Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings


  • Thursday 13 February 2020

    Thursday 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.


    ________

    Hymn

    Eternal Father, through your Word
    You gave new life to Adam’s race,
    And call us now to live in light,
    New creatures by your saving grace.

    To you who stooped to all who sin
    We render homage and give praise:
    To Father, Son and Spirit blest
    Whose loving gift is endless days.

    Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

    ________

    Psalm 17 (18)
    Thanksgiving


    “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).

    The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

    As for God, his ways are perfect;
        the word of the Lord, purest gold.
    He indeed is the shield
        of all who make him their refuge.

    For who is God but the Lord?
        Who is a rock but our God?
    the God who girds me with strength
        and makes the path safe before me.

    My feet you made swift as the deer’s;
        you have made me stand firm on the heights.
    You have trained my hands for battle
        and my arms to bend the heavy bow.

    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 word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.


    ________

    Psalm 17 (18)

    Lord, your right hand upheld me.

    You gave me your saving shield;
        you upheld me, trained me with care.
    You gave me freedom for my steps;
        my feet have never slipped.

    I pursued and overtook my foes,
        never turning back till they were slain.
    I smote them so they could not rise;
        they fell beneath my feet.

    You girded me with strength for battle;
        you made my enemies fall beneath me,
    you made my foes take flight;
        those who hated me I destroyed.

    They cried, but there was no one to save them;
        they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
    I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
        trod them down like dirt in the streets.

    You saved me from the feuds of the people
        and put me at the head of the nations.
    People unknown to me served me:
        when they heard of me they obeyed me.

    Foreign nations came to me cringing:
        foreign nations faded away.
        They came trembling out of their strongholds.

    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, your right hand upheld me.


    ________

    Psalm 17 (18)

    Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

    Long life to the Lord, my rock!
        Praised be the God who saves me,
    the God who gives me redress
        and subdues people under me.

    You saved me from my furious foes.
        You set me above my assailants.
    You saved me from violent men,
        so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
        I will sing a psalm to your name.

    He has given great victories to his king
        and shown his love for his anointed,
        for David and his sons for ever.

    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.

    Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.


    Psalm-prayer

    To protect your people, Father, you opened a new passage through the sea. May you be both the road we travel and the peaceful reward at the end of our journey.


    ________

    ℣. Lord, open my eyes.
    ℟. Let me consider the wonders of your law.


    ________

    First Reading
    Galatians 4:8-31
    Divine inheritance and the freedom of the New Covenant

    Once you were ignorant of God, and enslaved to ‘gods’ who are not really gods at all; but now that you have come to acknowledge God – or rather, now that God has acknowledged you – how can you want to go back to elemental things like these, that can do nothing and give nothing, and be their slaves? You and your special days and months and seasons and years! You make me feel I have wasted my time with you.
        Brothers, all I ask is that you should copy me as I copied you. You have never treated me in an unfriendly way before; even at the beginning, when that illness gave me the opportunity to preach the Good News to you, you never showed the least sign of being revolted or disgusted by my disease that was such a trial to you; instead you welcomed me as an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. What has become of this enthusiasm you had? I swear that you would even have gone so far as to pluck out your eyes and give them to me. Is it telling you the truth that has made me your enemy? The blame lies in the way they have tried to win you over: by separating you from me, they want to win you over to themselves. It is always a good thing to win people over – and I do not have to be there with you – but it must be for a good purpose, my children! I must go through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you. I wish I were with you now so that I could know exactly what to say; as it is, I have no idea what to do for the best.
        You want to be subject to the Law? Then listen to what the Law says. It says, if you remember, that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave-girl, and one by his free-born wife. The child of the slave-girl was born in the ordinary way; the child of the free woman was born as the result of a promise. This can be regarded as an allegory: the women stand for the two covenants. The first who comes from Mount Sinai, and whose children are slaves, is Hagar – since Sinai is in Arabia – and she corresponds to the present Jerusalem that is a slave like her children. The Jerusalem above, however, is free and is our mother, since scripture says: Shout for joy, you barren women who bore no children! Break into shouts of joy and gladness, you who were never in labour. For there are more sons of the forsaken one than sons of the wedded wife. Now you, my brothers, like Isaac, are children of the promise, and as at that time the child born in the ordinary way persecuted the child born in the Spirit’s way, so also now. Does not scripture say: Drive away that slave-girl and her son; this slave-girl’s son is not to share the inheritance with the son of the free woman? So, my brothers, we are the children, not of the slave-girl, but of the free-born wife.


    Responsory
    Ga 4:28,31 – 5:1; 2 Co 3:17

    ℟. It is we that are children of the promise, as Isaac was, sons of the free woman, not of the slave.* Freedom is what we have – Christ has set us free!
    ℣. The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.* Freedom is what we have – Christ has set us free!


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    Second Reading
    St Augustine's Exposition on Galatians
    Let Christ take shape within you

    St Paul says, Be like me – who, though I was born a Jew, have learnt through spiritual insight to look down on things of the body – as I have become like you – that is, I am a man.
        Next he very properly reminds them of his love for them, so that they should not think that he is their enemy. My brethren, hear me: you have never done me harm – implying, ‘do not therefore think that I mean to do you any harm’.
        My children, he adds – so that they should imitate him as they would imitate a parent. I must go through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you. Now he speaks more in the person of the Church, their mother, for as he says elsewhere, I was gentle and unassuming, like a nurse feeding and looking after her children.
        Christ takes shape in a believer through the faith that is in his inmost soul. Such a believer, gentle and humble of heart, is called to the freedom of grace. He does not boast of the merit he gains from good works, for they are worth nothing. It is grace itself that is the beginning of merit, so that Christ, who said in so far as you did this to one of the least of these, you did it to me can call the believer the ‘least’ part of himself. Thus Christ is formed within the believer who accepts the form of Christ, who comes close to Christ by means of spiritual love.
        Therefore the believer who imitates Christ becomes (as far as he is permitted) the same as Christ whom he imitates. Whoever claims to abide in Christ, says John, must walk as Christ himself walked.
        Human beings are conceived and given shape by their mothers, and once they have taken shape, their mothers go into labour and give them birth; so we may wonder what is meant by I must go through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you. We can take the birth-pangs as meaning the anxiety he felt over them, that they should be born in Christ; or again, that he is suffering because he sees them surrounded by dangers that could lead them astray. The care and worry he feels, which he compares to the pangs of giving birth, may last until they are fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself, not tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine.
        Hence it is not about the beginnings of faith that St Paul is speaking, the faith by which they were born, but about the strengthening and perfecting of that faith: I must go through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you. Elsewhere he talks of the same labour in other words: My anxiety for all the churches. When any man has had scruples, I have had scruples with him; when any man is made to fall, I am tortured.


    Responsory

    ℟. We are to follow the truth in a spirit of charity;* so may we grow in all ways into Christ, who is the Head.
    ℣. The path of the just grows ever brighter, like the light of dawn opening out into full day;* so may we grow in all ways into Christ, who is the Head.


    ________

    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.