Universalis
Saturday 21 July 2018    (other days)
Saturday of week 15 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Laurence of Brindisi, Priest, Doctor 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

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. Alleluia.

Hymn
How great the tale, that there should be,
In God’s Son’s heart, a place for me!
That on a sinner’s lips like mine
The cross of Jesus Christ should shine!
Christ Jesus, bend me to thy will,
My feet to urge, my griefs to still;
That e’en my flesh and blood may be
A temple sanctified to Thee.
No rest, no calm my soul may win,
Because my body craves to sin;
Till thou, dear Lord, thyself impart
Peace on my head, light in my heart.
May consecration come from far,
Soft shining like the evening star.
My toilsome path make plain to me,
Until I come to rest in thee.

Psalm 106 (107)
Thanksgiving after rescue
Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his kindness is for ever.
Let them say this, the people the Lord has redeemed,
  those whom he rescued from their enemies
  whom he gathered together from all lands,
  from east and west, from the north and the south.
They wandered through desert and wilderness,
  they could find no way to a city they could dwell in.
Their souls were weary within them,
  weary from hunger and thirst.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He set them on the right path
  towards a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who feeds hungry creatures
  and gives water to the thirsty to drink.
They sat in the darkness and shadow of death,
  imprisoned in chains and in misery,
because they had rebelled against the words of God
  and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He wore out their hearts with labour:
  they were weak, there was no-one to help.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them out of the darkness and shadow of death,
  he shattered their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who shatters doors of bronze,
  who breaks bars of iron.
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.
Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.

Psalm 106 (107)
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.
The people were sick because they transgressed,
  afflicted because of their sins.
All food was distasteful to them,
  they were on the verge of death.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
  delivered them from their ruin.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
Let them offer a sacrifice of praise
  and proclaim his works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
  those who trade across the great waters –
they have seen the works of the Lord,
  the wonders he performs in the deep.
He spoke, and a storm arose,
  and the waves of the sea rose up.
They rose up as far as the heavens
  and descended down to the depths:
the sailors’ hearts melted from fear,
  they staggered and reeled like drunkards,
  terror drove them out of their minds.
But they cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He turned the storm into a breeze
  and silenced the waves.
They rejoiced at the ending of the storm
  and he led them to the port that they wanted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
let them exalt him in the assembly of the people,
  give him praise in the council of the elders.
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.
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.

Psalm 106 (107)
The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.
The Lord has turned rivers into wilderness,
  he has made well-watered lands into desert,
  fruitful ground into salty waste
  because of the evil of those who dwelt there.
But he has made wilderness into ponds,
  deserts into the sources of rivers,
he has called together the hungry
  and they have founded a city to dwell in.
They have sowed the fields, planted the vines;
  they grow and harvest their produce.
He has blessed them and they have multiplied;
  he does not let their cattle decrease.
But those others became few and oppressed
  through trouble, evil, and sorrow.
He poured his contempt on their princes
  and set them to wander the trackless waste.
But the poor he has saved from their poverty
  and their families grow numerous as sheep.
The upright shall see, and be glad,
  and all wickedness shall block up its mouth.
Whoever is wise will remember these things
  and understand the mercies of 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.
The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.

Lord, your faithfulness reaches up to the clouds.
Your judgements reach down to the depths.

First Reading2 Kings 2:1-15 ©
Elijah is taken up to heaven
This is what happened when the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, and Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Please stay here, for the Lord is only sending me to Bethel’. But Elisha replied, ‘As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ and they went down to Bethel. The brotherhood of prophets who live at Bethel came out to meet Elisha and said, ‘Do you know that the Lord is going to carry your lord and master away today?’ ‘Yes, I know,’ he said ‘be quiet.’
  Then Elijah said, ‘Elisha, please stay here, the Lord is only sending me to Jericho’. But he replied, ‘As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ and they went on to Jericho. The brotherhood of prophets who live at Jericho went up to Elisha and said, ‘Do you know that the Lord is going to carry your lord and master away today?’ ‘Yes, I know,’ he said ‘be quiet.’
  Elijah said, ‘Elisha, please stay here, the Lord is only sending me to the Jordan’. But he replied, ‘As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ And they went on together. Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water divided to left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod.
  When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Make your request. What can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ Elisha answered, ‘Let me inherit a double share of your spirit’. ‘Your request is a difficult one’ Elijah said. ‘If you see me while I am being taken from you, it shall be as you ask; if not, it will not be so.’ Now as they walked on, talking as they went, a chariot of fire appeared and horses of fire, coming between the two of them; and Elijah went up to heaven in the whirlwind. Elisha saw it, and shouted, ‘My father! My father! Chariot of Israel and its chargers!’ Then he lost sight of him, and taking hold of his clothes he tore them in half.
  He picked up the cloak of Elijah which had fallen, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak of Elijah and struck the water. ‘Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ he cried. He struck the water, and it divided to right and left, and Elisha crossed over. The brotherhood of prophets saw him in the distance, and said, ‘The spirit of Elijah has come to rest on Elisha.’ They went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.
Responsory
2 Kgs 2:12,15; 2 Kgs 2:9
℟. Elisha saw it and he cried out, “My father! my father! Israel’s chariot and driver!” * And the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha.
℣. Elisha said: “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” * And the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha.

Second Reading
From the treatise On the Mysteries by Saint Ambrose, bishop
The sacrament that you receive is effected by the words of Christ
We see that grace can accomplish more than nature, yet so far we have been considering instances of what grace can do through a prophet’s blessing. If the blessing of a human being had power even to change nature, what do we say of God’s action in the consecration itself, in which the very words of the Lord and Saviour are effective? If the words of Elijah had power even to bring down fire from heaven, will not the words of Christ have power to change the natures of the elements? You have read that in the creation of the whole world he spoke and they came to be; he commanded and they were created. If Christ could by speaking create out of nothing what did not yet exist, can we say that his words are unable to change existing things into something they previously were not? It is no lesser feat to create new natures for things than to change their existing natures.
  What need is there for argumentation? Let us take what happened in the case of Christ himself and construct the truth of this mystery from the mystery of the incarnation. Did the birth of the Lord Jesus from Mary come about in the course of nature? If we look at nature we regularly find that conception results from the union of man and woman. It is clear then that the conception by the Virgin was above and beyond the course of nature. And this body that we make present is the body born of the Virgin. Why do you expect to find in this case that nature takes its ordinary course in regard to the body of Christ when the Lord himself was born of the Virgin in a manner above and beyond the order of nature? This is indeed the true flesh of Christ, which was crucified and buried. This is then in truth the sacrament of his flesh.
  The Lord Jesus himself declares: This is my body. Before the blessing contained in these words a different thing is named; after the consecration a body is indicated. He himself speaks of his blood. Before the consecration something else is spoken of; after the consecration blood is designated. And you say: “Amen,” that is: “It is true.” What the mouth utters, let the mind within acknowledge; what the word says, let the heart ratify.
  So the Church, in response to grace so great, exhorts her children, exhorts her neighbours, to hasten to these mysteries: Neighbours, she says, come and eat; brethren, drink and be filled. In another passage the Holy Spirit has made clear to you what you are to eat, what you are to drink. Taste, the prophet says, and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who puts his trust in him. Christ is in that sacrament, for it is the body of Christ. It is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Thus the Apostle too says, speaking of its symbol: Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink. For the body of God is spiritual; the body of Christ is that of a divine spirit, for Christ is a spirit. We read: The spirit before our face is Christ the Lord. And in the letter of Saint Peter we have this: Christ died for you. Finally, it is this food that gives strength to our hearts, this drink which gives joy to the heart of man, as the prophet has written.
Responsory
℟. While they were still at table, Jesus took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,* ‘Take this and eat. This is my body.’
℣. Did not my own people ask: Who will give us food so that we may be satisfied?* ‘Take this and eat. This is my body.’

Let us pray.
God and Father,
  to those who go astray
  you reveal the light of your truth
  and enable them to return to the right path.
Grant that all who have received the grace of baptism
  may strive to be worthy of their Christian calling
  and reject everything opposed to it.
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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