Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings


  • Tuesday 11 February 2020

    Tuesday of week 5 in Ordinary Time
     or Our Lady of Lourdes


    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.


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    Hymn

    Worship, glory, praise and honour
    To our God, high-throned above:
    We, with many generations
    Join to praise thy name of love.

    In the scriptures, by the Spirit,
    May we see the Saviour’s face,
    Hear his word and heed his calling,
    Know his will and grow in grace.


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    Psalm 9B (10)
    Thanksgiving


    “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20).

    The Lord will protect the rights of the oppressed.

    Lord, why do you stand afar off
        and hide yourself in times of distress?
    The poor man is devoured by the pride of the wicked:
        he is caught in the schemes that others have made.

    For the wicked man boasts of his heart’s desires;
        the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.
    In his pride the wicked says: ‘He will not punish.
        There is no God.’ Such are his thoughts.

    His path is ever untroubled;
        your judgement is far from his mind.
        His enemies he regards with contempt.
    He thinks: ‘Never shall I falter:
        misfortune shall never be my lot.’

    His mouth is full of cursing, guile, oppression,
        mischief and deceit under his tongue.
    He lies in wait among the reeds;
        the innocent he murders in secret.

    His eyes are on the watch for the helpless man.
        He lurks in hiding like a lion in his lair;
    he lurks in hiding to seize the poor;
        he seizes the poor man and drags him away.

    He crouches, preparing to spring,
        and the helpless fall beneath his strength.
    He thinks in his heart: ‘God forgets,
        he hides his face, he does not see.’

    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 Lord will protect the rights of the oppressed.


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    Psalm 9B (10)

    Lord, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.

    Arise then, Lord, lift up your hand!
        O God, do not forget the poor!
    Why should the wicked spurn the Lord
        and think in his heart: ‘He will not punish’?

    But you have seen the trouble and sorrow,
        you note it, you take it in hand.
    The helpless trusts himself to you;
        for you are the helper of the orphan.

    Break the power of the wicked and the sinner!
        Punish his wickedness till nothing remains!
    The Lord is king for ever and ever.
        The heathen shall perish from the land he rules.

    Lord, you hear the prayer of the poor;
        you strengthen their hearts; you turn your ear
    to protect the rights of the orphan and oppressed:
        so that mortal man may strike terror no more.

    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, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.


    Psalm-prayer

    Rise up, Lord, in defence of your people; do not hide your face from our troubles. Father of orphans, wealth of the poor, we rejoice in making you known; may we find comfort and security in times of pain and anxiety.


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    Psalm 11 (12)
    A prayer against the proud


    “The Father deigned to send his Son for the sake of us, the poor” (St Augustine).

    The words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

    Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished;
        truth has gone from the sons of men.
    Falsehood they speak one to another,
        with lying lips, with a false heart.

    May the Lord destroy all lying lips,
        the tongue that speaks high-sounding words,
    those who say: ‘Our tongue is our strength;
        our lips are our own, who is our master?’

    ‘For the poor who are oppressed and the needy who groan
        I myself will arise,’ says the Lord,
        ‘I will grant them the salvation for which they thirst.’

    The words of the Lord are words without alloy,
        silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

    It is you, O Lord, who will take us in your care
        and protect us for ever from this generation.
    See how the wicked prowl on every side,
        while the worthless are prized highly by the sons of men.

    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 words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.


    Psalm-prayer

    Your light is true light, Lord, and your truth shines like the day. Direct us to salvation through your life-giving words. May we be saved by always embracing your word.


    ________

    ℣. The Lord guides his humble in the right path.
    ℟. He teaches his way to the poor.


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    First Reading
    Galatians 2:11-3:14
    The just will live by faith

    When Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision. The other Jews joined him in this pretence, and even Barnabas felt himself obliged to copy their behaviour.
        When I saw they were not respecting the true meaning of the Good News, I said to Cephas in front of everyone, ‘In spite of being a Jew, you live like the pagans and not like the Jews, so you have no right to make the pagans copy Jewish ways.’
        Though we were born Jews and not pagan sinners, we acknowledge that what makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law, but faith in Jesus Christ. We had to become believers in Christ Jesus no less than you had, and now we hold that faith in Christ rather than fidelity to the Law is what justifies us, and that no one can be justified by keeping the Law. Now if we were to admit that the result of looking to Christ to justify us is to make us sinners like the rest, it would follow that Christ had induced us to sin, which would be absurd. If I were to return to a position I had already abandoned, I should be admitting I had done something wrong. In other words, through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in this body I live in faith: faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake. I cannot bring myself to give up God’s gift: if the Law can justify us, there is no point in the death of Christ.
        Are you people in Galatia mad? Has someone put a spell on you, in spite of the plain explanation you have had of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Let me ask you one question: was it because you practised the Law that you received the Spirit, or because you believed what was preached to you? Are you foolish enough to end in outward observances what you began in the Spirit? Have all the favours you received been wasted? And if this were so, they would most certainly have been wasted. Does God give you the Spirit so freely and work miracles among you because you practise the Law, or because you believed what was preached to you?
        Take Abraham for example: he put his faith in God, and this faith was considered as justifying him. Don’t you see that it is those who rely on faith who are the sons of Abraham? Scripture foresaw that God was going to use faith to justify the pagans, and proclaimed the Good News long ago when Abraham was told: In you all the pagans will be blessed. Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.
        On the other hand, those who rely on the keeping of the Law are under a curse, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in observing everything prescribed in the book of the Law. The Law will not justify anyone in the sight of God, because we are told: the righteous man finds life through faith. The Law is not even based on faith, since we are told: The man who practises these precepts finds life through practising them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a tree. This was done so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans, and so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.


    Responsory
    Ga 2:16,21

    ℟. It is through faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law, that a man is justified.* We, like anyone else, had to learn to believe in Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by faith, not by observance of the law.
    ℣. If we can be justified through the law, then Christ’s death was needless.* We, like anyone else, had to learn to believe in Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by faith, not by observance of the law.


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    Second Reading
    From a homily on Genesis by Origen
    The sacrifice of Abraham

    Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife. Then the two of them set out together. Isaac himself carries the wood for his own holocaust: this is a figure of Christ. For Christ carried the burden of the cross himself, and yet to carry the wood for the holocaust is really the duty of the priest. So Christ is then both victim and priest. This is the meaning of the expression: they set out together. For when Abraham, who was to perform the sacrifice, carried the fire and the knife, Isaac did not walk behind him, but with him. In this way he showed that he exercised the priesthood equally with Abraham.
        What happened next? Isaac spoke to his father Abraham, ‘Father’ he said. This plea from the son was at that instant the voice of temptation. For do you not think the voice of the son who was about to be sacrificed struck a responsive chord in the heart of the father? Although Abraham did not waver because of his faith, he responded with a voice full of affection: ‘Yes, my son’ he replied. ‘Look,’ said Isaac, ‘here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘My son, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering’.
        The careful yet loving response of Abraham moves me greatly. I do not know what he saw in spirit, because he did not speak of the present but of the future: God himself will provide the lamb. His son asks what is to happen now, but Abraham’s reply concerns the future. Indeed the Lord himself provided a lamb, in Christ.
        Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ Abraham replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God’. Compare this to what St Paul says when he speaks of God: He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. God emulates man with magnificent generosity. Abraham offered to God his mortal son who did not die; God gave up his immortal Son who died for all of us.
        Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. We said before that Isaac is a type of Christ. Yet this also seems true of the ram. It is worth understanding how both are figures of Christ – Isaac who was not killed and the ram which was. Christ is the Word of God, but the Word became flesh.
        Christ therefore suffered, but in the flesh. Christ, the bodily Christ, endured death; and the ram signifies that body and that death. As John said: Behold the lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. The Word, on the other hand, remained incorruptible. This is Christ according to the spirit, and Isaac signifies that spirit. Therefore, Christ himself is both victim and priest according to the spirit. For he offers the victim to the Father according to the flesh, and he is himself offered on the altar of the cross.


    Responsory

    ℟. They took charge of Jesus, and led him out;* carrying his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to the place of the skull.
    ℣. Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and loaded it on Isaac, his son.* Carrying his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to the place of the skull.


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    Let us pray.

    Guard your family, Lord,
        with constant loving care,
    for in your divine grace
        we place our only hope.
    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.


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    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.