Universalis
Tuesday 7 December 2021    (other days)
Saint Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor 
 on Tuesday of the 2nd week of Advent

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 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 36 (37)
The fate of the evil and the righteous

Commit your life to the Lord, and he will act on your behalf.
Do not envy the wicked;
  do not be jealous of those that do evil.
They will dry up as quickly as hay;
  they will wither like the grass.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good,
  and your land and habitation will be secure.
Take your delight in the Lord,
  and he will give you what your heart desires.
Entrust your journey to the Lord, and hope in him:
  and he will act.
He will make your uprightness shine like the light,
  your judgement like the sun at noon.
Take your rest in the Lord, and hope in him:
  do not envy the one who thrives in his own way,
  the man who weaves plots.
Abstain from wrath, abandon anger:
  do not envy him who turns to evil,
for those who do evil will be destroyed,
  but those on the side of the Lord
  will inherit the earth.
A moment yet – and the sinner will be gone:
  you will look where he was and find nothing.
But the meek will inherit the land
  and delight in abundant peace.
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.
Commit your life to the Lord, and he will act on your behalf.

Psalm 36 (37)

Turn away from evil and do good: the Lord will support the just.
The wicked will plot against the righteous
  and gnash his teeth at him;
but the Lord will deride him in his turn,
  for the Lord has seen what awaits him.
The wicked have pulled out their swords,
  the wicked have drawn their bows,
to throw down the poor and the destitute,
  to murder whoever follows the straight path.
But their swords will enter their own hearts,
  and their bows will splinter.
For the righteous, the little they have is better
  than the abundant wealth of the wicked.
The limbs of the wicked will be broken
  while the Lord gives his strength to the just.
The Lord knows when the day of the perfect will come;
  and their inheritance will be eternal.
They will not be troubled in evil times,
  and in times of famine they will have more than enough.
For the wicked will perish:
  the enemies of the Lord will be like the flowers of the fields,
  and like smoke they will vanish away.
The wicked man borrows and does not return;
  but the righteous takes pity and gives.
The blessed ones of the Lord will inherit the earth,
  but those whom he curses will be cut off.
It is the Lord who strengthens the steps of man
  and chooses his path.
Even if he trips he will not fall flat,
  for the Lord is holding his hand.
I was young and I have grown old,
  but I have not seen the righteous man abandoned
  nor his children seeking for bread.
All day long he takes pity and lends,
  and his seed will be blessed.
Shun evil and do good,
  and you will live for ever.
For the Lord loves right judgement,
  and will not abandon his chosen ones.
The unjust will be destroyed for ever,
  and the seed of the wicked will be cut off,
but the righteous will inherit the earth
  and live there from age to age.
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.
Turn away from evil and do good: the Lord will support the just.

Psalm 36 (37)

Wait for the Lord, keep to his way.
The mouth of the righteous will speak wisdom,
  and his tongue will utter right judgement.
The law of his God is in his heart
  and his steps will not stumble.
The wicked man watches the just
  and seeks to kill him;
but the Lord will rescue the just man from his hands
  and not condemn the just in the time of judgement.
Put your hope in the Lord and follow his paths,
  and he will raise you up and make the land your inheritance,
  let you watch as the wicked are cut off.
I have seen the sinner triumph,
  flourish like a green cedar,
but he is gone, he is there no longer:
  I have looked for him but have not found him.
Preserve innocence, follow uprightness:
  for the future belongs to the man of peace.
The unrighteous will be destroyed altogether,
  their posterity will be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,
  and their protection in time of trouble.
The Lord will come to their help and free them,
  rescue them from the wicked and save them,
  because they have put their trust in him.
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.
Wait for the Lord, keep to his way.

℣. You will hear the word from my mouth.
℟. You will speak to them in my name.

First Reading
Isaiah 24:19-25:5 ©

The kingdom of God. Thanksgiving

Yes, the sluice-gates above will open,
and the foundations of the earth will rock.
The earth will split into fragments,
the earth will be riven and rent.
The earth will shiver and shake,
the earth will stagger like a drunkard,
sway like a shanty;
so heavy will be its sin on it, it will fall
never to rise again.
That day, the Lord will punish
above, the armies of the sky,
below, the kings of the earth;
they will be herded together,
shut up in a dungeon,
confined in a prison
and, after long years, punished.
The moon will hide her face, the sun be ashamed,
for the Lord of Hosts will be king
on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem,
and his glory will shine in the presence of his elders.
O Lord, you are my God,
I extol you, I praise your name;
for you have carried out your excellent design,
long planned, trustworthy, true.
For you have made the town a heap of stones,
the fortified city a ruin.
The citadel of the proud is a city no longer,
it will never be rebuilt.
Hence a mighty people gives you glory,
the city of pitiless nations holds you in awe;
for you are a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in distress,
a shelter from the storm,
a shade from the heat;
while the breath of pitiless men
is like the winter storm.
Like drought in a dry land
you will repress the clamour of the proud;
like heat by the shadow of a cloud
the singing of the despots will be subdued.
ResponsoryIs 25:1,4
℟. O Lord, you are my God, I will exalt you.* I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things.
℣. You have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in their distress.* I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things.

Second Reading
A letter of St Ambrose

You win the people over with the grace of your words

You have entered upon the office of bishop. Sitting at the helm of the Church, you pilot the ship against the waves. Take firm hold of the rudder of faith so that the severe storms of this world cannot disturb you. The sea is mighty and vast, but do not be afraid, for as Scripture says: he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
  The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church’s foundation is unshakeable and firm against the assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbour of salvation for all in distress. Although the Church is tossed about on the sea, it rides easily on rivers, especially those rivers that Scripture speaks of: The rivers have lifted up their voice. These are the rivers flowing from the heart of the man who is given drink by Christ and who receives from the Spirit of God. When these rivers overflow with the grace of the Spirit, they lift up their voice.
  There is also a stream which flows down on God’s saints like a torrent. There is also a rushing river giving joy to the heart that is at peace and makes for peace. Whoever has received from the fullness of this river, like John the Evangelist, like Peter and Paul, lifts up his voice. Just as the apostles lifted up their voices and preached the Gospel throughout the world, so those who drink these waters begin to preach the good news of the Lord Jesus.
  Drink, then, from Christ, so that your voice may also be heard. Store up in your mind the water that is Christ, the water that praises the Lord. Store up water from many sources, the water that rains down from the clouds of prophecy.
  Whoever gathers water from the mountains and leads it to himself or draws it from springs, is himself a source of dew like the clouds. Fill your soul, then, with this water, so that your land may not be dry, but watered by your own springs.
  He who reads much and understands much, receives his fill. He who is full, refreshes others. So Scripture says: If the clouds are full, they will pour rain upon the earth.
  Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that in your exhortations you may charm the ears of your people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership. Let your sermons be full of understanding. Solomon says: The weapons of the understanding are the lips of the wise; and in another place he says: Let your lips be bound with wisdom. That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. See that your addresses and expositions do not need to invoke the authority of others, but let your words be their own defence. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning.
Responsory
℟. Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it; refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience,* but do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires.
℣. Who else can boast such deeds as yours, who anointed kings for repentance?* But do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you made Saint Ambrose
  a teacher of the Catholic faith
  and a pattern of apostolic fortitude.
Raise up in the church today
  men after your own heart
  to lead your people with wisdom and strength.
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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