Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Friday 14 August 2020

    Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest, Martyr 
    on Friday of week 19 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.



    The martyrs living now with Christ
    In suffering were tried,
    Their anguish overcome by love
    When on his cross they died.

    Across the centuries they come,
    In constancy unmoved,
    Their loving hearts make no complaint,
    In silence they are proved.

    No man has ever measured love,
    Or weighed it in his hand,
    But God who knows the inmost heart
    Gives them the promised land.

    Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
    Who guides us through the night
    In ways that reach beyond the stars
    To everlasting light.

    Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)


    Psalm 68 (69)
    I am consumed with zeal for your house

    “They gave him wine to drink mixed with gall” (Mt 27:34).

    I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God.

    Save me, O God,
    for the waters have risen to my neck.

    I have sunk into the mud of the deep
    and there is no foothold.
    I have entered the waters of the deep
    and the waves overwhelm me.

    I am wearied with all my crying,
    my throat is parched.
    My eyes are wasted away
    from looking for my God.

    More numerous than the hairs on my head
    are those who hate me without cause.
    Those who attack me with lies
    are too much for my strength.

    How can I restore
    what I have never stolen?
    O God, you know my sinful folly;
    my sins you can see.

    Let those who hope in you not be put to shame
    through me, Lord of hosts:
    let not those who seek you be dismayed
    through me, God of Israel.

    It is for you that I suffer taunts,
    that shame covers my face,
    that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
    an alien to my own mother’s sons.
    I burn with zeal for your house
    and taunts against you fall on me.

    When I afflict my soul with fasting
    they make it a taunt against me.
    When I put on sackcloth in mourning
    then they make me a byword,
    the gossip of men at the gates,
    the subject of drunkards’ songs.

    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 wearied with all my crying as I await my God.


    Psalm 68 (69)

    For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    This is my prayer to you,
    my prayer for your favour.
    In your great love, answer me, O God,
    with your help that never fails:
    rescue me from sinking in the mud;
    save me from my foes.

    Save me from the waters of the deep
    lest the waves overwhelm me.
    Do not let the deep engulf me
    nor death close its mouth on me.

    Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
    in your compassion, turn towards me.
    Do not hide your face from your servant;
    answer quickly for I am in distress.
    Come close to my soul and redeem me;
    ransom me pressed by my foes.

    You know how they taunt and deride me;
    my oppressors are all before you.
    Taunts have broken my heart;
    I have reached the end of my strength.
    I looked in vain for compassion,
    for consolers; not one could I find.

    For food they gave me poison;
    in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    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.

    For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.


    Psalm 68 (69)

    Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul.

    As for me in my poverty and pain
    let your help, O God, lift me up.

    I will praise God’s name with a song;
    I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
    A gift pleasing God more than oxen,
    more than beasts prepared for sacrifice.

    The poor when they see it will be glad
    and God-seeking hearts will revive;
    for the Lord listens to the needy
    and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
    Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
    the sea and all its living creatures.

    For God will bring help to Sion
    and rebuild the cities of Judah
    and men shall dwell there in possession.
    The sons of his servants shall inherit it;
    those who love his name shall dwell there.

    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.

    Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul.


    God our Father, to show the way of salvation, you chose that the standard of the cross should go before us, and you fulfilled the ancient prophecies in Christ’s passover from death to life. Do not let us rouse your burning indignation by sin, but rather, through the contemplation of his wounds, make us burn with zeal for the honour of your Church and with grateful love for you.


    ℣. Anguish and distress have taken hold of me.
    ℟. Yet will I delight in your commands.


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    Micah 6:1-15
    The Lord contends with judgement of his people

    Now listen to what the Lord is saying:
    Stand up and let the case begin in the hearing of the mountains
    and let the hills hear what you say.
    Listen, you mountains, to the Lord’s accusation,
    give ear, you foundations of the earth,
    for the Lord is accusing his people,
    pleading against Israel:
    My people, what have I done to you,
    how have I been a burden to you? Answer me.
    I brought you out of the land of Egypt,
    I rescued you from the house of slavery;
    I sent Moses to lead you,
    with Aaron and Miriam.

    My people, remember:
    what did Balak plot, that king of Moab?
    What did Balaam answer, that son of Beor?
    From Shittim to Gilgal,
    for you to know the rightness of the ways of the Lord.

    ‘With what gift shall I come into the Lord’s presence
    and bow down before God on high?
    Shall I come with holocausts,
    with calves one year old?
    Will he be pleased with rams by the thousand,
    with libations of oil in torrents?
    Must I give my first-born for what I have done wrong,
    the fruit of my body for my own sin?’
    What is good has been explained to you, man;
    this is what the Lord asks of you:
    only this, to act justly,
    to love tenderly
    and to walk humbly with your God.

    The voice of the Lord. He is calling to the city:
    Listen, tribe, and assembly of the city
    whose rich men are crammed with violence,
    whose citizens are liars.
    Must I put up with fraudulent measure,
    or that abomination the short-weight bushel?
    Must I hold the man honest who measures with false scales
    and a bag of faked weights?
    I have therefore begun to strike you down,
    to bring you to ruin for your sins.
    You will eat but never be satisfied,
    store away but never preserve –
    and what is preserved I shall give to the sword.
    You will sow but never reap,
    press the olive but never rub yourself with oil,
    press the grape but never drink wine from it.

    Mi 6:8; Ps 36:3

    ℟. What is good has been explained to you, O man. This is what the Lord asks of you:* act rightly and justly and walk humbly with your God.
    ℣. If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will dwell in the land:* act rightly and justly and walk humbly with your God.


    Second Reading
    A letter of St Maximilian Kolbe
    We must sanctify the whole world

    I rejoice greatly, dear brother, at the outstanding zeal that drives you to promote the glory of God. It is sad to see how in our times the disease called “indifferentism” is spreading in all its forms, not just among those in the world but also among the members of religious orders. But indeed, since God is worthy of infinite glory, it is our first and most pressing duty to give him such glory as we, in our weakness, can manage – even that we would never, poor exiled creatures that we are, be able to render him such glory as he truly deserves.
    Because God’s glory shines through most brightly in the salvation of the souls that Christ redeemed with his own blood, let it be the chief concern of the apostolic life to bring salvation and an increase in holiness to as many souls as possible. Let me briefly outline the best way to achieve this end – both for the glory of God and for the sanctification of the greatest number. God, who is infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom, knows perfectly what is to be done to give him glory, and in the clearest way possible makes his will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth.
    It is obedience and obedience alone that shows us God’s will with certainty. Of course our superiors may err, but it cannot happen that we, holding fast to our obedience, should be led into error by this. There is only one exception: if the superior commands something that would obviously involve breaking God’s law, however slightly. In that case the superior could not be acting as a faithful interpreter of God’s will.
    God himself is the one infinite, wise, holy, and merciful Lord, our Creator and our Father, the beginning and the end, wisdom, power, and love – God is all these. Anything that is apart from God has value only in so far as it is brought back to him, the Founder of all things, the Redeemer of mankind, the final end of all creation. Thus he himself makes his holy will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth and draws us to himself, and through us – for so he has willed – draws other souls too, and unites them to himself with an ever more perfect love.
    See then, brother, the tremendous honour of the position that God in his kindness has placed us in. Through obedience we transcend our own limitations and align ourselves with God’s will, which, with infinite wisdom and prudence, guides us to do what is best. Moreover, as we become filled with the divine will, which no created thing can resist, so we become stronger than all others.
    This is the path of wisdom and prudence, this is the one way by which we can come to give God the highest glory. After all, if there had been another, better way, Christ would certainly have shown it to us, by word and by example. But in fact sacred Scripture wraps up his entire long life in Nazareth with the words and he was obedient to them and it shows the rest of his life to have been passed in similar obedience – almost as an instruction to us – by showing how he came down to Earth to do the Father’s will.
    Brethren, let us love him above all, our most loving heavenly Father, and let our obedience be a sign of this perfect love, especially when we have to sacrifice our own wills in the process. And as for a book from which to learn how to grow in the love of God, there is no better book than Jesus Christ crucified.
    All this we will achieve more easily through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin, to whom the most kind God has given the task of dispensing his mercies. There is no doubt that the will of Mary should be the will of God for us. When we dedicate ourselves to him, we become tools in her hands just as she became a tool in his. Let us let her direct us and lead us by the hand. Let us be calm and serene under her guidance: she will foresee all things for us, provide all things, swiftly fulfil our needs both bodily and spiritual, and keep away from us all difficulty and suffering.


    ℟. Be imitators of God as his dear children. Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as an offering to God,* a gift of pleasing fragrance.
    ℣. Do God’s will with your whole heart as servants of Christ.* A gift of pleasing fragrance.


    Let us pray.

    All-powerful, ever-living God, you gave Saint Maximilian Kolbe
    the courage to witness to the Gospel of Christ
    even to the point of giving his life for it.
    By his prayers, help us to endure all suffering for love of you
    and to seek you with all our hearts,
    for you alone are the source of life.
    Grant this 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.