Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings


  • Friday 22 May 2020

    Friday before Ascension Sunday 
    or Saint Rita of Cascia 


    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 37 (38)
    The plea of a sinner in great peril


    “All his friends stood at a distance” (Lk 23:49).

    Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

    O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;
    do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
    Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
    your hand has come down upon me.

    Through your anger all my body is sick:
    through my sin, there is no health in my limbs.
    My guilt towers higher than my head;
    it is a weight too heavy to bear.

    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.

    Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.


    ________

    Psalm 37 (38)

    O Lord, you know all my longing. Alleluia.

    My wounds are foul and festering,
    the result of my own folly.
    I am bowed and brought to my knees.
    I go mourning all the day long.

    All my frame burns with fever;
    all my body is sick.
    Spent and utterly crushed,
    I cry aloud in anguish of heart.

    O Lord, you know all my longing:
    my groans are not hidden from you.
    My heart throbs, my strength is spent;
    the very light has gone from my eyes.

    My friends avoid me like a leper;
    those closest to me stand afar off.
    Those who plot against my life lay snares;
    those who seek my ruin speak of harm,
    planning treachery all the day long.

    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, you know all my longing. Alleluia.


    ________

    Psalm 37 (38)

    I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour. Alleluia.

    But I am like the deaf who cannot hear,
    like the dumb unable to speak.
    I am like a man who hears nothing
    in whose mouth is no defence.

    I count on you, O Lord:
    it is you, Lord God, who will answer.
    I pray: ‘Do not let them mock me,
    those who triumph if my foot should slip.’

    For I am on the point of falling
    and my pain is always before me.
    I confess that I am guilty
    and my sin fills me with dismay.

    My wanton enemies are numberless
    and my lying foes are many.
    They repay me evil for good
    and attack me for seeking what is right.

    O Lord, do not forsake me!
    My God, do not stay afar off!
    Make haste and come to my help,
    O Lord, my God, my saviour!

    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 confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour. Alleluia.


    Psalm-prayer

    Do not abandon us, Lord our God; you did not forget the broken body of your Christ, nor the mockery his love received. We, your children, are weighed down with sin; give us the fullness of your mercy.


    ________

    ℣. God has given us a new birth and a living hope, alleluia.
    ℟. By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, alleluia.


    ________


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    1 John 3:11-17
    Love towards brothers


    This is the message
    as you heard it from the beginning:
    that we are to love one another;
    not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One
    and cut his brother’s throat;
    cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason,
    that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
    You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you;
    we have passed out of death and into life,
    and of this we can be sure
    because we love our brothers.
    If you refuse to love, you must remain dead;
    to hate your brother is to be a murderer,
    and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
    This has taught us love –
    that he gave up his life for us;
    and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
    If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods
    saw that one of his brothers was in need,
    but closed his heart to him,
    how could the love of God be living in him?


    Responsory
    1 Jn 3:16,14

    ℟. This has taught us what love is: Christ gave up his life for us,* and we ought to give up our lives for our brothers, alleluia.
    ℣. We have passed out of death and into life and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers,* and we ought to give up our lives for our brothers, alleluia.


    ________

    Second Reading
    St Augustine's homilies on St John's gospel
    The two lives

    There are two ways of life that God has commended to the Church. One is through faith, the other is through vision. One is in pilgrimage through a foreign land, the other is in our eternal home; one in labour, the other in repose; one in a journey to our homeland, the other in that land itself; one in action, the other in the fruits of contemplation.
    The first life, the life of action, is personified by the Apostle Peter; the contemplative life, by John. The first life is passed here on earth until the end of time, when it reaches its completion; the second is not fulfilled until the end of the world, but in the world to come it lasts for ever. For this reason Peter is told “Follow me”, but Jesus adds, “If I want John to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me”.
    You are to follow me by imitating me in the enduring suffering; he is to remain till I come to restore the blessings that last for ever. To put it more clearly: let action, which is complete in itself, follow me and follow the example of my passion; but let contemplation, which has only begun, remain until I come, wait until the moment of its completion.
    It is the fullness of patience to follow Christ loyally even to death; the fullness of knowledge lies in wait until Christ comes again, when it will be revealed and made manifest. The ills of this world are endured in the land of the dying; the good gifts of God will be revealed in the land of the living.
    We should not understand “I want him to stay behind until I come” as meaning to remain permanently but rather to wait: what is signified by John will not be fulfilled now, but it will be fulfilled, when Christ comes. On the other hand, what is signified by Peter, to whom Jesus says “follow me”, must be realised now or it will never be fulfilled.
    But we should not separate these great apostles. They were both part of the present life symbolized by Peter and they were both part of the future life symbolized by John. Considered as symbols, Peter followed Christ and John remained; but in their living faith both endured the evils of the present life and both looked forward to the future blessings of the coming life of joy.
    It is not they alone that do this but the whole of the holy Church, the bride of Christ, who needs to be rescued from the trials of the present and to be brought to safety in the joys of the future. Individually, Peter and John represent these two lives, the present and the future; but both journeyed in faith through this temporal life and both will enjoy the second life by vision, eternally.
    All the faithful form an integral part of the body of Christ, and therefore, so that they may be steered through the perilous seas of this present life, Peter, first among the Apostles, has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to bind and loose from sin. And also for the sake of the faithful, so that they may keep the still and secret heart of his mode of life, John the evangelist rested on Christ’s breast.
    It is not Peter alone who binds and looses sins, but the whole Church. It is not John alone who has drunk at the fountain of the Lord’s breast and pours forth what he had drunk in his teaching of the Word being God in the beginning, God with God, of the Trinity and Unity of God — of all those things which we shall see face to face in his kingdom but now, before the Lord comes, we see only in images and reflections — not John alone, for the Lord himself spreads John’s gospel throughout the world, giving everyone to drink as much as he is capable of absorbing.


    Responsory

    ℟. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again:* he will confirm, strengthen and support you, alleluia.
    ℣. He who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn:* he will confirm, strengthen and support you, alleluia.


    ________

    Let us pray.

    Lord, hear our prayer:
    send out on all mankind
    the Spirit who makes us your sons,
    as foretold by Christ, the witness of your truth:
    and so bring to completion through the gospel,
    the sanctification promised by your Word.
    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.