Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Monday 24 August 2020

    Saint Bartholomew, Apostle - 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.



    The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
    The Apostles’ glory let us sing;
    And all with hearts of gladness raise
    Due hymns of thankful love and praise.

    For they the Church’s princes are,
    Triumphant leaders in the war,
    In heavenly courts a warrior band,
    True lights to lighten every land.

    Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
    And hope that never yields nor faints,
    The love of Christ in perfect glow
    That lays the prince of this world low.

    In them the Father’s glory shone,
    In them the will of God the Son,
    In them exults the Holy Ghost,
    Through them rejoice the heavenly host.


    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).

    Their voice has gone out through all the earth, their message to the ends of the world.

    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.

    Their voice has gone out through all the earth, their message to the ends of the world.


    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 63 (64)
    A prayer against enemies

    “This psalm in particular invites us to think about the passion of the Lord” (St Augustine).

    They told what God has done; they understood God’s deeds.

    Hear my voice, O God, as I complain,
    guard my life from dread of the foe.
    Hide me from the band of the wicked,
    from the throng of those who do evil.

    They sharpen their tongues like swords;
    they aim bitter words like arrows
    to shoot at the innocent from ambush,
    shooting suddenly and recklessly.

    They scheme their evil course;
    they conspire to lay secret snares.
    They say: ‘Who will see us?
    Who can search out our crimes?’

    He will search who searches the mind
    and knows the depths of the heart.
    God has shot them with his arrow
    and dealt them sudden wounds.
    Their own tongue has brought them to ruin
    and all who see them mock.

    Then will all men fear;
    they will tell what God has done.
    They will understand God’s deeds.
    The just will rejoice in the Lord
    and fly to him for refuge.
    All the upright hearts will glory.

    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 told what God has done; they understood God’s deeds.


    Father, you gave your Son victory over the men who plotted evil against him; when he cried to you in his agony, you delivered him from fear of his enemies. May those who suffer with him in this life find refuge and success in you.


    Psalm 96 (97)
    The glory of God in his judgements

    “This psalm tells of the salvation of the world and of the faith all peoples would have in Christ” (St Athanasius).

    They proclaimed the justice of God; all peoples saw his glory.

    The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
    let all the coastlands be glad.
    Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
    his throne, justice and right.

    A fire prepares his path;
    it burns up his foes on every side.
    His lightnings light up the world,
    the earth trembles at the sight.

    The mountains melt like wax
    before the Lord of all the earth.
    The skies proclaim his justice;
    all peoples see his glory.

    Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
    those who boast of their worthless gods.
    All you spirits, worship him.

    Sion hears and is glad;
    the people of Judah rejoice
    because of your judgements, O Lord.

    For you indeed are the Lord
    most high above all the earth,
    exalted far above all spirits.

    The Lord loves those who hate evil;
    he guards the souls of his saints;
    he sets them free from the wicked.

    Light shines forth for the just
    and joy for the upright of heart.
    Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
    give glory to his holy name.

    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 proclaimed the justice of God; all peoples saw his glory.


    Father, you clothe the sky with light and the depths of the ocean with darkness. Among the sons of men you work wonders, and rain terror upon the enemy. Look upon your servants. Do not try us by fire but bring us rejoicing to the shelter of your home.


    ℣. They told of the glories of the Lord and of his might.
    ℟. And the marvellous deeds he had done.


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

    First Reading
    1 Corinthians 4:1-16

    People must think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of his trust. Not that it makes the slightest difference to me whether you, or indeed any human tribunal, find me worthy or not. I will not even pass judgement on myself. True, my conscience does not reproach me at all, but that does not prove that I am acquitted: the Lord alone is my judge. There must be no passing of premature judgement. Leave that until the Lord comes; he will light up all that is hidden in the dark and reveal the secret intentions of men’s hearts. Then will be the time for each one to have whatever praise he deserves, from God.
    Now in everything I have said here, brothers, I have taken Apollos and myself as an example (remember the maxim: ‘Keep to what is written’). It is not for you, so full of your own importance, to go taking sides for one man against another. In any case, brother, has anybody given you some special right? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given, how can you boast as though it were not? Is it that you have everything you want – that you are rich already, in possession of your kingdom, with us left outside? Indeed I wish you were really kings, and we could be kings with you! But instead, it seems to me, God has put us apostles at the end of his parade, with the men sentenced to death; it is true – we have been put on show in front of the whole universe, angels as well as men. Here we are, fools for the sake of Christ, while you are the learned men in Christ; we have no power, but you are influential; you are celebrities, we are nobodies. To this day, we go without food and drink and clothes; we are beaten and have no homes; we work for our living with our own hands. When we are cursed, we answer with a blessing; when we are hounded, we put up with it; we are insulted and we answer politely. We are treated as the offal of the world, still to this day, the scum of the earth.
    I am saying all this not just to make you ashamed but to bring you, as my dearest children, to your senses. You might have thousands of guardians in Christ, but not more than one father and it was I who begot you in Christ Jesus by preaching the Good News. That is why I beg you to copy me.


    ℟. I shall not call you servants any more, I call you friends,* because I have made known to you everything I have learned from my Father.
    ℣. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you; happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear.* Because I have made known to you everything I have learned from my Father.


    Second Reading
    From a homily on the first letter to the Corinthians by St John Chrysostom, bishop
    The weakness of God is stronger than men

    It was clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive, in fact, it persuaded the whole world. Their discourse was not of unimportant matters but of God and true religion, of the Gospel way of life and future judgement, yet it turned plain, uneducated men into philosophers. How the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and his weakness stronger than men!
    In what way is it stronger? It made its way throughout the world and overcame all men; countless men sought to eradicate the very name of the Crucified, but that name flourished and grew ever mightier. Its enemies lost out and perished; the living who waged a war on a dead man proved helpless. Therefore, when a Greek tells me I am dead, he shows only that he is foolish indeed, for I, whom he thinks a fool, turn out to be wiser than those reputed wise. So too, in calling me weak, he but shows that he is weaker still. For the good deeds which tax-collectors and fishermen were able to accomplish by God’s grace, the philosophers, the rulers, the countless multitudes cannot even imagine.
    Paul had this in mind when he said: The weakness of God is stronger than men. That the preaching of these men was indeed divine is brought home to us in the same way. For how otherwise could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact or try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, the others fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him!
    How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime did not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, set forth to do battle with the whole world once Christ was dead – if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? Did they perhaps say to themselves: “What is this? He could not save himself but he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive, but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?” Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?
    It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much.


    ℟. We proclaim Christ on the cross, a message that is offensive to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles; but for those whom God has called,* Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    ℣. We are afflicted in every way, but in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.* Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.


    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 Lord and Father,
    strengthen us in that faith
    with which Saint Bartholomew gave himself wholeheartedly to Christ your Son.
    Grant, at his intercession,
    that your Church may become the sacrament of salvation
    for all the nations of the earth.
    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.

    Zephaniah 3:8-20
    Salvation is promised to Israel’s poor

    Therefore, expect me – it is the Lord who speaks –
    on the day I stand up to make my accusation;
    for I am determined to gather the nations,
    to assemble the kingdoms,
    and to pour out my fury on you,
    the whole heat of my anger.

    Yes, I will then give the peoples lips that are clean,
    so that all may invoke the name of the Lord
    and serve him under the same yoke.
    From beyond the banks of the rivers of Ethiopia
    my suppliants will bring me offerings.

    When that day comes
    you need feel no shame for all the misdeeds
    you have committed against me,
    for I will remove your proud boasters
    from your midst;
    and you will cease to strut
    on my holy mountain.
    In your midst I will leave
    a humble and lowly people,
    and those who are left in Israel will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
    They will do no wrong,
    will tell no lies;
    and the perjured tongue will no longer
    be found in their mouths.
    But they will be able to graze and rest
    with no one to disturb them.

    Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,
    Israel, shout aloud!
    Rejoice, exult with all your heart,
    daughter of Jerusalem!
    The Lord has repealed your sentence;
    he has driven your enemies away.
    The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
    you have no more evil to fear.

    When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem:
    Zion, have no fear,
    do not let your hands fall limp.
    The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a victorious warrior.
    He will exult with joy over you,
    he will renew you by his love;
    he will dance with shouts of joy for you
    as on a day of festival.

    I have taken away your misfortune,
    no longer need you bear the disgrace of it.
    I am taking action here and now
    against your oppressors.
    When that time comes I will rescue the lame,
    and gather the strays,
    and I will win them praise and renown
    when I restore their fortunes.

    When that time comes, I will be your guide,
    when that time comes, I will gather you in;
    I will give you praise and renown
    among all the peoples of the earth
    when I restore your fortunes under your own eyes,
    says the Lord.

    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.