Wednesday 28 June 2017    (other days)
Saint Irenaeus, Bishop, Martyr 
 (Wednesday of week 12 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.

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.

O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 102 (103)
Praise of the compassionate Lord
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  Never forget all he has done for you.
The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
  who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
  who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
  who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
  who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.
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.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.

Psalm 102 (103)
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
  full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
  he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
  he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
  so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
  so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
  so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
  he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
  he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
  no trace of him remains.
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.
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

Psalm 102 (103)
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
  to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
  for those who keep his covenant,
  for those who remember his commandments
  and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
  and his rule shall extend over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels,
  strong in your strength, doers of his command,
  bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
  his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
  in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless 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.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

Teach me the way of your precepts, O Lord,
and I will reflect on the wonders you have wrought.

First Reading
1 Samuel 19:8-10,20:1-17 ©
The friendship between David and Jonathan
War broke out again and David went out to fight against the Philistines; he inflicted a great defeat on them and they fled before him. An evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul while he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand; David was playing the harp. Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but he avoided Saul’s thrust and the spear stuck in the wall. David fled and made good his escape.
  David went and talked to Jonathan, ‘What have I done, what is my guilt and what is my sin against your father that he is seeking my life?’ He answered, ‘You must not think that. He will not kill you. Look, my father does nothing, important or unimportant, without confiding it to me; why should he hide this from me? It is not true.’ But David swore this solemn oath, ‘Your father knows very well that I enjoy your favour, and thinks, “Jonathan must not come to know of this or he will be grieved.” But as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is only a step between me and death.’
  Then Jonathan said to David, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ David replied, ‘Look, tomorrow is New Moon and I should be sitting at table with the king, but you must let me go and hide in the fields till evening. If your father notices my absence, you must say, “David asked urgent leave of me to hurry off to Bethlehem, his own town, because they are holding the annual sacrifice there for all the clan.” If he says, “Very well,” your servant is safe, but if he is angry, you may be sure he is set on evil. Do this favour for your servant, since you have united yourself with him by a pact in the Lord’s name. But if I am guilty, then kill me yourself – why take me to your father?’ Jonathan replied, ‘You must not think that. If I had certain knowledge that my father was set on bringing evil upon you, would I not tell you?’ David then said to Jonathan, ‘Who will let me know if your father gives you a harsh answer?’
  ‘Come,’ Jonathan said to David, ‘let us go out into the fields.’ So the pair of them went out into the fields. Then Jonathan said to David, ‘The Lord the God of Israel be witness! I will sound my father this time tomorrow; if all is well as concerns David and I do not then inform him, then may the Lord do this to Jonathan and more! If my father thinks fit to do you some harm, I will inform you and send you away, and you will go unharmed. And may the Lord be with you as he used to be with my father. If I am still alive, show me the Lord’s own kindness; if I die, never withdraw your own kindness from my House. When the Lord cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth, let not the name of Jonathan be cut off with the House of Saul, or the Lord will demand a reckoning of David.’ Once again Jonathan swore the solemn oath to David because he loved him as his own soul.
Pr 17:17; 1 Jn 4:7
℟. He is your friend who is your friend at all times:* of a brother’s love there can be no test like adversity.
℣. No-one can love you without being born of God, and knowing God:* of a brother’s love there can be no test like adversity.

Second Reading
From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
Life in man is the glory of God; the life of man is the vision of God
The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life. For this reason God, who cannot be grasped, comprehended or seen, allows himself to be seen, comprehended and grasped by men, that he may give life to those who see and receive him. It is impossible to live without life, and the actualisation of life comes from participation in God, while participation in God is to see God and enjoy his goodness.
  Men will therefore see God if they are to live; through the vision of God they will become immortal and attain to God himself. As I have said, this was shown in symbols by the prophets: God will be seen by men who bear his Spirit and are always waiting for his coming. As Moses said in the Book of Deuteronomy: On that day we shall see, for God will speak to man, and man will live.
  God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all his greatness by any of his creatures. Yet he is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel: No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; he has revealed him.
  From the beginning the Son is the one who teaches us about the Father; he is with the Father from the beginning. He was to reveal to the human race visions of prophecy, the diversity of spiritual gifts, his own ways of ministry, the glorification of the Father, all in due order and harmony, at the appointed time and for our instruction: where there is order, there is also harmony; where there is harmony, there is also correct timing; where there is correct timing, there is also advantage.
  The Word became the steward of the Father’s grace for the advantage of men, for whose benefit he made such wonderful arrangements. He revealed God to men and presented men to God. He safeguarded the invisibility of the Father to prevent man from treating God with contempt and to set before him a constant goal toward which to make progress. On the other hand, he revealed God to men and made him visible in many ways to prevent man from being totally separated from God and so cease to be. Life in man is the glory of God; the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God.
℟. The instruction he gave was true, and no word of injustice fell from his lips;* he walked in harmony with me, and in honesty.
℣. My hand shall be ready to help him and my arm to give him strength;* he walked in harmony with me, and in honesty.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you strengthened the true faith
  and established the peace of the Church
  by the ministry and writings of Saint Irenaeus.
Through his prayer renew our faith and charity,
  so that we may always work for unity and peace.
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.

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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