Universalis
Friday 17 January 2020    (other days)
Saint Antony, Abbot 
 on Friday of week 1 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
In ancient times God spoke to us
Through prophets, and in varied ways,
But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
His radiance through eternal days.
To God the Father of the world,
His Son through whom he made all things,
And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
All glad creation glory sings.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 34 (35)
The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution

O Lord, arise to help me.
Judge, Lord, those who are judging me:
  attack those who are attacking me.
Take up your shield and come out to defend me.
  Brandish your spear and hold back my pursuers.
Say to my soul, “I am your deliverance.”
Let them be thrown into confusion,
  those who are after my life.
Let them be weakened and put to flight,
  those who plan harm to me.
Let them be like chaff blowing in the wind,
  when the angel of the Lord scatters them.
Let their paths be dark and slippery,
  when the angel of the Lord harries them.
For it was without cause that they spread out their nets to ensnare me,
  without cause that they dug a pit to take my life.
Let death come upon them suddenly,
  may they be entangled in their own nets.
But my soul will exult in the Lord
  and rejoice in his aid.
My bones themselves will say
  “Lord, who is your equal?”
You snatch the poor man
  from the hand of the strong,
the needy and weak
  from those who would destroy them.
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.
O Lord, arise to help me.

Psalm 34 (35)

Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.
Lying witnesses rose up against me;
  they asked me questions I could not answer.
They paid me back evil for the good I did,
  my soul is desolation.
Yet I – when they were ill, I put on sackcloth,
  I mortified my soul with fasting,
  I prayed for them from the depths of my heart.
I walked in sadness as for a close friend, for a brother;
  I was bowed down with grief as if mourning my own mother.
But they – when I was unsteady, they rejoiced and gathered together.
  They gathered and beat me: I did not know why.
They were tearing me to pieces, there was no end to it:
  they teased me, heaped derision on me, they ground their teeth at me.
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.
Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.

Psalm 34 (35)

My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.
Lord, how long will you wait?
  Rescue my life from their attacks,
  my only life from the lions.
I will proclaim you in the great assembly,
  in the throng of people I will praise you.
Let not my lying enemies triumph over me,
  those who hate me for no reason,
who conspire against me by secret signs,
  who do not speak of peace,
  who plan crimes against the innocent,
who cry out slanders against me,
  saying “Yes! Yes! We saw it ourselves!”
You see them, Lord, do not stay silent:
  Lord, do not leave me.
Rise up and keep watch at my trial:
  my God and my Lord, watch over my case.
Judge me according to your justice,
  Lord: my God, let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not think to themselves,
  “Yes! We have what we wanted!”
Let them not say,
  “We have swallowed him up.”
But let those who support my cause rejoice,
  let them say always “How great is the Lord,
  who takes care of his servant’s welfare.”
And my tongue too will ponder your justice,
  and praise you all day long.
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.
My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

℣. My son, keep my words.
℟. Keep my commandments, and live.

First Reading
Ecclesiasticus 43:14-37 ©

Praise of God in his creation

By his command the Lord sends the snow,
  he speeds the lightning as he orders.
In the same way, his treasuries open
  and the clouds fly out like birds.
In his great might he banks up the clouds,
  and shivers them into fragments of hail.
At sight of him the mountains rock,
  at the roar of his thunder the earth writhes in labour.
At his will the south wind blows,
  or the storm from the north and the whirlwind.
He sprinkles snow like birds alighting,
  it comes down like locusts settling.
The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness,
  and the mind is amazed at its falling.
The cold wind blows from the north,
  and ice forms on the water,
settling on every watery expanse,
  and water puts it on like a breastplate.
He swallows up the mountains and scorches the desert,
  like a fire he consumes the vegetation.
But the mist heals everything in good time,
  after the heat falls the reviving dew.
By his own resourcefulness he has tamed the abyss,
  and planted it with islands.
Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers,
  their accounts fill our ears with amazement:
for there too there are strange and wonderful works,
  animals of every kind and huge sea creatures.
Thanks to him all ends well,
  and all things hold together by means of his word.
We could say much more and still fall short;
  to put it concisely, ‘He is all.’
Where shall we find sufficient power to glorify him,
  since he is the Great One, above all his works,
the awe-inspiring Lord, stupendously great,
  and wonderful in his power?
Exalt the Lord in your praises
  as high as you may – still he surpasses you.
Exert all your strength when you exalt him,
  do not grow tired – you will never come to the end.
Who has ever seen him to give a description?
  Who can glorify him as he deserves?
Many mysteries remain even greater than these,
  for we have seen only a few of his works,
the Lord himself having made all things –
  and having given wisdom to devout men.
Responsory
℟. Praise the God of heaven for all men to hear,* and thank him for the mercy he has shown you.
℣. Worship him, sing his praise, tell of all his marvellous works,* and thank him for the mercy he has shown you.

Second Reading
From the Life of Saint Antony by Saint Athanasius, bishop

Saint Antony receives his vocation

When Antony was about eighteen or twenty years old, his parents died, leaving him with an only sister. He cared for her as she was very young, and also looked after their home.
  Not six months after his parents’ death, as he was on his way to church for his usual visit, he began to think of how the apostles had left everything and followed the Saviour, and also of those mentioned in the book of Acts who had sold their possessions and brought the apostles the money for distribution to the needy. He reflected too on the great hope stored up in heaven for such as these. This was all in his mind when, entering the church just as the Gospel was being read, he heard the Lord’s words to the rich man: If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor – you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.
  It seemed to Antony that it was God who had brought the saints to his mind and that the words of the Gospel had been spoken directly to him. Immediately he left the church and gave away to the villagers all the property he had inherited, about 200 acres of very beautiful and fertile land, so that it would cause no distraction to his sister and himself. He sold all his other possessions as well, giving to the poor the considerable sum of money he collected. However, to care for his sister he retained a few things.
  The next time he went to church he heard the Lord say in the Gospel: Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Without a moment’s hesitation he went out and gave the poor all that he had left. He placed his sister in the care of some well-known and trustworthy virgins and arranged for her to be brought up in the convent. Then he gave himself up to the ascetic life, not far from his own home. He kept a careful watch over himself and practised great austerity. He did manual work because he had heard the words: If anyone will not work, do not let him eat. He spent some of his earnings on bread and the rest he gave to the poor.
  Having learned that we should always be praying, even when we are by ourselves, he prayed without ceasing. Indeed, he was so attentive when Scripture was read that nothing escaped him and because he retained all he heard, his memory served him in place of books.
  Seeing the kind of life he lived, the villagers and all the good men he knew called him the friend of God, and they loved him as both son and brother.
Responsory
℟. If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;* then come, follow me.
℣. None of you can be my disciple unless he give up all his possessions;* then come, follow me.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Antony
  the grace of serving you in the wilderness.
Grant that through his intercession
  we may deny ourselves and love you above all things.
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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