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

Office Readings


  • Wednesday 12 February 2020

    Wednesday of week 5 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.


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    Hymn

    Bright as fire in darkness,
    Sharper than a sword,
    Lives throughout the ages
    God’s eternal word.

    Father, Son and Spirit,
    Trinity of might,
    Compassed in your glory,
    Give the world your light.

    Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

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    Psalm 17 (18)
    Thanksgiving for salvation and victory


    “A great earthquake took place at that time” (Rev 11:13).

    I love you, Lord, my strength.

    I love you, Lord, my strength,
        my rock, my fortress, my saviour.
    My God is the rock where I take refuge;
        my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.
    The Lord is worthy of all praise,
        when I call I am saved from my foes.

    The waves of death rose about me;
        the torrents of destruction assailed me;
    the snares of the grave entangled me;
        the traps of death confronted me.

    In my anguish I called to the Lord;
        I cried to God for help.
    From his temple he heard my voice;
        my cry came to his ears.

    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.

    I love you, Lord, my strength.


    ________

    Psalm 17 (18)

    The Lord saved me because he loved me.

    Then the earth reeled and rocked;
        the mountains were shaken to their base:
        they reeled at his terrible anger.
    Smoke came forth from his nostrils
        and scorching fire from his mouth:
        coals were set ablaze by its heat.

    He lowered the heavens and came down,
        a black cloud under his feet.
    He came enthroned on the cherubim,
        he flew on the wings of the wind.

    He made the darkness his covering,
        the dark waters of the clouds, his tent.
    A brightness shone out before him
        with hailstones and flashes of fire.

    The Lord thundered in the heavens;
        the Most High let his voice be heard.
    He shot his arrows, scattered the foe,
        flashed his lightnings and put them to flight.

    The bed of the ocean was revealed;
        the foundations of the world were laid bare
    at the thunder of your threat, O Lord,
        at the blast of the breath of your anger.

    From on high he reached down and seized me;
        he drew me forth from the mighty waters.
    He snatched me from my powerful foe,
        from my enemies whose strength I could not match.

    They assailed me in the day of my misfortune,
        but the Lord was my support.
    He brought me forth into freedom,
        he saved me because he loved me.

    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 saved me because he loved me.


    ________

    Psalm 17 (18)

    You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

    He rewarded me because I was just,
        repaid me, for my hands were clean,
    for I have kept the way of the Lord,
        and have not fallen away from my God.

    For his judgements are all before me:
        I have never neglected his commands.
    I have always been upright before him;
        I have kept myself from guilt.

    He repaid me because I was just
        and my hands were clean in his eyes.
    You are loving with those who love you:
        you show yourself perfect with the perfect.

    With the sincere you show yourself sincere,
        but the cunning you outdo in cunning.
    For you save a humble people
        but humble the eyes that are proud.

    You, O Lord, are my lamp,
        my God who lightens my darkness.
    With you I can break through any barrier,
        with my God I can scale any wall.

    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.

    You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.


    Psalm-prayer

    To show your great love for us, Father, you freed your Chosen One from the waves of death and established him head of the human race. Judge us by the sincerity of your Son that your strength may support us and our lives may remain blameless in your ways.


    ________

    ℣. All wondered at these gracious words.
    ℟. They marvelled at what the Lord was saying.


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    First Reading
    Galatians 3:15-4:7
    Concerning the gift of the Law

    Consider, brothers, what happens in ordinary life. If a will has been drawn up in due form, no one is allowed to disregard it or add to it. Now the promises were addressed to Abraham and to his descendants – notice, in passing, that scripture does not use a plural word as if there were several descendants, it uses the singular: to his posterity, which is Christ. But my point is this: once God had expressed his will in due form, no law that came four hundred and thirty years later could cancel that and make the promise meaningless. If you inherit something as a legal right, it does not come to you as the result of a promise, and it was precisely in the form of a promise that God made his gift to Abraham.
        What then was the purpose of adding the Law? This was done to specify crimes, until the posterity came to whom the promise was addressed. The Law was promulgated by angels, assisted by an intermediary. Now there can only be an intermediary between two parties, yet God is one. Does this mean that there is opposition between the Law and the promises of God? Of course not. We could have been justified by the Law if the Law we were given had been capable of giving life, but it is not: scripture makes no exceptions when it says that sin is master everywhere. In this way the promise can only be given through faith in Jesus Christ and can only be given to those who have this faith.
        Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The Law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised.
        Let me put this another way: an heir, even if he has actually inherited everything, is no different from a slave for as long as he remains a child. He is under the control of guardians and administrators until he reaches the age fixed by his father. Now before we came of age we were as good as slaves to the elemental principles of this world, but when the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.


    Responsory
    Ga 3:27-28; Ep 4:24

    ℟. All you who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ. There is no such thing as Jew and Greek,* for you are all one person in Jesus Christ.
    ℣. You must be clothed in the new self, which is created in God’s image, justified and sanctified through the truth,* for you are all one person in Jesus Christ.


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    Second Reading
    From a letter by Saint Ambrose, bishop
    We are heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ

    The person who puts to death by the Spirit the deeds of our sinful nature will live, says the Apostle. This is not surprising since one who has the Spirit of God becomes a child of God. So true is it that he is a child of God that he receives not a spirit that enslaves but the Spirit that makes us sons. So much so that the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are sons of God. This is the witness of the Holy Spirit: he cries out in our hearts, Abba, Father, as we read in the letter to the Galatians.
        There is also that other great testimony to the fact that we are sons of God: we are heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ. A co-heir of Christ is one who is glorified along with Christ. The one who is glorified along with him is one who, by suffering for him, suffers along with him.
        To encourage us in suffering, Paul adds that all our sufferings are small in comparison with the wonderful reward that will be revealed in us; our labours do not deserve the blessings that are to come. We shall be restored to the likeness of God, and counted worthy of seeing him face to face.
        He enhances the greatness of the revelation that is to come by adding that creation also looks forward to this revealing of the sons of God. Creation, he says, is at present condemned to frustration, not of its own choice, but it lives in hope. Its hope is in Christ, as it awaits the grace of his ministry; or it hopes that it will share in the glorious freedom of the sons of God and be freed from its bondage to corruption, so that there will be one freedom, shared by creation and by the sons of God when their glory will be revealed.
        At present, however, while this revealing is delayed, all creation groans as it looks forward to the glory of adoption and redemption; it is already in labour with that spirit of salvation, and is anxious to be freed from its subjection to frustration.
        The meaning is clear: those who have the first fruits of the Spirit are groaning in the expectation of the adoption of sons. This adoption of sons is that of the whole body of creation, when it will be as it were a son of God and see the divine, eternal goodness face to face. The adoption of sons is present in the Church of the Lord when the Spirit calls out: Abba, Father, as you read in the letter to the Galatians. But it will be perfect when all who are worthy of seeing the face of God rise in incorruption, in honour and in glory. Then our humanity will know that it has been truly redeemed. So Paul glories in saying: We are saved by hope. Hope saves, just as faith does, for of faith it is said: Your faith has saved you.


    Responsory

    ℟. We are heirs of God and fellow-heirs of Christ,* provided we share his sufferings so as to share his glory.
    ℣. Since we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from God’s anger,* provided we share his sufferings so as to share his glory.


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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.


    ________

    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.