Universalis
Friday 28 February 2020    (other days)
1st Sunday of Lent 

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 99 (100)
Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.
(repeat antiphon*)
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
  and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
  (repeat antiphon*)
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
 – his people, the sheep of his flock.
  (repeat antiphon*)
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
  fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
  for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
  his faithfulness through all the ages.
  (repeat antiphon*)
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.
(repeat antiphon*)

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


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 77 (78)
The history of salvation: the Lord's goodness, his people's infidelity (I)

Our fathers have told us of the might of the Lord and the marvellous deeds he has done.
Listen, my people, to my teaching;
  open your ears to the words of my mouth.
I shall open my mouth in explanation,
  I shall tell of the secrets of the past.
All that we have heard and know –
  all that our fathers told us –
  we shall not hide it from their descendants,
but will tell to a new generation
  the praise of the Lord, and his power,
  and the wonders that he worked.
He set up a covenant with Jacob,
  he gave a law to Israel;
he commanded our ancestors to pass it on to their children,
  so that the next generation would know it,
  the children yet to be born.
They shall rise up and tell the story to their children,
  so that they put their trust in God,
so that they do not forget the works of God,
  so that they keep his commandments;
so that they do not become like their fathers,
  rebellious and troublesome,
a generation of fickle hearts,
  of souls unfaithful to God.
The sons of Ephraim, the bowmen,
  fled when it came to battle;
they did not keep their covenant with God,
  they refused to follow his law.
They forgot his deeds
  and the wonders he had shown them.
In front of their ancestors he had worked his wonders,
  in the land of Egypt, in the plains of Tanis.
He divided the sea and led them across,
  he held back the waters as if in a bag.
He led them in a cloud by day;
  and through the night, in the light of fire.
He split the rock in the desert
  and gave them water as if from bottomless depths.
He brought forth streams from the rock
  and made the waters flow down in rivers.
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.
Our fathers have told us of the might of the Lord and the marvellous deeds he has done.

Psalm 77 (78)

The sons of Israel ate manna and drank spiritual drink from the rock which followed them.
Still they insisted on sinning against him,
  they stirred up the wrath of the Most High in the desert.
They put God to the test in their hearts,
  asking for food, their desire.
They spoke out against God, saying
  “Can God lay a table in the wilderness?”
He struck the rock, and the waters poured out,
  and the streams were full to overflowing;
“But can he give us bread?
  Can he give meat to his people?”
The Lord heard all this, and he flared up in anger.
  Fire blazed against Jacob,
  his wrath rose up against Israel.
All this, because they had no faith in God,
  they had no trust in his saving power.
He commanded the clouds nevertheless,
  and opened the doors of the heavens.
Manna rained down for them to eat:
  he gave them the bread of heaven.
Men ate the food of angels;
  he gave them provisions in abundance.
In heaven he stirred up the east wind,
  he brought the south wind, by his power:
he rained meat on them as if it were dust,
  winged birds, like the sands of the sea,
to fall in the middle of their camp,
  all around their tents.
They ate and were full to bursting,
  and so he gave them their desire.
In the middle of their enjoyment,
  when the food was still in their mouths,
the wrath of God rose up against them,
  and slew the healthiest among them,
  and laid low the flower 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.
The sons of Israel ate manna and drank spiritual drink from the rock which followed them.

Psalm 77 (78)

They remembered that God was their helper and their redeemer.
All this – and still they sinned,
  still they had no faith in his wonders.
He made their days vanish in a breath,
  their years in a headlong rush.
Whenever he was killing them, they sought him,
  repented and came back to him at dawn:
they remembered that God is their helper,
  that God, the Most High, is their saviour;
but their speech to him was only flattery:
  they lied to him with their tongues,
their hearts were dishonest towards him,
  they did not keep his covenant.
But the Lord is merciful:
  he forgives sin, he does not destroy.
Always he turned aside his anger,
  held back from unleashing all his wrath.
He remembered that they were flesh –
  a breath, that goes and does not return.
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 remembered that God was their helper and their redeemer.

℣. Man does not live on bread alone.
℟. But on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

First ReadingExodus 5:1-6:1 ©

The oppression of the people

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, “Let my people go, so that they may keep a feast in the wilderness in honour of me.”’ ‘Who is the Lord,’ Pharaoh replied, ‘that I should listen to him and let Israel go? I know nothing of the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.’ ‘The God of the Hebrews has come to meet us’ they replied. ‘Give us leave to make a three days’ journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will come down on us with a plague or with the sword.’ The king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, what do you mean by taking the people away from their work? Get back to your labouring.’ And Pharaoh said, ‘Now that these common folk have grown to such numbers, do you want to stop them labouring?’
  That same day, Pharaoh gave this command to the people’s slave-drivers and to the overseers. ‘Up to the present, you have provided these people with straw for brickmaking. Do so no longer; let them go and gather straw for themselves. All the same, you are to get from them the same number of bricks as before, not reducing it at all. They are lazy, and that is why their cry is, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Make these men work harder than ever, so that they do not have time to stop and listen to glib speeches.’
  The people’s slave-drivers went out with the overseers to speak to the people. ‘Pharaoh has given orders’ they said: ‘“I will not provide you with straw. Go out and collect straw for yourselves wherever you can find it. But your output is not to be any less.”’ So the people scattered all over the land of Egypt to gather stubble for making chopped straw. The slave-drivers harassed them. ‘Every day you must complete your daily quota,’ they said ‘just as you did when straw was provided for you.’ And the foremen who had been appointed for the sons of Israel by Pharaoh’s slave-drivers were flogged, and they were asked, ‘Why have you not produced your full amount of bricks as before, either yesterday or today?’
  The foremen for the sons of Israel went to Pharaoh and complained. ‘Why do you treat your servants so?’ they said. ‘No straw is provided for your servants and still the cry is, “Make bricks!” And now your servants have been flogged!...’ ‘You are lazy, lazy’ he answered ‘that is why you say, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to the Lord.” Get back to your work at once. You shall not get any straw, but you must deliver the number of bricks due from you.’
  The foremen for the sons of Israel saw themselves in a very difficult position when told there was to be no reduction in the daily number of bricks. As they left Pharaoh’s presence they met Moses and Aaron who were waiting for them. ‘May the Lord see your work and punish you as you deserve!’ they said to them. ‘You have made us hated by Pharaoh and his court; you have put a sword into their hand to kill us.’ Once more Moses turned to the Lord. ‘Lord,’ he said to him ‘why do you treat this people so harshly? Why did you send me here? Ever since I came to Pharaoh and spoke to him in your name, he has ill-treated this nation, and you have done nothing to deliver your people.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘You will see now how I shall punish Pharaoh. He will be forced to let them go; yes, he will be forced to send them out of his land.’
Responsory
Ex 5:1,3, cf. 6:13
℟. Moses stood before Pharaoh and said, Thus says the Lord:* Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.
℣. The Lord God of the Hebrews sent me to you to say,* Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.

Second Reading
A commentary of St Augustine on Psalm 60

In Christ we suffered temptation, and in him we overcame the Devil

Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer. Who is speaking? An individual, it seems. See if it is an individual: I cried out to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish. Now it is no longer one person; rather, it is one in the sense that Christ is one, and we are all his members. What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth? The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance. It was said to him: Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as your possession. This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth. What does it cry? What I said before: Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer; I cried out to you from the ends of the earth.’ That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth; that is, on all sides.
  Why did I make this cry? While my heart was in anguish. The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.
  Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.
  The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.
  He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan. We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained salvation for you; he suffered death in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.
  If in Christ we have been tempted, in him we overcome the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. He could have kept the devil from himself; but if he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation.
Responsory
℟. They will fight against you but shall not overcome you,* for I am with you to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.
℣. You shall not fall a victim to the sword: your life shall be safe,* for I am with you to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.

Let us pray.
Through our annual Lenten observance, Lord,
  deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ
  and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives.
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 and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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