Universalis
Saturday 22 June 2024    (other days)
Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs 
 on Saturday of week 11 in Ordinary Time

Using calendar: Australia - Broome. 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.
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 106 (107)
Thanksgiving after rescue

Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his kindness is for ever.
Let them say this, the people the Lord has redeemed,
  those whom he rescued from their enemies
  whom he gathered together from all lands,
  from east and west, from the north and the south.
They wandered through desert and wilderness,
  they could find no way to a city they could dwell in.
Their souls were weary within them,
  weary from hunger and thirst.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He set them on the right path
  towards a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who feeds hungry creatures
  and gives water to the thirsty to drink.
They sat in the darkness and shadow of death,
  imprisoned in chains and in misery,
because they had rebelled against the words of God
  and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He wore out their hearts with labour:
  they were weak, there was no-one to help.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them out of the darkness and shadow of death,
  he shattered their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who shatters doors of bronze,
  who breaks bars of iron.
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.
Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.

Psalm 106 (107)

They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.
The people were sick because they transgressed,
  afflicted because of their sins.
All food was distasteful to them,
  they were on the verge of death.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
  delivered them from their ruin.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
Let them offer a sacrifice of praise
  and proclaim his works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
  those who trade across the great waters –
they have seen the works of the Lord,
  the wonders he performs in the deep.
He spoke, and a storm arose,
  and the waves of the sea rose up.
They rose up as far as the heavens
  and descended down to the depths:
the sailors’ hearts melted from fear,
  they staggered and reeled like drunkards,
  terror drove them out of their minds.
But they cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He turned the storm into a breeze
  and silenced the waves.
They rejoiced at the ending of the storm
  and he led them to the port that they wanted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
let them exalt him in the assembly of the people,
  give him praise in the council of 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.
Amen.
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.

Psalm 106 (107)

The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.
The Lord has turned rivers into wilderness,
  he has made well-watered lands into desert,
  fruitful ground into salty waste
  because of the evil of those who dwelt there.
But he has made wilderness into ponds,
  deserts into the sources of rivers,
he has called together the hungry
  and they have founded a city to dwell in.
They have sowed the fields, planted the vines;
  they grow and harvest their produce.
He has blessed them and they have multiplied;
  he does not let their cattle decrease.
But those others became few and oppressed
  through trouble, evil, and sorrow.
He poured his contempt on their princes
  and set them to wander the trackless waste.
But the poor he has saved from their poverty
  and their families grow numerous as sheep.
The upright shall see, and be glad,
  and all wickedness shall block up its mouth.
Whoever is wise will remember these things
  and understand the mercies of the Lord.
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 upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.

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

First Reading
Judges 16:4-6,16-31

Delilah’s faithlessness and Samson’s death

After this, Samson fell in love with a woman in the Vale of Sorek; she was called Delilah. The chiefs of the Philistines visited her and said to her, ‘Cajole him and find out where his great strength comes from, and how we can master him and bind him and reduce him to helplessness. In return we will each give you eleven hundred silver shekels.’
  Delilah said to Samson, ‘Please tell me where your great strength comes from, and what would be needed to bind you and tame you.’
  And day after day she persisted with her questions, and allowed him no rest, till he grew tired to death of it. At last he told her his whole secret; he said to her, ‘A razor has never touched my head, because I have been God’s nazirite from my mother’s womb. If my head were shorn, then my power would leave me and I should lose my strength and become like any other man.’ Then Delilah realised he had told his whole secret to her; she had the chiefs of the Philistines summoned and given this message, ‘Come just once more: he has told his whole secret to me.’ And the chiefs of the Philistines came to her with the money in their hands. She lulled Samson to sleep in her lap, and summoned a man who sheared the seven locks off his head. Then he began to lose his strength, and his power left him. She cried, ‘The Philistines are on you, Samson!’ He awoke from sleep, thinking, ‘I shall break free as I did before and shake myself clear.’ But he did not know that the Lord had turned away from him. The Philistines seized him, put out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. They fettered him with a double chain of bronze, and he spent his time turning the mill in the prison.
  But the hair that had been shorn off began to grow again.
  The chiefs of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice. They said:
‘Into our hands our god has delivered
Samson our enemy.’
And as soon as the people saw their god, they acclaimed him, shouting his praises:
‘Into our hands our god has delivered
Samson our enemy,
the man who laid our country waste
and killed so many of us.’
And as their hearts were full of joy, they shouted, ‘Send Samson out to amuse us.’ So Samson was brought out of prison, and he performed feats for them; then he was put to stand between the pillars. But Samson said to the boy who was leading him by the hand, ‘Lead me where I can touch the pillars supporting the building, so that I can lean against them.’ Now the building was crowded with men and women. All the chiefs of the Philistines were there, while about three thousand men and women were watching Samson’s feats from the roof. Samson called on the Lord and cried out, ‘Lord, I beg you, remember me; give me strength again this once, and let me be revenged on the Philistines at one blow for my two eyes.’ And Samson put his arms round the two middle pillars supporting the building, and threw all his weight against them, his right arm against one and his left arm against the other; and he cried out, ‘May I die with the Philistines!’ He thrust now with all his might, and the building fell on the chiefs and on all the people there. Those he killed at his death outnumbered those he had killed in his life. His brothers and his father’s whole family came down and carried him away. They took him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had been judge in Israel for twenty years.
Responsory
Ps 43:1-2; Jg 16:28
℟. Defend me, O God, and plead my cause against a godless nation,* for you are my rock, my stronghold.
℣. Remember me, and strengthen me just once again,* for you are my rock, my stronghold.

Second Reading
From a letter written in prison by Saint Thomas More to his daughter Margaret

With good hope I shall commit myself wholly to God

Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness. His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience. God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind towards me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty. In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest. I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God. Either he shall keep the king in that gracious frame of mind to continue to do me no harm, or else, if it be his pleasure that for my other sins I suffer in this case as I shall not deserve, then his grace shall give me the strength to bear it patiently, and perhaps even gladly.
  By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.
  I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help. And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.
  And if he permits me to play Saint Peter further and to fall to the ground and to swear and forswear, may God our Lord in his tender mercy keep me from this, and let me lose if it so happen, and never win thereby! Still, if this should happen, afterwards I trust that in his goodness he will look on me with pity as he did upon Saint Peter, and make me stand up again and confess the truth of my conscience afresh and endure here the shame and harm of my own fault.
  And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost. I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him. And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice. But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy.
  And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.
Responsory
℟. In the midst of their sufferings, these martyrs of Christ fixed their minds on heavenly things, praying:* Lord, help us to bring your work in us to a perfect end, that we may appear blameless in your sight.
℣. Look upon your servants and upon your own handiwork.* Lord, help us to bring your work in us to a perfect end, that we may appear blameless in your sight.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  you set the perfection of true faith in martyrdom.
Strengthen us by the prayers of the martyrs Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More,
  so that our lives may bear witness to the faith we profess.
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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