Thursday 8 October 2015    (other days)
Thursday of week 27 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.

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.

Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 88 (89)
A lament at the ruin of the house of David
Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.
But you have spurned and rejected him;
  you are enraged against your anointed.
You have repudiated the covenant of your servant,
  you have trampled his crown in the dust.
You have demolished his walls
  and laid his fortifications in ruins.
Anyone who passes can despoil him;
  he is a mockery among his neighbours.
You have strengthened the arm of those who oppress him,
  you have gladdened the hearts of his enemies.
You have turned back the sharp edge of his sword;
  you have deprived him of your help in battle.
You have put an end to his splendour,
  and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;
  you have covered him from head to foot in shame.
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.
Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.

Psalm 88 (89)
I am the root and stock of David; I am the splendid morning star.
How long, O Lord, will you hide yourself? For ever?
  Will your anger always burn like fire?
Remember how short is my time.
  Was it truly so pointless, your creation of man?
Who is the man who can live and not die,
  who can save his life from the grasp of the underworld?
Where are the kindnesses you showed us of old?
  Where is the truth of your oath to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servants are taunted,
  the taunts I bear in my bosom, the taunts of the nations –
  the insults of your enemies, Lord,
  the insults that follow the steps of your anointed!
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.
I am the root and stock of David; I am the splendid morning star.

Psalm 89 (90)
Let the Lord's glory shine upon us
Our years pass like grass; but you, God, are without beginning or end.
Lord, you have been our refuge
  from generation to generation.
Before the mountains were born,
  before earth and heaven were conceived,
  from all time to all time, you are God.
You turn men into dust,
  you say to them “go back, children of men.”
A thousand years in your sight
  are like yesterday, that has passed;
  like a short watch in the night.
When you take them away, they will be nothing but a dream;
  like the grass that sprouts in the morning:
in the morning it grows and flowers,
  in the evening it withers and dries.
For we are made weak by your anger,
  thrown into confusion by your wrath.
You have gazed upon our transgressions;
  the light of your face illuminates our secrets.
All our days vanish in your anger,
  we use up our years in a single breath.
Seventy years are what we have,
  or eighty for the stronger ones;
and most of that is labour and sadness –
  quickly they pass, and we are gone.
Who can comprehend the power of your wrath?
  Who can behold the violence of your anger?
Teach us to reckon our days like this,
  so that our hearts may be led at last to wisdom.
Turn to us, Lord, how long must we wait?
  Let your servants call on you and be answered.
Fill us with your kindness in the morning,
  and we shall rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Give us joy for as long as you afflicted us,
  for all the years when we suffered.
Let your servants see your great works,
  and let their children see your glory.
Let the glory of the Lord God be upon us:
  make firm the work of your hands.
  Make firm the work of your hands.
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.
Our years pass like grass; but you, God, are without beginning or end.

Lord, from you springs life;
in your light we shall see light.

First Reading
1 Timothy 5:3-25 ©
Be considerate to widows; I mean those who are truly widows. If a widow has children or grandchildren, they are to learn first of all to do their duty to their own families and repay their debt to their parents, because this is what pleases God. But a woman who is really widowed and left without anybody can give herself up to God and consecrate all her days and nights to petitions and prayer. The one who thinks only of pleasure is already dead while she is still alive: remind them of all this, too, so that their lives may be blameless. Anyone who does not look after his own relations, especially if they are living with him, has rejected the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
  Enrolment as a widow is permissible only for a woman at least sixty years old who has had only one husband. She must be a woman known for her good works and for the way in which she has brought up her children, shown hospitality to strangers and washed the saints’ feet, helped people who are in trouble and been active in all kinds of good work. Do not accept young widows because if their natural desires get stronger than their dedication to Christ, they want to marry again, and then people condemn them for being unfaithful to their original promise. Besides, they learn how to be idle and go round from house to house; and then, not merely idle, they learn to be gossips and meddlers in other people’s affairs, and to chatter when they would be better keeping quiet. I think it is best for young widows to marry again and have children and a home to look after, and not give the enemy any chance to raise a scandal about them; there are already some who have left us to follow Satan. If a Christian woman has widowed relatives, she should support them and not make the Church bear the expense but enable it to support those who are genuinely widows.
  The elders who do their work well while they are in charge are to be given double consideration, especially those who are assiduous in preaching and teaching. As scripture says: You must not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn; and again: The worker deserves his pay. Never accept any accusation brought against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. If any of them are at fault, reprimand them publicly, as a warning to the rest. Before God, and before Jesus Christ and the angels he has chosen, I put it to you as a duty to keep these rules impartially and never to be influenced by favouritism. Do not be too quick to lay hands on any man, and never make yourself an accomplice in anybody else’s sin; keep yourself pure.
  You should give up drinking only water and have a little wine for the sake of your digestion and the frequent bouts of illness that you have.
  The faults of some people are obvious long before anyone makes any complaint about them, while others have faults that are not discovered until afterwards. In the same way, the good that people do can be obvious; but even when it is not, it cannot be hidden for ever.
You must play a part worthy of Christ’s gospel. Stand fast in a common unity of spirit, with the faith for your common cause. Each of you must study the welfare of others, not his own.
Let your bearing towards one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus. Each of you must study the welfare of others, not his own.

Second Reading
A letter to the Philadelphians by St Ignatius of Antioch
One bishop with the presbyters and deacons
Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the church of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ located at Philadelphia in the province of Asia. You have found mercy and have been strengthened in the peace of God; you are now filled with gladness because of the passion of our Lord, and by his mercy you are made believers in his resurrection. I greet you in the blood of Jesus Christ. You are my abiding and unshakeable joy, especially if your members remain united with the bishop and with his presbyters and deacons, all appointed in accordance with the mind of Christ who by his own will has strengthened them in the firmness which the Spirit gives.
  I know that this bishop has obtained his ministry, which serves the community, neither by his own efforts, nor from men nor even out of vainglory, but from the love of God the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am deeply impressed by his gentleness, and by his silence he is more effective than the empty talkers. He is in harmony with the commandments as is a lute with its strings. I call him blessed, then, for his sentiments toward God, since I know these to be virtuous and perfect, and for his stability and calm, in which he imitates the gentleness of the living God.
  As sons of the light of truth, flee divisions and evil doctrines; where your shepherd is, follow him as his flock.
  For all who belong to God and Jesus Christ are with the bishop; all who repent and return to the unity of the Church will also belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not be deceived, my brothers. If anyone follows a schismatic, he will not obtain the inheritance of God’s kingdom; if anyone lives by an alien teaching, he does not assent to the passion of the Lord.
  Be careful, therefore, to take part only in the one eucharist; for there is only one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup to unite us with his blood, one altar and one bishop with the presbyters and deacons, who are his fellow servants. Then, whatever you do, you will do according to God.
  My brothers, I overflow with love for you and with a joyous heart I make you strong – although it is not so much I but Jesus Christ. Although imprisoned for his sake, I fear more because of my imperfection. But your prayers will perfect me in the eyes of God so that I might yet receive the inheritance promised me by the merciful God. I seek refuge in the person of Christ through the Gospels and I appeal to the true ministry of the Church through the apostles.
You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundation, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. In him, you are also being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.
In him, the whole building is bonded together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him, you are also being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  whose love surpasses all that we ask or deserve,
  open up for us the treasures of your mercy.
Forgive us all that weighs on our conscience,
  and grant us more even than we dare to ask.
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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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