Universalis
Sunday 24 March 2019    (other days)
3rd 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 144 (145)
The greatness and goodness of God
I will bless you day after day, O Lord.
I will praise you to the heights, O God, my king –
  I will bless your name for ever and for all time.
I will bless you, O God, day after day –
  I will praise your name for ever and all time.
The Lord is great, to him all praise is due –
  he is great beyond measuring.
Generation will pass to generation the praise of your deeds,
  and tell the wonders you have done.
They will tell of your overwhelming power,
  and pass on the tale of your greatness.
They will cry out the story of your great kindness,
  they will celebrate your judgements.
The Lord takes pity, his heart is merciful,
  he is patient and endlessly kind.
The Lord is gentle to all –
  he shows his kindness to all his creation.
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.
I will bless you day after day, O Lord.

Psalm 144 (145)
Your kingdom, Lord, is an everlasting kingdom.
Let all your creatures proclaim you, O Lord,
  let your chosen ones bless you.
Let them tell of the glory of your reign,
  let them speak of your power –
so that the children of men may know what you can do,
  see the glory of your kingdom and its greatness.
Your kingdom stands firm for all ages,
  your rule lasts for ever and 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.
Your kingdom, Lord, is an everlasting kingdom.

Psalm 144 (145)
The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
  the Lord is holy in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who are falling,
  the Lord lifts up all who are oppressed.
All look to you for help,
  and you give them their food in due season.
In your goodness you open your hand,
  and give every creature its fill.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
  the Lord is kind in all that he does.
The Lord is near to those who call on him,
  to all those who call on him in truth.
For those that honour him,
  he does what they ask,
  he hears all their prayers,
  and he keeps them safe.
The Lord keeps safe all who love him,
  but he dooms all the wicked to destruction.
My mouth shall tell the praises of the Lord.
Let all flesh bless his holy name,
  for ever and 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.
The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds.

℣. He gave him the bread of life and understanding to eat.
℟. And the water of wisdom to drink.

First Reading
Exodus 22:19-23:9 ©
The law for foreigners and the poor
The Lord said to Moses:
  “Anyone who sacrifices to other gods shall come under the ban.
  “You must not molest the stranger or oppress him, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt. You must not be harsh with the widow, or with the orphan; if you are harsh with them, they will surely cry out to me, and be sure I shall hear their cry; my anger will flare and I shall kill you with the sword, your own wives will be widows, your own children orphans.
  “If you lend money to any of my people, to any poor man among you, you must not play the usurer with him: you must not demand interest from him.
  “If you take another’s cloak as a pledge, you must give it back to him before sunset. It is all the covering he has; it is the cloak he wraps his body in; what else would he sleep in? If he cries to me, I will listen, for I am full of pity.
  “You shall not revile God nor curse a ruler of your people.
  “Do not be slow to make offering from the abundance of your threshing-floor and your winepress. You must give me the first-born of your sons; you must do the same with your flocks and herds. The first-born must remain with its mother for seven days; on the eighth day you must give it to me.
  “You are to be men consecrated to me. You must not eat the flesh of an animal that has been savaged by wild beasts; you must throw it to the dogs.
  “You must not make false assertions. You must not support a guilty man by giving malicious evidence. You must not take the side of the greater number in the cause of wrong-doing nor side with the majority and give evidence in a lawsuit in defiance of justice; nor in a lawsuit must you show partiality to the poor.
  “If you come on your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you must lead it back to him. If you see the donkey of a man who hates you fallen under its load, instead of keeping out of his way, go to him to help him.
  “You must not cheat any poor man of yours of his rights at law. Keep out of trumped-up cases. See that the man who is innocent and just is not done to death, and do not acquit the guilty. You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds clear-sighted men and is the ruin of the just man’s cause.
  “You must not oppress the stranger; you know how a stranger feels, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Responsory
Ps 82:3-4; Jm 2:5
℟. Do justice for the weak and the orphan, defend the afflicted and the needy.* Rescue the weak and the poor; set them free from the hand of the wicked.
℣. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom?* Rescue the weak and the poor; set them free from the hand of the wicked.

Second Reading
From a treatise on John by St Augustine
A Samaritan woman came to draw water
A woman came. She is a symbol of the Church not yet made righteous. Righteousness follows from the conversation. She came in ignorance, she found Christ, and he enters into conversation with her. Let us see what it is about, let us see why a Samaritan woman came to draw water. The Samaritans did not form part of the Jewish people: they were foreigners. The fact that she came from a foreign people is part of the symbolic meaning, for she is a symbol of the Church. The Church was to come from the Gentiles, of a different race from the Jews.
  We must then recognise ourselves in her words and in her person, and with her give our own thanks to God. She was a symbol, not the reality; she foreshadowed the reality, and the reality came to be. She found faith in Christ, who was using her as a symbol to teach us what was to come. She came then to draw water. She had simply come to draw water; in the normal way of man or woman.
  Jesus says to her: Give me water to drink. For his disciples had gone to the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman therefore says to him: How is it that you, though a Jew, ask me for water to drink, though I am a Samaritan woman? For Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans.
  The Samaritans were foreigners; Jews never used their utensils. The woman was carrying a pail for drawing water. She was astonished that a Jew should ask her for a drink of water, a thing that Jews would not do. But the one who was asking for a drink of water was thirsting for her faith.
  Listen now and learn who it is that asks for a drink. Jesus answered her and said: If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” perhaps you might have asked him and he would have given you living water.
  He asks for a drink, and he promises a drink. He is in need, as one hoping to receive, yet he is rich, as one about to satisfy the thirst of others. He says: If you knew the gift of God. The gift of God is the Holy Spirit. But he is still using veiled language as he speaks to the woman and gradually enters into her heart. Or is he already teaching her? What could be more gentle and kind than the encouragement he gives? If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” perhaps you might ask and he would give you living water.
  What is this water that he will give if not the water spoken of in Scripture: With you is the fountain of life? How can those feel thirst who will drink deeply from the abundance in your house?
  He was promising the Holy Spirit in satisfying abundance. She did not yet understand. In her failure to grasp his meaning, what was her reply? The woman says to him: Master, give me this drink, so that I may feel no thirst or come here to draw water. Her need forced her to this labour, her weakness shrank from it. If only she could hear those words: Come to me, all who labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Jesus was saying this to her, so that her labours might be at an end; but she was not yet able to understand.
Responsory
℟. Jesus cried out, If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink who believes in me! From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.* He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive.
℣. Anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again.* He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive.

Let us pray.
God our Father,
  in your infinite love and goodness
  you have shown us that
  prayer, fasting, and almsgiving
  are remedies for sin.
Accept the humble admission of our guilt,
  and when our conscience weighs us down
  let your unfailing mercy raise us up.
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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