Universalis
Sunday 14 February 2016    (other days)
1st Sunday 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
Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild
forty days and forty nights
tempted still, yet undefiled.
Shall not we thy sorrow share,
and from earthly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?
And if Satan, vexing sore,
flesh or spirit should assail,
thou, his vanquisher before,
grant we may not faint or fail.
So shall we have peace divine;
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us too shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that with thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide.

Psalm 1
The two paths
The cross of the Lord is become the tree of life for us.
Blessed the man who does not follow the counsels of the wicked,
  or stand in the paths that sinners use,
or sit in the gatherings of those who mock:
  his delight is the law of the Lord,
  he ponders his law day and night.
He is like a tree planted by flowing waters,
  that will give its fruit in due time,
  whose leaves will not fade.
All that he does will prosper.
Not thus are the wicked, not thus.
  They are like the dust blown by the wind.
At the time of judgement the wicked will not stand,
  nor sinners in the council of the just.
For the Lord knows the path of the just;
  but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
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 cross of the Lord is become the tree of life for us.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor
It is I who have set up my king on Sion.
Why are the nations in a ferment?
  Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
  the leaders have united against the Lord,
  against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
  let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
  he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
  in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
  Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
  the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
  break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
  Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
  lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.
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.
It is I who have set up my king on Sion.

Psalm 3
The Lord is my protector
You, Lord, are my salvation and my glory: you lift up my head.
Lord, how many they are, my attackers!
  So many rise up against me, so many of them say:
  “He can hope for no help from the Lord.”
But you, Lord, are my protector, my glory:
  you raise up my head.
I called to the Lord,
  and from his holy mountain he heard my voice.
I fell asleep, and slept;
  but I rose, for the Lord raised me up.
I will not fear when the people surround me in their thousands.
  Rise up, O Lord;
  bring me to safety, my God.
Those who attacked me – you struck them on the jaw,
  you shattered their teeth.
Salvation comes from the Lord:
  Lord, your blessing is upon your people.
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.
You, Lord, are my salvation and my glory: you lift up my head.

Man does not live by bread alone
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

First ReadingExodus 5:1-6:1 ©
Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, “Let my people go, so that they may keep a feast in the wilderness in honour of me.”’ ‘Who is the Lord,’ Pharaoh replied ‘that I should listen to him and let Israel go? I know nothing of the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.’ ‘The God of the Hebrews has come to meet us’ they replied. ‘Give us leave to make a three days’ journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will come down on us with a plague or with the sword.’ The king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, what do you mean by taking the people away from their work? Get back to your labouring.’ And Pharaoh said, ‘Now that these common folk have grown to such numbers, do you want to stop them labouring?’
  That same day, Pharaoh gave this command to the people’s slave-drivers and to the overseers. ‘Up to the present, you have provided these people with straw for brickmaking. Do so no longer; let them go and gather straw for themselves. All the same, you are to get from them the same number of bricks as before, not reducing it at all. They are lazy, and that is why their cry is, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Make these men work harder than ever, so that they do not have time to stop and listen to glib speeches.’
  The people’s slave-drivers went out with the overseers to speak to the people. ‘Pharaoh has given orders’ they said: ‘“I will not provide you with straw. Go out and collect straw for yourselves wherever you can find it. But your output is not to be any less.”’ So the people scattered all over the land of Egypt to gather stubble for making chopped straw. The slave-drivers harassed them. ‘Every day you must complete your daily quota,’ they said ‘just as you did when straw was provided for you.’ And the foremen who had been appointed for the sons of Israel by Pharaoh’s slave-drivers were flogged, and they were asked, ‘Why have you not produced your full amount of bricks as before, either yesterday or today?’
  The foremen for the sons of Israel went to Pharaoh and complained. ‘Why do you treat your servants so?’ they said. ‘No straw is provided for your servants and still the cry is, “Make bricks!” And now your servants have been flogged!...” ‘You are lazy, lazy’ he answered ‘that is why you say, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to the Lord.” Get back to your work at once. You shall not get any straw, but you must deliver the number of bricks due from you.’
  The foremen for the sons of Israel saw themselves in a very difficult position when told there was to be no reduction in the daily number of bricks. As they left Pharaoh’s presence they met Moses and Aaron who were waiting for them. ‘May the Lord see your work and punish you as you deserve!’ they said to them. ‘You have made us hated by Pharaoh and his court; you have put a sword into their hand to kill us.’ Once more Moses turned to the Lord. ‘Lord,’ he said to him ‘why do you treat this people so harshly? Why did you send me here? Ever since I came to Pharaoh and spoke to him in your name, he has ill-treated this nation, and you have done nothing to deliver your people.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘You will see now how I shall punish Pharaoh. He will be forced to let them go; yes, he will be forced to send them out of his land.’
Responsory
Moses stood before Pharaoh and said, Thus says the Lord: Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.
The Lord God of the Hebrews sent me to you to say, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.

Second Reading
From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
In Christ we suffered temptation, and in him we overcame the Devil
Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer. Who is speaking? An individual, it seems. See if it is an individual: I cried out to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish. Now it is no longer one person; rather, it is one in the sense that Christ is one, and we are all his members. What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth? The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance. It was said to him: Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as your possession. This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth. What does it cry? What I said before: Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer; I cried out to you from the ends of the earth.’ That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth; that is, on all sides.
  Why did I make this cry? While my heart was in anguish. The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.
  Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.
  The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.
  He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan. We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained salvation for you; he suffered death in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.
  If in Christ we have been tempted, in him we overcome the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. He could have kept the devil from himself; but if he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation.
Responsory
They will fight against you but shall not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.
You shall not fall a victim to the sword: your life shall be safe, for I am with you to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.

Let us pray.
Through our annual Lenten observance, Lord,
  deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ
  and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives.
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.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

Copyright © 1996-2016 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.

 
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