Saturday 9 December 2023    (other days)
Saturday of the 1st week of Advent 
 or Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin 

Using calendar: England - Middlesbrough. 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.
Amen. Alleluia.

The Advent of our God
  With eager prayers we greet
And singing haste upon the road
  His glorious gift to meet.
The everlasting Son
  Scorns not a Virgin’s womb;
That we from bondage may be won
  He bears a bondsman’s doom.
Daughter of Zion, rise
  To meet thy lowly King;
Let not thy stubborn heart despise
  The peace he deigns to bring.
In clouds of awful light,
  As Judge he comes again,
His scattered people to unite,
  With them in heaven to reign.
Let evil flee away
  Ere that dread hour shall dawn.
Let this old Adam day by day
  God’s image still put on.
Praise to the Incarnate Son,
  Who comes to set us free,
With God the Father, ever One,
  To all eternity.

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 Lord makes his word known to Jacob,
℟. To Israel his laws and decrees.

First ReadingIsaiah 21:6-12 ©

The watchman announces the ruin of Babylon

This is what the Lord has said to me,
‘Go and post the watchman,
and let him report what he sees.
‘If he sees cavalry,
horsemen two by two,
men mounted on camels,
let him observe, closely observe.’
The look-out shouts,
‘On a watchtower, Lord,
I stand all day;
and at my post
I keep guard all night.’
Look, here come the cavalry,
horsemen two by two.
They spoke to me; they said,
‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon,
and all the images of her gods
are shattered on the ground.’
You who are threshed,
you who are winnowed,
what I have learnt
from the Lord of Hosts,
from the God of Israel,
I am telling you now.
Oracle on Edom:
Someone shouts to me from Seir,
‘Watchman, what time of night?
Watchman, what time of night?’
The watchman answers,
‘Morning is coming, then night again.
If you want to, why not ask,
turn round, come back?’
ResponsoryRv 18:2,4-5
℟. The angel cried aloud, Babylon, great Babylon is fallen. And now I heard another voice from heaven say,* Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt.
℣. Her guilt mounts up to heaven: the Lord has kept her sins in remembrance.* Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt.

Second Reading
From a treatise on the value of patience, by St Cyprian

What we do not see, we hope for

Patience is a precept for salvation given us by our Lord our teacher: Whoever endures to the end will be saved. And again: If you persevere in my word, you will truly be my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
  Dear brethren, we must endure and persevere if we are to attain the truth and freedom we have been allowed to hope for; faith and hope are the very meaning of our being Christians, but if faith and hope are to bear their fruit, patience is necessary.
  We do not seek glory now, in the present, but we look for future glory, as Saint Paul instructs us when he says: By hope we were saved. Now hope which is seen is not hope; how can a man hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it in patience. Patient waiting is necessary if we are to be perfected in what we have begun to be, and if we are to receive from God what we hope for and believe.
  In another place the same Apostle instructs and teaches the just, and those active in good works, and those who store up for themselves treasures in heaven through the reward God gives them. They are to be patient also, for he says: Therefore while we have time, let us do good to all, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith. But let us not grow weary in doing good, for we shall reap our reward in due season.
  Paul warns us not to grow weary in good works through impatience, not to be distracted or overcome by temptations and so give up in the midst of our pilgrimage of praise and glory, and allow our past good deeds to count for nothing because what was begun falls short of completion.
  Finally the Apostle, speaking of charity, unites it with endurance and patience. Charity, he says, is always patient and kind; it is not jealous, is not boastful, is not given to anger, does not think evil, loves all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. He shows that charity can be steadfast and persevering because it has learned how to endure all things.
  And in another place he says: Bear with one another lovingly, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He shows that neither unity nor peace can be maintained unless the brethren cherish each other with mutual forbearance and preserve the bond of harmony by means of patience.
℟. He will come in the end, he will not deceive:* wait, he will surely come without delay.
℣. Only a little while now, a very little while, and the One that is coming will have come.* Wait, he will surely come without delay.

Let us pray.
Lord, to free man from his sinful state
  you sent your only Son into this world.
Grant to us who in faith and love wait for his coming
  your gift of grace
  and the reward of true freedom.
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.

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