Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Thursday 16 July 2020

    Thursday of week 15 in Ordinary Time 
    or Our Lady of Mount Carmel 

    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.



    This hymn was written during the 6th, or perhaps, 7th century. It has been attributed to St Gregory the Great (†604). It alludes to the desire for purification which nestles in every soul.

    Nox atra rerum cóntegit
    terræ colóres ómnium:
    nos confiténtes póscimus
    te, iuste iudex córdium,

    Ut áuferas piácula
    sordésque mentis ábluas,
    donésque, Christe, grátiam
    ut arceántur crímina.

    Mens, ecce, torpet ímpia,
    quam culpa mordet nóxia;
    obscúra gestit tóllere
    et te, Redémptor, quǽrere.

    Repélle tu calíginem
    intrínsecus quam máxime,
    ut in beáto gáudeat
    se collocári lúmine.

    Sit, Christe, rex piíssime,
    tibi Patríque glória
    cum Spíritu Paráclito,
    in sempitérna sǽcula. Amen.

    The black night shrouds
    The colours of all the things of earth:
    With our acknowledgement we petition you,
    O just Judge of hearts,

    That you remove our wicked deeds
    And wash away the stains of our soul;
    O Christ, that you give us [your] grace
    So as to prevent further crimes.

    Behold how sluggish is [our] irreverent soul
    Where harmful fault takes fast hold.
    It desires eagerly to remove what is dark
    And to seek you, our Redeemer.

    Drive away the dark cloud,
    Most especially the inner one
    So that our soul may rejoice
    At being placed in blessed light.

    Glory to you, O Christ, most merciful King,
    And to the Father
    With the Spirit Paraclete.
    For ever and ever. Amen.


    Psalm 88 (89)
    A lament at the ruin of the house of David

    “He has raised up for us a horn of salvation in the house of David” (Lk 1:69).

    Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.

    And yet you have spurned, rejected,
    you are angry with the one you have anointed.
    You have broken your covenant with your servant
    and dishonoured his crown in the dust.

    You have broken down all his walls
    and reduced his fortresses to ruins.
    He is despoiled by all who pass by;
    he has become the taunt of his neighbours.

    You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
    You have made his sword give way,
    you have not upheld him in battle.

    You have brought his glory to an end;
    you have hurled his throne to the ground.
    You have cut short the years of his youth;
    you have heaped disgrace upon him.

    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.

    Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.


    Psalm 88 (89)

    I am the root and stock of David; I am the splendid morning star.

    How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself for ever?
    How long will your anger burn like a fire?
    Remember, Lord, the shortness of my life
    and how frail you have made the sons of men.
    What man can live and never see death?
    Who can save himself from the grasp of the grave?

    Where are your mercies of the past, O Lord,
    which you have sworn in your faithfulness to David?
    Remember, Lord, how your servant is taunted,
    how I have to bear all the insults of the peoples.
    Thus your enemies taunt me, O Lord,
    mocking your anointed at every step.

    Blessed be the Lord for ever.
    Amen, amen!

    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.

    I am the root and stock of David; I am the splendid morning star.


    Lord, God of mercy and fidelity, you made a new and lasting pact with men and sealed it in the blood of your Son. Forgive the folly of our disloyalty and make us keep your commandments, so that in your new covenant we may be witnesses and heralds of your faithfulness and love on earth, and sharers of your glory in heaven.


    Psalm 89 (90)
    Let the Lord's glory shine upon us

    “With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day” (2 Pet 3:8).

    Our years pass like grass; but you, God, are without beginning or end.

    O Lord, you have been our refuge
    from one generation to the next.
    Before the mountains were born
    or the earth or the world brought forth,
    you are God, without beginning or end.

    You turn men back into dust
    and say: ‘Go back, sons of men.’
    To your eyes a thousand years
    are like yesterday, come and gone,
    no more than a watch in the night.

    You sweep men away like a dream,
    like grass which springs up in the morning.
    In the morning it springs up and flowers:
    by evening it withers and fades.

    So we are destroyed in your anger,
    struck with terror in your fury.
    Our guilt lies open before you;
    our secrets in the light of your face.

    All our days pass away in your anger.
    Our life is over like a sigh.
    Our span is seventy years,
    or eighty for those who are strong.

    And most of these are emptiness and pain.
    They pass swiftly and we are gone.
    Who understands the power of your anger
    and fears the strength of your fury?

    Make us know the shortness of our life
    that we may gain wisdom of heart.
    Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
    Show pity to your servants.

    In the morning, fill us with your love;
    we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
    Give us joy to balance our affliction
    for the years when we knew misfortune.

    Show forth your work to your servants;
    let your glory shine on their children.
    Let the favour of the Lord be upon us:
    give success to the work of our hands,
    give success to the work of our hands.

    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.

    Our years pass like grass; but you, God, are without beginning or end.


    Eternal Father, you give us life despite our guilt and even add days and years to our lives in order to bring us wisdom. Make us love and obey you, so that the works of our hands may always display what your hands have done, until the day we gaze upon the beauty of your face.


    ℣. With you, O Lord, is the source of life.
    ℟. It is your light that enlightens us.


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    1 Kings 22:1-9,15-23,29,34-38
    God’s plan for the evil King Ahab

    There was a lull of three years, with no fighting between Aram and Israel. Then, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah paid a visit to the king of Israel. The king of Israel said to his officers, ‘You are aware that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us? And yet we do nothing to wrest it away from the king of Aram.’ He said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Will you come with me to fight at Ramoth-gilead?’ Jehoshaphat answered the king of Israel, ‘I am as ready as you, my men as your men, my horses as your horses.’
    Jehoshaphat, however, said to the king of Israel, ‘First, please consult the word of the Lord.’ So the king of Israel called the prophets together, about four hundred of them. ‘Should I march to attack Ramoth-gilead’ he asked ‘or should I refrain?’ ‘March,’ they replied ‘The Lord will deliver it into the power of the king.’ But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there no other prophet of the Lord here for us to consult?’ The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, ‘There is one more man through whom we can consult the Lord, but I hate him because he never has a favourable prophecy for me, only unfavourable ones; he is Micaiah son of Imlah.’ ‘The king should not say such things’ Jehoshaphat said. Accordingly the king of Israel summoned one of the eunuchs and said, ‘Bring Micaiah son of Imlah immediately.’
    When he came to the king, the king said, ‘Micaiah, should we march to attack Ramoth-gilead, or should we refrain?’ He answered, ‘March and conquer. The Lord will deliver it into the power of the king.’ But the king said, ‘How often must I put you on oath to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?’ Then Micaiah spoke:

    ‘I have seen all Israel scattered on the mountains
    like sheep without a shepherd.
    And the Lord said, “These have no master,
    let each go home unmolested.”’

    At this the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he never gives me favourable prophecies, but only unfavourable ones?’ Micaiah went on, ‘Listen rather to the word of the Lord. I have seen the Lord seated on his throne; all the array of heaven stood in his presence, on his right and on his left. The Lord said, “Who will trick Ahab into marching to his death at Ramoth-gilead?” At which some answered one way, and some another. Then the spirit came forward and stood before the Lord. “I,” he said “I will trick him.” “How?” the Lord asked. He replied, “I will go and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.” “You shall trick him,” the Lord said “you shall succeed. Go and do it.” Now see how the Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouths of all your prophets here. But the Lord has pronounced disaster on you.’
    The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. Now one of the men, drawing his bow at random, hit the king of Israel between the corslet and the scale-armour of his breastplate. ‘Turn about’ the king said to his charioteer. ‘Get me out of the battle; I have been hurt.’ But the battle grew fiercer as the day went on; the king was held upright in his chariot facing the Aramaeans, and in the evening he died; the blood from the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. At sundown a shout ran through the camp, ‘Every man back to his town, every man back to his country; the king is dead!’ They went to Samaria, and in Samaria they buried the king. They washed the chariot at the Pool of Samaria; the dogs licked up the blood, and the prostitutes washed in it, in accordance with the word that the Lord had spoken.

    Jr 29:8-11; Dt 18:18

    ℟. Do not be deceived by the prophets among you. They prophesy falsely to you in my name,* for I alone know my purpose for you, says the Lord.
    ℣. I will raise up a prophet and I will put my words into his mouth,* for I alone know my purpose for you, says the Lord.


    Second Reading
    From the treatise "On the Mysteries" by St Ambrose, bishop
    Instruction on the post-baptismal rites

    After this, you went up to the priest. Consider what followed. Was it not what David spoke of when he said: Like oil on the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron? This is the oil spoken of also by Solomon: Your name is oil poured out, so that the maidens loved you and attracted you. How many souls, reborn today, have loved you, Lord Jesus, and have said: Draw us after you; we shall make haste to follow you, in the fragrance of your garments, to breathe the fragrance of resurrection.
    Understand why this is done: Because the eyes of the wise man are in his head. The oil flows down on the beard, that is, on the grace of youth; it flows on Aaron’s beard, in order to make you a chosen race, a race of priests, bought at a great price. We are all anointed with spiritual grace to share in God’s kingdom and in priesthood.
    Then you received white garments as a sign that you had cast off the clothing of sin and put on the chaste covering of innocence, as the psalmist prophesied: You will sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be cleansed, you will wash me and I shall be made whiter than snow. One who is baptized is seen to be made clean in terms of the law and of the Gospel. In terms of the law, because Moses used a bunch of hyssop to sprinkle the blood of the lamb; in terms of the Gospel, because Christ’s garments were white as snow when in the Gospel he revealed the glory of his resurrection. The sinner who is forgiven is made whiter than snow. The Lord promised the same through Isaiah: If your sins are as scarlet, I will make them white as snow.
    Wearing the garments given her in the rebirth by water, the Church says, in the words of the Song of Songs: I am black but beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem. Black because of the frailty of humanity, beautiful through grace; black because she is made up of sinners, beautiful through the sacrament of faith. When they see these garments the daughters of Jerusalem cry out in wonder: Who is this who comes up, all in white? She was black, how is she suddenly made white?
    When Christ sees his Church clothed in white – for her sake he himself had put on filthy clothing, as you may read in the prophecy of Zechariah – when he sees the soul washed clean by the waters of rebirth, he cries out: How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful you are; your eyes are like the eyes of a dove, for it was in the likeness of a dove that the Holy Spirit came down from heaven.
    Remember, then, that you received a spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear. Keep safe what you received. God the Father sealed you, Christ the Lord strengthened you and sent the Spirit into your hearts as the pledge of what is to come, as you learned in the reading from the Apostle.


    ℟. You have believed the good news and have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit, the pledge of our inheritance,* which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own.
    ℣. God has anointed us, giving us the pledge, the Spirit which we carry in our hearts, and marking us with his seal,* which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own.


    Let us pray.

    God and Father,
    to those who go astray
    you reveal the light of your truth
    and enable them to return to the right path.
    Grant that all who have received the grace of baptism
    may strive to be worthy of their Christian calling
    and reject everything opposed to it.
    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.


    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.