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

Office Readings

  • Wednesday 22 July 2020

    Saint Mary Magdalen - Feast 

    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.



    O God, creation’s secret force,
    yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
    who from the morn till evening ray
    through all its changes guide the day:

    Grant us, when this short life is past,
    the glorious evening that shall last;
    that, by a holy death attained,
    eternal glory may be gained.

    To God the Father, God the Son,
    and God the Spirit, Three in One,
    may every tongue and nation raise
    an endless song of thankful praise!

    St Ambrose of Milan


    Psalm 18 (19)
    Praise of God the creator

    “The Rising Sun has come to visit us to guide our feet in the way of peace” (Lk 1:78,79).

    Her mouth spoke wisdom; the law of compassion was on her tongue.

    The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
    and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
    Day unto day takes up the story
    and night unto night makes known the message.

    No speech, no word, no voice is heard
    yet their span extends through all the earth,
    their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

    There he has placed a tent for the sun;
    it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent,
    rejoices like a champion to run its course.

    At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
    to the furthest end of the sky is its course.
    There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

    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.

    Her mouth spoke wisdom; the law of compassion was on her tongue.


    To enlighten the world, Father, you sent to us your Word as the sun of truth and justice shining upon mankind. Illumine our eyes that we may discern your glory in the many works of your hand.


    Psalm 44 (45)
    The wedding of the King

    “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him” (Mt 25:6).

    The holy women who trusted in the Lord sang a hymn of praise in their hearts.

    My heart overflows with noble words.
    To the king I must speak the song I have made,
    my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe.

    You are the fairest of the children of men
    and graciousness is poured upon your lips:
    because God has blessed you for evermore.

    O mighty one, gird your sword upon your thigh;
    in splendour and state, ride on in triumph
    for the cause of truth and goodness and right.

    Take aim with your bow in your dread right hand.
    Your arrows are sharp, peoples fall beneath you.
    The foes of the king fall down and lose heart.

    Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever.
    A sceptre of justice is the sceptre of your kingdom.
    Your love is for justice; your hatred for evil.

    Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness above other kings:
    your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.

    From the ivory palace you are greeted with music.
    The daughters of kings are among your loved ones.
    On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

    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.

    The holy women who trusted in the Lord sang a hymn of praise in their hearts.


    Psalm 44 (45)
    The King's bride

    They are led to the Lord amid gladness and joy.

    Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words:
    forget your own people and your father’s house.
    So will the king desire your beauty:
    He is your lord, pay homage to him.

    And the people of Tyre shall come with gifts,
    the richest of the people shall seek your favour.
    The daughter of the king is clothed with splendour,
    her robes embroidered with pearls set in gold.

    She is led to the king with her maiden companions.
    They are escorted amid gladness and joy;
    they pass within the palace of the king.

    Sons shall be yours in place of your fathers:
    you will make them princes over all the earth.
    May this song make your name for ever remembered.
    May the peoples praise you from age to age.

    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.

    They are led to the Lord amid gladness and joy.


    When you took on flesh, Lord Jesus, you made a marriage of mankind with God. Help us to be faithful to your word and endure our exile bravely, until we are called to the heavenly marriage feast, to which the Virgin Mary, exemplar of your Church, has preceded us.


    ℣. The thoughts of my heart are always before you.
    ℟. Lord, you are my rescuer, my redeemer.


    The one-year and two-year cycles of readings are identical today.

    First Reading
    Colossians 3:1-17
    Your life is hidden with Christ in God

    Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.
    That is why you must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god; all this is the sort of behaviour that makes God angry. And it is the way in which you used to live when you were surrounded by people doing the same thing, but now you, of all people, must give all these things up: getting angry, being bad-tempered, spitefulness, abusive language and dirty talk; and never tell each other lies. You have stripped off your old behaviour with your old self, and you have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its creator; and in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised or the uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free man. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.
    You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
    Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


    ℟. All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek;* all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
    ℣. Put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth;* all of you are one in Christ Jesus.


    Second Reading
    From a homily on the Gospels by Gregory the Great, pope
    She longed for Christ, though she thought he had been taken away

    When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: The disciples went back home, and it adds: but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.
    We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.
    At first she sought but did not find, but when she persevered it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love.
    Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened; for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.
    Jesus says to her: Mary. Jesus is not recognised when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognise me as I recognise you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking. She immediately calls him rabboni, that is to say, teacher, because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.


    ℟. On her return from the Lord’s tomb, Mary Magdalen told the disciples that she had seen the Lord.* Blessed is she who deserved to be first with the news that Life had risen from death.
    ℣. While she was there, weeping, she saw her beloved, and then told the good news to the others.* Blessed is she who deserved to be first with the news that Life had risen from death.


    Te Deum

    We praise you, O God:
    we acclaim you as the Lord.

    Everlasting Father,
    all the world bows down before you.

    All the angels sing your praise,
    the hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers,

    all the cherubim and seraphim
    call out to you in unending song:

    Holy, Holy, Holy,
    is the Lord God of angel hosts!

    The heavens and the earth are filled
    with your majesty and glory.

    The glorious band of apostles,
    the noble company of prophets,

    the white-robed army who shed their blood for Christ,
    all sing your praise.

    And to the ends of the earth
    your holy Church proclaims her faith in you:

    Father, whose majesty is boundless,
    your true and only Son, who is to be adored,
    the Holy Spirit sent to be our Advocate.

    You, Christ, are the king of glory,
    Son of the eternal Father.

    When you took our nature to save mankind
    you did not shrink from birth in the Virgin’s womb.

    You overcame the power of death
    opening the Father’s kingdom to all who believe in you.

    Enthroned at God’s right hand in the glory of the Father,
    you will come in judgement according to your promise.

    You redeemed your people by your precious blood.
    Come, we implore you, to our aid.

    Grant us with the saints
    a place in eternal glory.

    The final part of the hymn may be omitted:

    Lord, save your people
    and bless your inheritance.

    Rule them and uphold them
    for ever and ever.

    Day by day we praise you:
    we acclaim you now and to all eternity.

    In your goodness, Lord, keep us free from sin.
    Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

    May your mercy always be with us, Lord,
    for we have hoped in you.

    In you, Lord, we put our trust:
    we shall not be put to shame.


    Let us pray.

    Almighty, ever-living God,
    your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
    made Mary Magdalen the first herald of Easter joy.
    Grant that, following her example and her prayers,
    we may, in this life, proclaim the living Christ,
    and come to see him reigning in your glory.
    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.


    The week’s sequence of readings from Scripture has been interrupted today, because today’s feast has a First Reading of its own.
    The reading you would otherwise have seen is shown below. It is perfectly reasonable (and encouraged) to join it on to yesterday’s or tomorrow’s First Reading, if it goes well with one of them and you think this is a sensible way of avoiding a gap.

    2 Corinthians 3:7-4:4
    Glory of ministry of the New Covenant

    If the administering of death, in the written letters engraved on stones, was accompanied by such a brightness that the Israelites could not bear looking at the face of Moses, though it was a brightness that faded, then how much greater will be the brightness that surrounds the administering of the Spirit! For if there was any splendour in administering condemnation, there must be very much greater splendour in administering justification. In fact, compared with this greater splendour, the thing that used to have such splendour now seems to have none; and if what was so temporary had any splendour, there must be much more in what is going to last for ever.
    Having this hope, we can be quite confident; not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not notice the ending of what had to fade. And anyway, their minds had been dulled; indeed, to this very day, that same veil is still there when the old covenant is being read, a veil never lifted, since Christ alone can remove it. Yes, even today, whenever Moses is read, the veil is over their minds. It will not be removed until they turn to the Lord. Now this Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.
    Since we have by an act of mercy been entrusted with this work of administration, there is no weakening on our part. On the contrary, we will have none of the reticence of those who are ashamed, no deceitfulness or watering down the word of God; but the way we commend ourselves to every human being with a conscience is by stating the truth openly in the sight of God. If our gospel does not penetrate the veil, then the veil is on those who are not on the way to salvation; the unbelievers whose minds the god of this world has blinded, to stop them seeing the light shed by the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of 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.