Universalis
Wednesday 19 December 2018    (other days)
19 December 

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
The co-eternal Son
A maiden’s offspring see;
A servant’s form Christ putteth on,
To set his people free.
Daughter of Sion, rise
To greet thine infant King;
Nor let thy stubborn heart despise
The pardon he doth bring.
Let deeds of darkness fly
Before the approaching morn;
For unto sin ’tis ours to die
And serve the Virgin-born.
Our joyful praises sing,
To Christ, that set us free;
Like tribute to the Father bring,
And, Holy Ghost, to thee.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.
I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
  to generation upon generation
  my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
  “My kindness shall be established for ever”;
  your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
  I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
  I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
  the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
  Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
  great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
  Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
  when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
  through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
  you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
  Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
  your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
  kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
  They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
  and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
  and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
  and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
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.
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.
In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
  You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
  I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
  I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
  my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
  the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
  and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
  and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
  and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
  my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
  supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
  my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
  and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”
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 Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

Psalm 88 (89)
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.
“But if his children abandon my law
  and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
  and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
  I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
  nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
  I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
  I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
  his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
  a faithful witness in the sky.”
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.
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.

℣. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy.
℟. And give us your saving help.

First Reading
Isaiah 47:1,3-15 ©
A lament over Babylon
Down with you! Sit in the dust,
virgin, daughter of Babylon.
Sit on the ground, dethroned,
daughter of the Chaldaeans.
Never again will you be called
tender and delicate.
Our redeemer, the Lord of Hosts his name,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
Sit in silence and creep into shadows,
daughter of the Chaldaeans,
for you will no longer be called
sovereign lady of the kingdoms.
I was angry with my people,
I had profaned my heritage.
I had surrendered it into your hands,
but you showed them no mercy.
On the aged you laid
your crushing yoke.
You said, ‘For ever
I shall be sovereign lady.’
You never took these things to heart
or pondered on their outcome.
So listen now, voluptuous woman,
lolling at ease
and saying to yourself,
‘I, and none besides me.
I shall never be widowed,
never know loss of children.’
Yet both these things shall happen to you
both suddenly and on the same day.
Loss of children, widowhood, at once
will come to you;
in spite of all your witchcraft
and the power of all your spells.
You were bold in your wickedness and said,
‘There is no one to see me.’
That wisdom and knowledge of yours
led you astray.
You said to yourself,
‘I, and none besides me.’
A calamity shall fall on you
which you will not be able to charm away,
a disaster shall overtake you
which you will not be able to avert,
unforeseen ruin
will suddenly descend on you.
Keep to your spells then,
and all your sorceries,
for which you have worn yourself out since your youth.
Do you think they will help you?
Do you think they will make anyone nervous?
You have spent weary hours with your many advisers.
Let them come forward now
and save you, these who analyse the heavens,
who study the stars
and announce month by month
what will happen to you next.
Oh, they will be like wisps of straw
and the fire will burn them.
They will not save their lives
from the power of the flame.
No embers these, for baking,
no fireside to sit by.
This is what your wizards will be for you,
those men for whom you have worn yourself out since your youth.
They will all go off, each his own way,
powerless to save you.
ResponsoryIs 49:13, 47:4
℟. Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth! You mountains, break into happy cries!* For the Lord will take pity on those who are afflicted.
℣. Our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel,* For the Lord will take pity on those who are afflicted.

Second Reading
From the treatise "Against the Heresies" by St Irenaeus
The operation of the redeeming Incarnation
God is man’s glory. Man is the vessel which receives God’s action and all his wisdom and power.
  Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men. That is Paul’s reason for saying: God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all. He was speaking of man, who was disobedient to God, and cast off from immortality, and then found mercy, receiving through the Son of God the adoption he brings.
  If man, without being puffed up or boastful, has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in his power, and if man perseveres in God’s love, and in obedience and gratitude to him, he will receive greater glory from him. It will be a glory which will grow ever brighter until he takes on the likeness of the one who died for him.
  He it was who took on the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and rid the flesh of sin, as now condemned. He wanted to invite man to take on his likeness, appointing man an imitator of God, establishing man in a way of life in obedience to the Father that would lead to the vision of God, and endowing man with power to receive the Father. He is the Word of God who dwelt with man and became the Son of Man to open the way for man to receive God, for God to dwell with man, according to the will of the Father.
  For this reason the Lord himself gave as the sign of our salvation, the one who was born of the Virgin, Emmanuel. It was the Lord himself who saved them, for of themselves they had no power to be saved. For this reason Paul speaks of the weakness of man, and says: I know that no good dwells in my flesh, meaning that the blessing of our salvation comes not from us but from God. Again, he says: I am a wretched man; who will free me from this body doomed to die? Then he speaks of a liberator, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord.
  Isaiah says the same: Hands that are feeble, grow strong! Knees that are weak, take courage! Hearts that are faint, grow strong! Fear not; see, our God is judgement and he will repay. He himself will come and save us. He means that we could not be saved of ourselves but only with God’s help.
Responsory
℟. All nations, hear the word of the Lord, declare it to the ends of the earth,* say to the farthest parts: ‘Our Saviour is coming.’
℣. Say this, proclaim it, cry it aloud,* say to the farthest parts: ‘Our Saviour is coming.’

Let us pray.
Deepen our faith, Lord God,
  as we celebrate the great mystery of the incarnation
  by which you revealed to the world the splendour of your glory
  through the Virgin Mary
  when she gave birth to 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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