Universalis
Friday 30 July 2021    (other days)

 or Friday of week 17 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Doctor 

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
2 Corinthians 11:30-12:13 ©

Paul glories in his weakness

If I am to boast, then let me boast of my own feebleness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus – bless him for ever – knows that I am not lying. When I was in Damascus, the ethnarch of King Aretas put guards round the city to catch me, and I had to be let down over the wall in a hamper, through a window, in order to escape.
  Must I go on boasting, though there is nothing to be gained by it? But I will move on to the visions and revelations I have had from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up – whether still in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows – right into the third heaven. I do know, however, that this same person – whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows – was caught up into paradise and heard things which must not and cannot be put into human language. I will boast about a man like that, but not about anything of my own except my weaknesses. If I should decide to boast, I should not be made to look foolish, because I should only be speaking the truth; but I am not going to, in case anyone should begin to think I am better than he can actually see and hear me to be.
  In view of the extraordinary nature of these revelations, to stop me from getting too proud I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and stop me from getting too proud! About this thing, I have pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me, but he has said, ‘My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness.’ So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me, and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.
  I have been talking like a fool, but you forced me to do it: you are the ones who should have been commending me. Though I am a nobody, there is not a thing these arch-apostles have that I do not have as well. You have seen done among you all the things that mark the true apostle, unfailingly produced: the signs, the marvels, the miracles. Is there anything of which you have had less than the other churches have had, except that I have not myself been a burden on you? For this unfairness, please forgive me.
Responsory2 Co 12:9, 4:7
℟. I will gladly boast of my weaknesses, so that I may feel the protection of God’s power over me,* for his power is strongest when we are weak.
℣. We have a spiritual treasure hidden in earthenware vessels, to show that the supreme power belongs to God and not to us,* for his power is strongest when we are weak.

Second Reading
From St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to Polycarp

For the sake of God we must endure all things, so that he will endure us

From Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, who is bishop of the Church of the Smyrnaeans, or rather has God the Father as bishop over him, together with the Lord Jesus Christ:
  I was struck by the godliness of your mind — anchored, it seems, on immovable rock — and I rejoice that it was granted me to see your blameless face (may God give me joy of it). I exhort you to press forward on your journey in the grace with which you have been clothed; and you should exhort all men to gain salvation. Perform your office with all diligence of body and spirit. Strive for unity, for there is nothing better. Help all men, as the Lord also helps you; suffer all men in love (indeed, you are doing this). Pray unceasingly. Beg for wisdom greater than you already have, be watchful and keep the spirit from slumbering. Speak to each person individually, just like God himself, and like a perfect champion bear the infirmities of all. The greater the toil, the greater the gain.
  It is no credit to you if you simply love the good among your disciples; seek also to tame the more troublesome by your gentleness. Remember that not all wounds are healed in the same way — where the pain is acute, apply soothing poultices. Be prudent as the serpent in all things but always harmless as the dove. This is why you are both body and spirit — so that you can deal tenderly with the things which appear visibly and pray that the invisible things may be revealed to you. Thus you will lack nothing and abound in every gift. These critical times have need of you, as a ship needs a helmsman and the storm-tossed sailor needs a harbour. Be strict with yourself, like a good athlete of God. The prize is immortality and eternal life, as you know. I offer myself up as a sacrifice on your behalf — myself and these chains which you yourself have kissed.
  Do not be caught off balance by those who plausibly teach perverse doctrines. Stand firm as an anvil under the blows. The task of great athletes is to suffer punishment and yet conquer. But especially must we endure all things for the sake of God, that he also may endure us. Increase your efforts and watch for opportunities. Look out for the one who is above time and has no need for opportunities: the Invisible who became visible for us, the Intangible who is above suffering and yet suffered for us, who in every way endured for our sake.
  Make sure that the widows are not neglected. Make yourself their protector, deferring only to the Lord. Let nothing be done without your approval, and continue to do nothing yourself without God. Be steadfast. Hold services more frequently and call everyone to them by name. Do not be haughty to slaves, either men or women but do not let them be proud; rather, let them endure slavery to the glory of God so that God may give them a better freedom than man. Let them not enslave themselves to their own longings and demand to be set free at the Church’s expense.
Responsory
℟. Aim at right living, holiness and faith, at love and endurance and kind forbearance;* fight the good fight of faith, and take hold of eternal life.
℣. I endure all things for the sake of God’s chosen ones, that they, too, may be saved;* fight the good fight of faith, and take hold of eternal life.

Let us pray.
Lord God, protector of those who hope in you,
  without whom nothing is strong, nothing holy,
  support us always with your love.
Guide us so to use the good things of this world,
  that even now we may hold fast to what endures for ever.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation from the Latin. 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.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

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