Saturday 24 February 2024    (other days)
Saturday of the 1st week of Lent 

Using calendar: Africa - Nigeria. You can change this.

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.
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.

Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord is faithful to his promises

Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
  proclaim his works among the peoples.
Sing and make music to him
  and reflect on all the wonders he has performed.
Glory in his holy name,
  let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord in his power,
  always seek his face.
Remember the wonders he performed,
  his miracles and the judgements he has uttered.
Seed of Abraham, his servants,
  children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord himself is our God,
  his rule extends over the whole earth.
He has always remembered his covenant,
  that he made to last a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.
He made it a decree for Jacob,
  an eternal covenant for Israel, saying
“I will give you Canaan
  and measure it out as your inheritance.”
Although they were few in number,
  a handful of wanderers,
although they were travelling from nation to nation,
  from one kingdom to another,
he let no harm come to them,
  he rebuked kings in their defence:
“do not touch my anointed ones,
  do no harm to my prophets.”
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.
Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.

Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.
The Lord called down famine upon the land, he ground away every stick of bread.
He had sent a man to them, Joseph, and he was sold as a slave.
They confined his feet in fetters and put a ring around his neck –
until the Lord’s word came, the Lord spoke and justified him.
The king sent for him and released him – the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him to rule over his house, made him lord of all his possessions,
so that he could make the princes as wise as himself and teach wisdom to the elders.
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.
The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.

Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.
And so Israel passed into Egypt
  and Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
The Lord made his people grow enormously
  and strengthened them against their enemies.
Then he turned the hearts of men against his chosen people,
  so that they hated them and made plots against them.
He sent Moses, his servant,
  and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
He made them prophesy
  the signs and prodigies he would work in the land of Ham.
He sent shadows and darkness,
  but they would not listen to his words.
He turned their rivers into blood,
  killing all the fish.
Frogs ate up the earth,
  even in the secret gardens of the palaces.
He summoned flies
  and insects throughout the land.
He sent stones of hail and fire
  to devastate their land.
He struck their vines and their fig-trees,
  broke down the trees of their country.
He spoke, and locusts came,
  and worms without number:
they ate all the grain of the land,
  consumed all of the fruit.
He struck down the first-born of their land,
  the flower of all their strength.
He led his people out with silver and gold;
  not a single one of them stumbled.
Egypt rejoiced to see them go,
  to see the last of the people they feared.
He sent a cloud to protect them,
  and fire to light up their nights.
When they asked for food, he sent them quails
  and bread from heaven, to quench their hunger.
He split the rock, and water flowed:
  in the dry places, rivers ran.
For he remembered his holy word,
  given to Abraham his servant.
He led out his people in exultation,
  his chosen ones in gladness.
He gave them the territory of the nations,
  the fruits of the labours of the peoples.
All this he did
  so that they would keep his decrees
  and follow his laws.
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.
The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.

℣. The man who lives by the truth comes into the light.
℟. So that his good works may be seen.

First Reading
Exodus 12:37-49,13:11-16 ©

The Hebrews depart. Laws for Passover and the firstborn

The sons of Israel left Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand on the march – all men – not counting their families. People of various sorts joined them in great numbers; there were flocks, too, and herds in immense droves. They baked cakes with the dough which they had brought from Egypt, unleavened because the dough was not leavened; they had been driven out of Egypt, with no time for dallying, and had not provided themselves with food for the journey. The time that the sons of Israel had spent in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And on the very day the four hundred and thirty years ended, all the array of the Lord left the land of Egypt. The night, when the Lord kept vigil to bring them out of the land of Egypt, must be kept as a vigil in honour of the Lord for all their generations.
  The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘This is what is ordained for the Passover: No alien may take part in it, but any slave bought for money may take part when you have had him circumcised. No stranger and no hired servant may take part in it. It is to be eaten in one house alone, out of which not a single morsel of the flesh is to be taken; nor must you break any bone of it. The whole community of Israel must keep the Passover. Should a stranger be staying with you and wish to celebrate the Passover in honour of the Lord, all the males of his household must be circumcised: he may then be admitted to the celebration, for he becomes as it were a native-born. But no uncircumcised person may take part. The same law will run for the native and for the stranger resident among you.
  ‘When the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanites – as he swore to you and your fathers he would do – and gives it to you, you are to make over to the Lord all that first issues from the womb, and every first-born cast by your animals: these males belong to the Lord. But every first-born donkey you will redeem with an animal from your flocks. If you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. Of your sons, every first-born of men must be redeemed. And when your son asks you in days to come, “What does this mean?” you will tell him, “By sheer power the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the first-born in the land of Egypt, of man and of beast alike. For this I sacrifice to the Lord every male that first issues from the womb, and redeem every first-born of my sons.” The rite will serve as a sign on your hand would serve, or a circlet on your forehead, for the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.’
ResponsoryLk 2:22-24
℟. The parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,* as it stands written in the law of the Lord: ‘Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord.’
℣. They offered to the Lord on his behalf a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons,* as it stands written in the law of the Lord: ‘Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord.’

Second Reading
From the Second Vatican Council's pastoral constitution "Gaudium et spes" on the Church in the modern world

Man's deeper questionings

The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.
  The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.
  Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them, and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.
  Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.
  Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed.
  Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.
  There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.
  But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?
  The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfil his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved.
  So too the Church believes that the centre and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.
  The Church also affirms that underlying all changes there are many things that do not change; they have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.
℟. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin,* so let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
℣. The Lord is good to those who trust him, to the soul that searches for him.* So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray.
Turn our hearts to yourself, eternal Father,
  so that, always seeking the one thing necessary
  and devoting ourselves to works of charity,
  we may worship you in spirit and in truth.
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.

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.

Local calendars

Africa:  Kenya · Madagascar · Nigeria · Southern Africa

Latin America:  Brazil

Asia:  India · Malaysia · Singapore



Europe:  Belarus · Denmark · England · Estonia · Finland · France · Ireland · Italy · Malta · Netherlands · Poland · Scotland · Slovakia · Slovenia · Sweden · Wales

Middle East:  Southern Arabia

New Zealand


United States

Copyright © 1996-2024 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
This web site © Copyright 1996-2024 Universalis Publishing Ltd · Contact us · Cookies/privacy