Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Arch Bishop Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Office Readings


  • Friday 17 January 2020

    Saint Antony, Abbot
     on Friday of week 1 in Ordinary Time


    Office of Readings


    Introduction (without Invitatory)

    If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, use the version with the Invitatory Psalm instead.


    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

    In ancient times God spoke to us
    Through prophets, and in varied ways,
    But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
    His radiance through eternal days.

    To God the Father of the world,
    His Son through whom he made all things,
    And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
    All glad creation glory sings.

    Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

    ________

    Psalm 34 (35)
    The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution


    “They united in making plans to arrest Jesus by treachery and have him put to death” (Mt 26:3,4).

    O Lord, arise to help me.

    O Lord, plead my cause against my foes;
        fight those who fight me.
    Take up your buckler and shield;
        arise to help me.

    O Lord, say to my soul:
        ‘I am your salvation.’

    But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord
        and rejoice in his salvation.
    My whole being will say:
        ‘Lord, who is like you
    who rescue the weak from the strong
        and the poor from the oppressor?’

    Lying witnesses arise
        and accuse me unjustly.
    They repay me evil for good;
        my soul is forlorn.

    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.

    O Lord, arise to help me.


    ________

    Psalm 34 (35)

    Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.

    When they were sick I went into mourning,
        afflicted with fasting.
    My prayer was ever on my lips,
        as for a brother, a friend.
    I went as though mourning a mother,
        bowed down with grief.

    Now that I am in trouble they gather,
        they gather and mock me.
    They take me by surprise and strike me
        and tear me to pieces.
    They provoke me with mockery on mockery
        and gnash their teeth.

    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.

    Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.


    ________

    Psalm 34 (35)

    My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

    O Lord, how long will you look on?
        Come to my rescue!
    Save my life from these raging beasts,
        my soul from these lions.
    I will thank you in the great assembly,
        amid the throng I will praise you.

    Do not let my lying foes
        rejoice over me.
    Do not let those who hate me unjustly
        wink eyes at each other.

    O Lord, you have seen, do not be silent,
        do not stand afar off!
    Awake, stir to my defence,
        to my cause, O God!

    Let there be joy for those who love my cause.
        Let them say without end:
    ‘Great is the Lord who delights
        in the peace of his servant.’
    Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,
        all day long of your praise.

    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.

    My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.


    Psalm-prayer

    Lord, you rescue the poor from their oppressors, and you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life. Look on your Church as we journey to you, that the poor and weak may recognize the help you provide and proclaim your saving acts.


    ________

    ℣. My son, keep my words.
    ℟. Keep my commandments, and live.


    ________

    First Reading
    Ecclesiasticus 43:14-37
    Praise of God in his creation


    By his command the Lord sends the snow,
        he speeds the lightning as he orders.
    In the same way, his treasuries open
        and the clouds fly out like birds.
    In his great might he banks up the clouds,
        and shivers them into fragments of hail.
    At sight of him the mountains rock,
        at the roar of his thunder the earth writhes in labour.
    At his will the south wind blows,
        or the storm from the north and the whirlwind.
    He sprinkles snow like birds alighting,
        it comes down like locusts settling.
    The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness,
        and the mind is amazed at its falling.
    The cold wind blows from the north,
        and ice forms on the water,
    settling on every watery expanse,
        and water puts it on like a breastplate.
    He swallows up the mountains and scorches the desert,
        like a fire he consumes the vegetation.
    But the mist heals everything in good time,
        after the heat falls the reviving dew.
    By his own resourcefulness he has tamed the abyss,
        and planted it with islands.
    Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers,
        their accounts fill our ears with amazement:
    for there too there are strange and wonderful works,
        animals of every kind and huge sea creatures.
    Thanks to him all ends well,
        and all things hold together by means of his word.
    We could say much more and still fall short;
        to put it concisely, ‘He is all.’
    Where shall we find sufficient power to glorify him,
        since he is the Great One, above all his works,
    the awe-inspiring Lord, stupendously great,
        and wonderful in his power?
    Exalt the Lord in your praises
        as high as you may – still he surpasses you.
    Exert all your strength when you exalt him,
        do not grow tired – you will never come to the end.
    Who has ever seen him to give a description?
        Who can glorify him as he deserves?
    Many mysteries remain even greater than these,
        for we have seen only a few of his works,
    the Lord himself having made all things –
        and having given wisdom to devout men.


    Responsory

    ℟. Praise the God of heaven for all men to hear,* and thank him for the mercy he has shown you.
    ℣. Worship him, sing his praise, tell of all his marvellous works,* and thank him for the mercy he has shown you.


    ________

    Second Reading
    From the Life of Saint Antony by Saint Athanasius, bishop
    Saint Antony receives his vocation

    When Antony was about eighteen or twenty years old, his parents died, leaving him with an only sister. He cared for her as she was very young, and also looked after their home.
        Not six months after his parents’ death, as he was on his way to church for his usual visit, he began to think of how the apostles had left everything and followed the Saviour, and also of those mentioned in the book of Acts who had sold their possessions and brought the apostles the money for distribution to the needy. He reflected too on the great hope stored up in heaven for such as these. This was all in his mind when, entering the church just as the Gospel was being read, he heard the Lord’s words to the rich man: If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor – you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.
        It seemed to Antony that it was God who had brought the saints to his mind and that the words of the Gospel had been spoken directly to him. Immediately he left the church and gave away to the villagers all the property he had inherited, about 200 acres of very beautiful and fertile land, so that it would cause no distraction to his sister and himself. He sold all his other possessions as well, giving to the poor the considerable sum of money he collected. However, to care for his sister he retained a few things.
        The next time he went to church he heard the Lord say in the Gospel: Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Without a moment’s hesitation he went out and gave the poor all that he had left. He placed his sister in the care of some well-known and trustworthy virgins and arranged for her to be brought up in the convent. Then he gave himself up to the ascetic life, not far from his own home. He kept a careful watch over himself and practised great austerity. He did manual work because he had heard the words: If anyone will not work, do not let him eat. He spent some of his earnings on bread and the rest he gave to the poor.
        Having learned that we should always be praying, even when we are by ourselves, he prayed without ceasing. Indeed, he was so attentive when Scripture was read that nothing escaped him and because he retained all he heard, his memory served him in place of books.
        Seeing the kind of life he lived, the villagers and all the good men he knew called him the friend of God, and they loved him as both son and brother.


    Responsory

    ℟. If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;* then come, follow me.
    ℣. None of you can be my disciple unless he give up all his possessions;* then come, follow me.


    ________

    Let us pray.

    Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Antony
        the grace of serving you in the wilderness.
    Grant that through his intercession
        we may deny ourselves and love you above all things.
    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.


    Copyright © 1996-2020 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. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd.  All rights reserved.