Universalis
Thursday 16 September 2021    (other days)
Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs 
 on Thursday of week 24 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
The martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross they died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

Psalm 43 (44)
In time of defeat

Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face.
Our own ears have heard, O God,
  and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
  what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
  and put us in their place,
  struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
  it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
  the light of your face,
  for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
  who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
  in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
  my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
  you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
  and proclaim your name for all ages.
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.
Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face.

Psalm 43 (44)

If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you.
But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
  so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
  and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
  you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
  not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
  mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
  the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
  I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
  my enemies and my persecutors.
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.
If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you.

Psalm 43 (44)

Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.
All this happened to us,
  but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
  our hearts did not turn away;
  our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
  with horrors all about us:
  you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
  if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
  He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
  that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
  Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
  How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
  our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
  In your mercy, redeem 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.
Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.

℣. Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
℟. The Lord is our help and our shield.

First ReadingEzekiel 12:1-16 ©

The people’s deportation is symbolically prefigured

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’
  I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.
  The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country, I shall throw my net over him and catch him in my mesh; I shall take him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldaeans, though he will not see it; and there he will die. And all those who form his court, his guards and all his troops, I shall scatter to all the winds and unsheathe the sword behind them. They will learn that I am the Lord, when I scatter them throughout the nations and disperse them in foreign countries. However, I intend to leave some of them unscathed by sword, famine and plague, to describe all their filthy practices to the peoples among whom they will go, so that these too may learn that I am the Lord.’
Responsory
Ezk 12:15; Ps 89:31-32
℟. When I scatter them throughout the nations and disperse them in foreign countries,* then they will learn that I am the Lord.
℣. If they renounce my law and do not observe my commands, I will punish their disobedience with the rod:* then they will learn that I am the Lord.

Second Reading
A letter of St Cyprian

A faith that is eager and firm

Cyprian to his brother Cornelius.
  My very dear brother, we have heard of the glorious witness given by your courageous faith. On learning of the honour you had won by your witness, we were filled with such joy that we felt ourselves sharers and companions in your praiseworthy achievements. After all, we have the same Church, the same mind, the same unbroken harmony. Why then should a priest not take pride in the praise given to a fellow priest as though it were given to him? What brotherhood fails to rejoice in the happiness of its brothers wherever they are?
  Words cannot express how great was the exultation and delight here when we heard of your good fortune and brave deeds: how you stood out as leader of your brothers in their declaration of faith, while the leader’s confession was enhanced as they declared their faith. You led the way to glory, but you gained many companions in that glory; being foremost in your readiness to bear witness on behalf of all, you prevailed on your people to become a single witness. We cannot decide which we ought to praise, your own ready and unshaken faith or the love of your brothers who would not leave you. While the courage of the bishop who thus led the way has been demonstrated, at the same time the unity of the brotherhood who followed has been manifested. Since you have one heart and one voice, it is the Roman Church as a whole that has thus borne witness. Dearest brother, bright and shining is the faith which the blessed Apostle praised in your community. He foresaw in the spirit the praise your courage deserves and the strength that could not be broken; he was heralding the future when he testified to your achievements; his praise of the fathers was a challenge to the sons. Your unity, your strength have become shining examples of these virtues to the rest of the brethren. Divine providence has now prepared us. God’s merciful design has warned us that the day of our own struggle, our own contest, is at hand. By that shared love which binds us close together, we are doing all we can to exhort our congregation, to give ourselves unceasingly to fastings, vigils and prayers in common. These are the heavenly weapons which give us the strength to stand firm and endure; they are the spiritual defences, the God-given armaments that protect us.
  Let us then remember one another, united in mind and heart. Let us pray without ceasing, you for us, we for you; by the love we share we shall thus relieve the strain of these great trials.
Responsory
℟. God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge.
℣. Let us be armed with a great determination and, pure in heart, sound in faith and full of courage, be prepared to face the combat.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you gave Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian to your Church
  as faithful pastors and steadfast martyrs.
Strengthen our faith and our courage by their prayers,
  so that we may strive with all our power for the unity of the Church.
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 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.

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