Universalis
Thursday 24 May 2018    (other days)
Thursday of week 7 in Ordinary Time 

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 94 (95)
Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
(repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
(repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
(repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
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.
Amen.
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.
Amen.
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.
Amen.
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
Ecclesiastes 6:11-7:28 ©
“Do not know more than you need”
The more words, the greater the vanity of it all; and what does man get from it? Who knows what is good for man in his lifetime, in those few days he lives so vainly, days that like a shadow he spends? Who can tell a man what will happen under the sun after his time?
Better a good name than costly oil,
the day of death than the day of birth.
Better go to the house of mourning
than to the house of feasting;
for to this end all men come,
let the living take this to heart.
Better sadness than laughter,
a severe face confers some benefit.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
the heart of fools in the house of gaiety.
Better attend to a wise man’s reprimand
than listen to a song sung by a fool.
For like the crackling of thorns under the cauldron
is the laughter of fools:
this is vanity, too.
For laughter makes a fool of the wise man
and merriment corrupts the heart.
Better the end of a matter than its beginning,
better patience than pride.
Do not be hasty with your resentment, for resentment is found in the heart of fools. Do not ask why earlier days were better than these, for that is not a question prompted by wisdom. Wisdom is a precious legacy, a boon for those on whom the sun shines. For as money gives protection, so does wisdom; and the good that knowledge imparts is this: its possessor finds that wisdom keeps him safe.
  Consider the work of God; who can set straight what he has made crooked? When times are prosperous, enjoy your happiness; when times are bad, consider this: the one is God’s doing, as is the other, in order that man may know nothing of his destiny. In this fleeting life of mine I have seen so much: the virtuous man perishing for all his virtue, for all his godlessness the godless living on.
Do not be over-virtuous
nor play too much the sage;
– why drive yourself too hard?
Do not be wicked to excess,
and do not be a fool;
– why die before your time?
  The best thing is to hold the one and not let go the other, for both of these will happen to the God-fearing man.
  Wisdom lends more strength to the wise than ten rulers in a city. There is no virtuous man on earth who, doing good, is ever free of sin. Another thing: pay no attention to telltales; you may hear that your servant has reviled you; your own heart knows how often you have reviled others.
  I have put all this to the test by wisdom, claiming to be wise; but wisdom has been beyond my reach. Reality lies beyond my grasp; and deep, so deep, who can discover it?
  Once again I was at pains to study wisdom and retribution, to see wickedness as folly, and foolishness as madness. I find woman more bitter than death; she is a snare, her heart a net, her arms are chains;
He who is pleasing to God eludes her,
but the sinner is her captive.
This then you must know, says Qoheleth, is the sum of my investigation, putting this and that together. I have made other researches too, without result.
One man in a thousand I may find,
but never a woman better than the rest.
Responsory
Pr 20:9; Qo 7:20; 1 Jn 1:8-9
℟. What man can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am purified of my sin’?* There is no virtuous man on earth who, doing good, is ever free of sin.
℣. If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves, but if we acknowledge our sins, then God who is faithful and just will forgive us.* There is no virtuous man on earth who, doing good, is ever free of sin.

Second Reading
From the Instructions of St Columbanus, abbot
The immeasurable depths of God
God is everywhere. He is immeasurably vast and yet everywhere he is close at hand, as he himself bears witness: I am a God close at hand, and not a God who is distant. It is not a God who is far away that we are seeking, since (if we deserve it) he is within us. For he lives in us as the soul lives in the body – if only we are healthy limbs of his, if we are dead to sin. Then indeed he lives within us, he who has said: And I will live in them and walk among them. If we are worthy for him to be in us then in truth he gives us life, makes us his living limbs. As St Paul says, In him we live and move and have our being.
  Given his indescribable and incomprehensible essence, who will explore the Most High? Who can examine the depths of God? Who will take pride in knowing the infinite God who fills all things and surrounds all things, who pervades all things and transcends all things, who takes possession of all things but is not himself possessed by any thing? The infinite God whom no-one has seen as he is? Therefore let no-one try to penetrate the secrets of God, what he was, how he was, who he was. These things cannot be described, examined, explored. Simply – simply but strongly – believe that God is as God was, that God will be as God has always been, for God cannot be changed.
  So who is God? God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God. Do not demand to know more of God. Those who want to see into the depths must first consider the natural world, for knowledge of the Trinity is rightly compared to knowledge of the depths of the sea: as Ecclesiastes says, And the great depths, who shall fathom them? Just as the depths of the sea are invisible to human sight, so the godhead of the Trinity is beyond human sense and understanding. Thus, I say, if anyone wants to know what he should believe, let him not think that he will understand better through speech than through belief: if he does that, the wisdom of God will be further from him than before.
  Therefore, seek the highest knowledge not by words and arguments but by perfect and right action. Not with the tongue, gathering arguments from God-free theories, but by faith, which proceeds from purity and simplicity of heart. If you seek the ineffable by means of argument, it will be further from you than it was before; if you seek it by faith, wisdom will be in her proper place at the gateway to knowledge, and you will see her there, at least in part. Wisdom is in a certain sense attained when you believe in the invisible without first demanding to understand it. God must be believed in as he is, that is, as being invisible; even though he can be partly seen by a pure heart.
Responsory
℟. Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven, your truth to the skies.* Your justice is like God’s mountain, your judgements like the deep.
℣. How rich are the depths of God, how deep his wisdom and knowledge, how inscrutable are his judgements!* Your justice is like God’s mountain, your judgements like the deep.

Let us pray.
Grant, almighty God,
that with our thoughts always on the things of the Spirit
  we may please you in all that we say and do.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of 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 apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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