Universalis
Monday 18 September 2017    (other days)
Monday of week 24 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
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
Come, Spirit blest, with God the Son
and God the Father, ever one:
shed forth your grace within our breast
and live in us, a ready guest.
By every power, by heart and tongue,
by act and deed, your praise be sung.
Inflame with perfect love each sense,
that others’ souls may kindle thence.

Psalm 72 (73)
Why should the just suffer?
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.
How good God is to the upright,
  to those who are pure of heart!
But as for me, my feet nearly stumbled,
  my steps were on the point of going astray,
as I envied the boasters and sinners,
  envied their comfort and peace.
For them there are no burdens,
  their bellies are full and sleek.
They do not labour, like ordinary men;
  they do not suffer, like mortals.
They wear their pride like a necklace,
  their violence covers them like a robe.
Wickedness oozes from their very being,
  the thoughts of their hearts break forth:
they deride, they utter abominations,
  and from their heights they proclaim injustice.
They have set their mouth in the heavens,
  and their tongue traverses the earth.
Thus they sit in their lofty positions,
  and the flood-waters cannot reach them.
They ask, “How can God know?
  Does the Most High have any understanding?”
Behold, then, the wicked, always prosperous:
  their riches growing for ever.
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.
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.

Psalm 72 (73)
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow.
I said, “It was pointless to purify my heart,
  to wash my hands in innocence –
for still I suffered all through the day,
  still I was punished every morning.”
If I had said, “I will speak like them,”
  I would have betrayed the race of your children.
I pondered and tried to understand:
  my eyes laboured to see –
until I entered God’s holy place
  and heard how they would end.
For indeed you have put them on a slippery surface
  and have thrown them down in ruin.
How they are laid waste!
  How suddenly they fall and perish in terror!
You spurn the sight of them, Lord,
  as a dream is abandoned when the sleeper awakes.
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.
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow.

Psalm 72 (73)
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness.
My heart was sore, my being was troubled –
  I was a fool, I knew nothing;
  I was like a dumb beast before you.
But still I stay with you:
  you hold my right hand.
You lead me according to your counsel,
  until you raise me up in glory.
For who else is for me, in heaven?
  On earth, I want nothing when I am with you.
My flesh and heart are failing,
  but it is God that I love:
  God is my portion for ever.
Behold, those who abandon you will perish:
  you have condemned all who go whoring away from you.
But for myself, I take joy in clinging to God,
  in putting my trust in the Lord, my God,
to proclaim your works at the gates of the daughters of Zion.
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.
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness.

How sweet is the taste of your sayings, O Lord,
sweeter than honey in my mouth.

First Reading
Ezekiel 2:8-3:11,16-21 ©
The call of Ezekiel
The voice said, ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’ I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll. He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, moanings.’ He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’ I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you.’ I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said. You are not being sent to a nation that speaks a difficult foreign language; you are being sent to the House of Israel. Not to big nations that speak difficult foreign languages, and whose words you would not understand – if I sent you to them, they would listen to you; but the House of Israel will not listen to you because it will not listen to me. The whole House of Israel is stubborn and obstinate. But now, I will make you as defiant as they are, and as obstinate as they are; I am going to make your resolution as hard as a diamond and diamond is harder than flint. So do not be afraid of them, do not be overawed by them for they are a set of rebels.’
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, remember everything I say to you, listen closely, and go to your exiled countrymen and talk to them. Tell them, “The Lord says this,” whether they listen or not.’
  After seven days the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from me, warn them in my Name. If I say to a wicked man, “You are to die,” and you do not warn him; if you do not speak and warn him to renounce his evil ways and so live, then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you do warn a wicked man and he does not renounce his wickedness and his evil ways, then he shall die for his sin, but you yourself will have saved your life. When the upright man renounces his integrity to do evil and I set a trap for him, he too shall die; since you failed to warn him, he shall die for his sin and the integrity he practised will no longer be remembered; but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you warn the upright man not to sin and he abstains from sinning, he shall live, thanks to your warning, and you too will have saved your life.’
Responsory
Ezk 3:17,8, 2:6,8
℟. I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. Whenever you hear my word, warn them in my name.* Do not be afraid of them, nor rebellious as they are.
℣. I will make you as defiant and as obstinate as they are.* Do not be afraid of them, nor rebellious as they are.

Second Reading
St Augustine's sermon On Pastors
The shepherds who feed themselves
Let us consider the unflattering words of God which Scripture addresses to shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep. You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool; you kill the fatlings, but my sheep you do not pasture. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick, and to bind up what was injured. You did not call back what went astray, nor seek out what was lost. What was strong you have destroyed, and my sheep have been scattered because there is no shepherd.
  This is spoken to the shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep; it speaks of their concern and their neglect. What is their concern? You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool. And so the Apostle asks: Who plants a vineyard and does not eat from its fruit? Who pastures a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock? Thus we learn that the milk of the flock is whatever temporal support and sustenance God’s people give to those who are placed over them. It is of this that the Apostle was speaking in the passage just quoted.
  Although he chose to support himself by the labour of his own hands and not to ask for milk from the sheep, the Apostle did say that he had the right to receive the milk, for the Lord had established that they who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel. Paul also says that others of his fellow apostles made use of this right, a right granted them, and not unlawfully usurped. But Paul went further by not taking what was rightfully his. He forgave the debt, whereas the others did not demand what was not due them. Therefore Paul went further. Perhaps his action was foreshadowed by the Good Samaritan who, when he brought the sick man to the inn, said: If you spend any more, I will repay you on my way back.
  What more can I say concerning those shepherds who do not need the milk of the flock? They are more merciful; or rather, they carry out a more abundant ministry of mercy. They are able to do so, and they do it. Let them receive praise, but do not condemn the others. The Apostle himself did not seek what was given. However, he wanted the sheep to be fruitful, not sterile and unable to give milk.
Responsory
℟. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks.* I shall look for the lost sheep and bring back the stray.
℣. I shall make the weak strong and I shall watch over the strong and healthy.* I shall look for the lost sheep and bring back the stray.

Let us pray.
Look upon us, Lord, creator and ruler of the whole world:
  give us grace to serve you with all our heart
  that we may come to know the power of your forgiveness and love.
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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