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

Office Readings

  • Friday 28 August 2020

    Saint Augustine, Bishop, Doctor 
    on Friday of week 21 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.



    In ancient times God spoke to us
    Through prophets, and in varied ways,
    But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
    His radiance through eternal days.

    To God the Father of the world,
    His Son through whom he made all things,
    And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
    All glad creation glory sings.

    Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal


    Psalm 34 (35)
    The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution

    “They united in making plans to arrest Jesus by treachery and have him put to death” (Mt 26:3,4).

    O Lord, arise to help me.

    O Lord, plead my cause against my foes;
    fight those who fight me.
    Take up your buckler and shield;
    arise to help me.

    O Lord, say to my soul:
    ‘I am your salvation.’

    But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord
    and rejoice in his salvation.
    My whole being will say:
    ‘Lord, who is like you
    who rescue the weak from the strong
    and the poor from the oppressor?’

    Lying witnesses arise
    and accuse me unjustly.
    They repay me evil for good;
    my soul is forlorn.

    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.

    O Lord, arise to help me.


    Psalm 34 (35)

    Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.

    When they were sick I went into mourning,
    afflicted with fasting.
    My prayer was ever on my lips,
    as for a brother, a friend.
    I went as though mourning a mother,
    bowed down with grief.

    Now that I am in trouble they gather,
    they gather and mock me.
    They take me by surprise and strike me
    and tear me to pieces.
    They provoke me with mockery on mockery
    and gnash their teeth.

    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.

    Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.


    Psalm 34 (35)

    My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

    O Lord, how long will you look on?
    Come to my rescue!
    Save my life from these raging beasts,
    my soul from these lions.
    I will thank you in the great assembly,
    amid the throng I will praise you.

    Do not let my lying foes
    rejoice over me.
    Do not let those who hate me unjustly
    wink eyes at each other.

    O Lord, you have seen, do not be silent,
    do not stand afar off!
    Awake, stir to my defence,
    to my cause, O God!

    Let there be joy for those who love my cause.
    Let them say without end:
    ‘Great is the Lord who delights
    in the peace of his servant.’
    Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,
    all day long of your praise.

    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.

    My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.


    Lord, you rescue the poor from their oppressors, and you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life. Look on your Church as we journey to you, that the poor and weak may recognize the help you provide and proclaim your saving acts.


    ℣. You will hear the word from my mouth.
    ℟. You will speak to them in my name.


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    Jeremiah 4:5-8,13-28
    The destroyer will come from the North

    Announce it in Judah,
    proclaim it in Jerusalem!
    Sound the trumpet in the countryside,
    shout the message aloud:
    Take to the fortified towns!
    Signpost the way to Zion;
    Run! Do not delay!
    I am bringing you disaster from the North,
    an immense calamity.
    The lion is up from his thicket,
    the destroyer of nations is on his way,
    he has come from his home
    to reduce your land to a desert;
    your towns will be in ruins, deserted.
    So wrap yourselves in sackcloth,
    lament and wail,
    since the burning anger of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.

    “Look, he is advancing like the clouds,
    his chariots like a hurricane,
    his horses swifter than eagles.
    Trouble is coming! We are lost!”

    Wash your heart clean of wickedness, Jerusalem,
    and so be saved.
    How long will you harbour in your breast
    your pernicious thoughts?
    For a voice from Dan shouts the news,
    proclaims disaster from the highlands of Ephraim.
    Give warning of it, announce it in Judah,
    proclaim it to Jerusalem:

    “Enemies are coming from a distant country,
    shouting their war cry against the towns of Judah;
    they surround Jerusalem like watchmen round a field
    because she has apostatised from me – it is the Lord who speaks.
    Your own behaviour and actions
    have brought this on you.
    This is your fate! How bitter!
    How it pierces your heart!”

    I am in anguish! I writhe with pain!
    Walls of my heart!
    My heart is throbbing!
    I cannot keep quiet,
    for I have heard the trumpet call
    and the cry of war.
    Ruin on ruin is the news:
    the whole land is laid waste,
    my tents are suddenly destroyed,
    in one moment all that sheltered me is gone.
    How long must I see the standard
    and hear the trumpet call?

    “This is because my people are stupid,
    they do not know me,
    they are slow-witted children,
    they have no understanding:
    they are clever enough at doing wrong,
    but do not know how to do right.”

    I looked to the earth, to see a formless waste;
    to the heavens, and their light had gone.
    I looked to the mountains, to see them quaking
    and all the heights astir.
    I looked, to see no man at all,
    the very birds of heaven had fled.
    I looked, to see the wooded country a wilderness,
    all its towns in ruins,
    at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of his burning anger.

    Yes, thus speaks the Lord,
    “The whole land shall be laid waste,
    I will make an end of it once for all;
    at which the earth will go into mourning,
    and the heavens above grow dark.
    For I have spoken and will not change my mind,
    I have decided and will not go back on it.”

    Jr 4:23,26; Ps 85:4-5

    ℟. The whole earth trembles, O God, at the presence of your burning anger. Lord, have mercy on us:* do not utterly destroy us.
    ℣. Restore us again, O God our Saviour, and turn away your anger from us:* do not utterly destroy us.


    Second Reading
    From the Confessions of St Augustine
    O Eternal Truth, true love and beloved eternity

    Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance the innermost places of my being; but only because you had become my helper was I able to do so. I entered, then, and with the vision of my spirit, such as it was, I saw the incommutable light far above my spiritual ken and transcending my mind: not this common light which every carnal eye can see, nor any light of the same order; but greater, as though this common light were shining much more powerfully, far more brightly, and so extensively as to fill the universe. The light I saw was not the common light at all, but something different, utterly different, from all those things. Nor was it higher than my mind in the sense that oil floats on water or the sky is above the earth; it was exalted because this very light made me, and I was below it because by it I was made. Anyone who knows truth knows this light.
    O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity, you are my God, and for you I sigh day and night. As I first began to know you, you lifted me up and showed me that, while that which I might see exists indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew myself to be far away from you in a region of unlikeness, and I seemed to hear your voice from on high: “I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me”.
    Accordingly I looked for a way to gain the strength I needed to enjoy you, but I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who is also God, supreme over all things and blessed for ever. He called out, proclaiming I am the Way and Truth and the Life, nor had I known him as the food which, though I was not yet strong enough to eat it, he had mingled with our flesh, for the Word became flesh so that your Wisdom, through whom you created all things, might become for us the milk adapted to our infancy.

    Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
    Lo, you were within,
    but I outside, seeking there for you,
    and upon the shapely things you have made
    I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
    You were with me, but I was not with you.
    They held me back far from you,
    those things which would have no being,
    were they not in you.
    You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
    you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
    you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
    I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
    you touched me, and I burned for your peace.


    ℟. Let Truth, the Light of my heart, speak to me, and not the voice of my own darkness. I wandered far away, yet I remembered you.* See, now I return to your fountain, with longing and a burning thirst.
    ℣. I myself am not the goal of my own existence. Left to myself, I lived in sin, bringing death upon myself. In you I have discovered life.* See, now I return to your fountain, with longing and a burning thirst.


    Let us pray.

    Lord God, renew your Church
    with the Spirit of wisdom and love
    which you gave so fully to Saint Augustine.
    Lead us by that same Spirit to seek you,
    the only fountain of true wisdom
    and the source of everlasting love.
    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.