in the house of God.
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 free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.

Ps 54:17-24
Iacta super Dóminum curam tuam et ipse te enútriet.
17Ego autem ad Deum clamábo,*
  et Dóminus salvábit me.
18Véspere et mane et merídie meditábor et ingemíscam,*
  et exáudiet vocem meam.
19Rédimet in pace ánimam meam ab his, qui impúgnant me,*
  quóniam in multis sunt advérsum me.
20Exáudiet Deus et humiliábit illos,*
  qui est ante sǽcula.
Non enim est illis commutátio,*
  et non timuérunt Deum.
21Exténdit manum suam in sócios;*
  contaminávit fœdus suum.
22Lene super butýrum est os eius,*
  pugna autem cor illíus:
mollíti sunt sermónes eius super óleum,*
  et ipsi sunt gládii destrícti.
23Iacta super Dóminum curam tuam,†
  et ipse te enútriet;*
  non dabit in ætérnum fluctuatiónem iusto.
24Tu vero, Deus, dedúces eos*
  in púteum intéritus.
Viri sánguinum et dolósi non dimidiábunt dies suos;*
  ego autem sperábo in te, Dómine.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Amen.
Iacta super Dóminum curam tuam et ipse te enútriet.
Psalm 54 (55)
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.
Let death break in upon them!
  Let them go down alive to the underworld,
  for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
  and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
  and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
  and give it peace from those who attack me –
  for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
  God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
  they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
  he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
  but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
  but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
  and he will give you sustenance.
  He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
  to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
  will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in you.
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.
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

℣. Fili mi, atténde ad sapiéntiam meam.
℟. Et prudéntiæ meæ inclína aurem tuam.
My son, attend to my wisdom,
and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

Lectio prior
De Epístola secúnda beáti Pauli apóstoli ad Thessalonicénses 2, 1-17
Dies Domini
1Rogámus vos, fratres, circa advéntum Dómini nostri Iesu Christi et nostram congregatiónem in ipsum, 2ut non cito moveámini a sensu neque terreámini, neque per spíritum neque per verbum neque per epístulam tamquam per nos, quasi instet dies Dómini. 3Ne quis vos sedúcat ullo modo; quóniam nisi vénerit discéssio primum, et revelátus fúerit homo iniquitátis, fílius perditiónis, 4qui adversátur et extóllitur supra omne, quod dícitur Deus aut quod cólitur, ita ut in templo Dei sédeat, osténdens se quia sit Deus.
  5Non retinétis quod, cum adhuc essem apud vos, hæc dicébam vobis? 6Et nunc quid detíneat scitis, ut ipse revelétur in suo témpore. 7Nam mystérium iam operátur iniquitátis; tantum qui tenet nunc, donec de médio fiat.
  8Et tunc revelábitur ille iníquus, quem Dóminus Iesus interfíciet spíritu oris sui et déstruet illustratióne advéntus sui, 9eum, cuius est advéntus secúndum operatiónem Sátanæ in omni virtúte et signis et prodígiis mendácibus 10et in omni seductióne iniquitátis his, qui péreunt, eo quod caritátem veritátis non recepérunt, ut salvi fíerent. 11Et ídeo mittit illis Deus operatiónem erróris, ut credant mendácio, 12ut iudicéntur omnes, qui non credidérunt veritáti, sed consensérunt iniquitáti.
  13Nos autem debémus grátias ágere Deo semper pro vobis, fratres, dilécti a Dómino, quod elégerit vos Deus primítias in salútem in sanctificatióne Spíritus et fide veritátis: 14ad quod et vocávit vos per evangélium nostrum in acquisitiónem glóriæ Dómini nostri Iesu Christi.
  15Itaque, fratres, state et tenéte traditiónes, quas didicístis sive per sermónem sive per epístulam nostram. 16Ipse autem Dóminus noster Iesus Christus et Deus Pater noster, qui diléxit nos et dedit consolatiónem ætérnam et spem bonam in grátia, 17consolétur corda vestra et confírmet in omni ópere et sermóne bono.
First Reading
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 ©
To turn now, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in this way.
  It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and the Rebel, the Lost One, has appeared. This is the Enemy, the one who claims to be so much greater than all that men call ‘god’, so much greater than anything that is worshipped, that he enthrones himself in God’s sanctuary and claims that he is God. Surely you remember me telling you about this when I was with you? And you know, too, what is still holding him back from appearing before his appointed time. Rebellion is at its work already, but in secret, and the one who is holding it back has first to be removed before the Rebel appears openly. The Lord will kill him with the breath of his mouth and will annihilate him with his glorious appearance at his coming.
  But when the Rebel comes, Satan will set to work: there will be all kinds of miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents, and everything evil that can deceive those who are bound for destruction because they would not grasp the love of the truth which could have saved them. The reason why God is sending a power to delude them and make them believe what is untrue is to condemn all who refused to believe in the truth and chose wickedness instead.
  But we feel that we must be continually thanking God for you, brothers whom the Lord loves, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved by the sanctifying Spirit and by faith in the truth. Through the Good News that we brought he called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.
Responsorium
Mt 24, 30; 2 Th 2, 8 a
℟. Parébit signum Fílii hóminis in cælo,* Et vidébunt Fílium hóminis veniéntem cum virtúte et glória multa.
℣. Tunc revelábitur ille iníquus, quem Dóminus Iesus interfíciet spíritu oris sui.* Et vidébunt.
Responsory
The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the peoples of the earth will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Then the Rebel will appear openly and the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth, and all the peoples of the earth will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Lectio altera
Ex Oratióne sancti Methódii Sículi epíscopi in sanctam Agatham (Analecta Bollandiana 68, 76-78)
Ab ipso bonitatis fonte Deo donata
Anniversária sanctæ mártyris commemorátio in unum hunc locum nos omnes collégit, ut nostis, o mei auditóres, antíquæ quidem mártyris et primáriæ propter insígne certámen, sed vero recéntis, quæ quasi nunc decertándo vincat propter divína mirácula, quibus cotídie coronátur, pulchréque decorátur.
  Virgo quidem est, quia ex immortális Dei Verbo (quod étiam propter me in carne sua mortem gustávit) indivisóque Dei Fílio nata est, ut lóquitur theólogus Ioánnes: Quotquot autem recepérunt eum, dedit eis potestátem fílios Dei fíeri.
  Múlier ígitur virgo, quæ vos invitávit ad nostrum religiósum épulum, illa est múlier bene despónsa uni viro Christo, ut verbis utar apóstoli Pauli de thálami coniunctióne.
  Virgo, quæ consciéntiæ a lúmine, coloréque sánguinis veri diviníque Agni et lábia sua et genas et linguam purpurissábat exornabátque, necnon étiam contínua mentis suæ cognitióne necem sui studiósi amatóris, quasi nuper sánguine madéntis, revolvébat intúsque circumferébat; ut hæc stola eius confessiónis non solum indelébilem ferret Christi notam purpúrei sánguinis alte iam imbíbiti, sed étiam virginális eloquéntiæ thesáuros adveniéntibus pósteris elegántes eiúsmodi colóres una cum non deficiénte verbórum scaturígine impartíret.
  Hæc ítaque vere bona, quippe Dei pars exsístens, eídem Sponso suo et rursus nobis boni communióne, qua nóminis sui vim significationémque refert, Agatha, ab ipso bonitátis fonte Deo concéssa, donóque data.
  Quid autem magis benéficum quam summum bonum? et quid magis celebrándum laudum præcóniis quíspiam invéniat quam Agatham?
  Agatha, cuius bónitas ad nomen, ad ipsámque rem quadrat; Agatha, quæ rebus præcláre gestis bonum nomen præ se fert, et in ipso nómine præcláre abs se gesta demónstrat; Agatha, quæ vel suo nómine állicit, ut ad sese omnes maximópere occúrrant, quæ étiam suo exémplo docet, ut ad verum bonum, qui solus Deus est, omnes sine mora secum conténdant.
Second Reading
From a homily on Saint Agatha by Saint Methodius of Sicily, bishop
The gift of God, the source of all goodness
My fellow Christians, our annual celebration of a martyr’s feast has brought us together. She achieved renown in the early Church for her noble victory; she is well known now as well, for she continues to triumph through her divine miracles, which occur daily and continue to bring glory to her name.
  She is indeed a virgin, for she was born of the divine Word, God’s only Son, who also experienced death for our sake. John, a master of God’s word, speaks of this: He gave the power to become children of God to everyone who received him.
  The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.
  Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us. For she grants us a share in her goodness.
  What can give greater good than the Sovereign Good? Whom could anyone find more worthy of celebration with hymns of praise than Agatha?
  Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true Good. God alone.
Responsorium
℟. Ego autem, adiúta a Dómino, perseverábo in confessióne eius,* Qui me salvam fecit et consolátus est me.
℣. Immaculátus Dóminus immaculátam sibi fámulam misericórditer consecrávit.* Qui me.
Responsory
The Lord has saved and strengthened me; with his help I will profess my loyalty to him to the end.
In his loving-kindness the sinless Lord has consecrated to himself a spotless handmaid; with his help I will profess my loyalty to him to the end.

Oremus.
  Indulgéntiam nobis, quǽsumus, Dómine, beáta Agatha, virgo et martyr, implóret, quæ tibi grata semper éxstitit et virtúte martýrii et mérito castitátis. Per Dóminum.
Let us pray.
Lord God, let Saint Agatha,
  who became precious in your sight through her pure life and valiant martyrdom,
  plead for our forgiveness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Benedicámus Dómino.
– Deo grátias.
Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

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