Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings


  • Thursday 21 May 2020

    Thursday before Ascension Sunday 
    or Saint Christopher Magallanes and his Companions, Martyrs 


    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

    Love’s redeeming work is done,
    fought the fight, the battle won.
    Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
    Lo, he sets in blood no more!

    Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
    Christ has burst the gates of hell;
    death in vain forbids him rise;
    Christ has opened paradise.

    Lives again our victor King;
    where, O death, is now thy sting?
    Dying once, he all doth save;
    where thy victory, O grave?

    Soar we now where Christ has led,
    following our exalted Head;
    made like him, like him we rise,
    ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

    Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
    Praise to thee by both be given:
    thee we greet triumphant now;
    hail, the Resurrection thou!


    ________

    Psalm 43 (44)
    In time of defeat


    “In all these trials, we triumph through the power of him who has shown his love for us” (Rom 8:37).

    It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing. Alleluia.

    We heard with our own ears, O God,
    our fathers have told us the story
    of the things you did in their days,
    you yourself, in days long ago.

    To plant them you uprooted the nations;
    to let them spread you laid peoples low.
    No sword of their own won the land;
    no arm of their own brought them victory.
    It was your right hand, your arm
    and the light of your face; for you loved them.

    It is you, my king, my God,
    who granted victories to Jacob.
    Through you we beat down our foes;
    in your name we trampled down our aggressors.

    For it was not in my bow that I trusted
    nor yet was I saved by my sword:
    it was you who saved us from our foes,
    it was you who put our foes to shame.
    All day long our boast was in God
    and we praised your name without ceasing.

    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.

    It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing. Alleluia.


    ________

    Psalm 43 (44)

    Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.

    Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced us;
    you no longer go forth with our armies.
    You make us retreat from the foe
    and our enemies plunder us at will.

    You make us like sheep for the slaughter
    and scatter us among the nations.
    You sell your own people for nothing
    and make no profit by the sale.

    You make us the taunt of our neighbours,
    the laughing-stock of all who are near.
    Among the nations, you make us a byword,
    among the peoples a thing of derision.

    All day long my disgrace is before me;
    my face is covered with shame
    at the voice of the taunter, the scoffer,
    at the sight of the foe and avenger.

    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.

    Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.


    ________

    Psalm 43 (44)

    Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love. Alleluia.

    This befell us though we had not forgotten you,
    though we had not been false to your covenant,
    though we had not withdrawn our hearts;
    though our feet had not strayed from your path.
    Yet you have crushed us in a place of sorrows
    and covered us with the shadow of death.

    Had we forgotten the name of our God
    or stretched out hands to another god,
    would not God have found this out,
    he who knows the secrets of the heart?
    It is for you that we face death all day long
    and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

    Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep?
    Arise, do not reject us for ever!
    Why do you hide your face
    and forget our oppression and misery?

    For we are brought down low to the dust;
    our body lies prostrate on the earth.
    Stand up and come to our help!
    Redeem us because of your love!

    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.

    Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love. Alleluia.


    Psalm-prayer

    Lord, rise up and come to our aid; with your strong arm lead us to freedom, as you mightily delivered our forefathers. Since you are the king who knows the secrets of our hearts, fill them with the light of truth.


    Or:

    Lord Jesus, you foretold that we would share in the persecutions that brought you to a violent death. The Church formed at the cost of your precious blood is even now conformed to your Passion; may it be transformed, now and eternally, by the power of your resurrection.


    ________

    ℣. Heaven and earth rejoice, O Christ, alleluia.
    ℟. Because you have risen from the dead, alleluia.


    ________


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    1 John 3:1-10
    We are children of God


    Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
    by letting us be called God’s children;
    and that is what we are.
    Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
    therefore it does not acknowledge us.
    My dear people, we are already the children of God
    but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
    all we know is, that when it is revealed
    we shall be like him
    because we shall see him as he really is.

    Surely everyone who entertains this hope
    must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.
    Anyone who sins at all
    breaks the law,
    because to sin is to break the law.
    Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin,
    and that in him there is no sin;
    anyone who lives in God does not sin,
    and anyone who sins
    has never seen him or known him.

    My children, do not let anyone lead you astray:
    to live a holy life
    is to be holy just as he is holy;
    to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil,
    since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
    It was to undo all that the devil has done
    that the Son of God appeared.
    No one who has been begotten by God sins;
    because God’s seed remains inside him,
    he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.

    In this way we distinguish the children of God
    from the children of the devil:
    anybody not living a holy life
    and not loving his brother
    is no child of God’s.


    Responsory
    1 Jn 3:1-2

    ℟. Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us:* not only shall we be called children of God, but we shall truly be his children, alleluia.
    ℣. We know that when our future is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is:* not only shall we be called children of God, but we shall truly be his children, alleluia.


    ________

    Second Reading
    From a sermon of Saint Leo the Great, pope
    Our faith is increased by the Lord's ascension

    At Easter, beloved brethren, it was the Lord’s resurrection which was the cause of our joy; our present rejoicing is on account of his ascension into heaven. With all due solemnity we are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up, in Christ, above all the hosts of heaven, above all the ranks of angels, beyond the highest heavenly powers to the very throne of God the Father. It is upon this ordered structure of divine acts that we have been firmly established, so that the grace of God may show itself still more marvellous when, in spite of the withdrawal from men’s sight of everything that is rightly felt to command their reverence, faith does not fail, hope is not shaken, charity does not grow cold.
    For such is the power of great minds, such is the light of truly believing souls, that they put unhesitating faith in what is not seen with the bodily eye; they fix their desires on what is beyond sight. Such fidelity could never be born in our hearts, nor could anyone be justified by faith, if our salvation lay only in what was visible.
    And so our Redeemer’s visible presence has passed into the sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because sight has been replaced by a doctrine whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high. This faith was increased by the Lord’s ascension and strengthened by the gift of the Spirit; it would remain unshaken by fetters and imprisonment, exile and hunger, fire and ravening beasts, and the most refined tortures ever devised by brutal persecutors. Throughout the world women no less than men, tender girls as well as boys, have given their life’s blood in the struggle for this faith. It is a faith that has driven out devils, healed the sick and raised the dead.
    Even the blessed apostles, though they had been strengthened by so many miracles and instructed by so much teaching, took fright at the cruel suffering of the Lord’s passion and could not accept his resurrection without hesitation. Yet they made such progress through his ascension that they now found joy in what had terrified them before. They were able to fix their minds on Christ’s divinity as he sat at the right hand of his Father, since what was presented to their bodily eyes no longer hindered them from turning all their attention to the realisation that he had not left his Father when he came down to earth, nor had he abandoned his disciples when he ascended into heaven.
    The truth is that the Son of Man was revealed as Son of God in a more perfect and transcendent way once he had entered into his Father’s glory; he now began to be indescribably more present in his divinity to those from whom he was further removed in his humanity. A more mature faith enabled their minds to stretch upward to the Son in his equality with the Father; it no longer needed contact with Christ’s tangible body, in which as man he is inferior to the Father. For while his glorified body retained the same nature, the faith of those who believed in him was now summoned to heights where, as the Father’s equal, the only-begotten Son is reached not by physical handling but by spiritual discernment.


    Responsory

    ℟. We have a high priest who sits at the right of the throne of the Divine Majesty in heaven.* Let us come near to God, then, with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with heart made clean and guilty conscience purified, alleluia.
    ℣. Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise.* Let us come near to God, then, with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with heart made clean and guilty conscience purified, alleluia.


    ________

    Let us pray.

    God the Father,
    you have given a saviour to your people:
    fill our hearts with constant thanks and praise
    that Christ the Lord is risen from the dead.
    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.