Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Thursday 10 September 2020

    Thursday of week 23 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.



    Eternal Father, through your Word
    You gave new life to Adam’s race,
    And call us now to live in light,
    New creatures by your saving grace.

    To you who stooped to all who sin
    We render homage and give praise:
    To Father, Son and Spirit blest
    Whose loving gift is endless days.

    Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal


    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
    Lamentations 1:1-12,18-20
    Jerusalem desolate

    Oh, how lonely she sits,
    the city once thronged with people,
    as if suddenly widowed.
    Though once great among the nations,
    she, the princess among provinces,
    is now reduced to vassalage.

    She passes her nights weeping;
    the tears run down her cheeks.
    Not one of all her lovers
    remains to comfort her.
    Her friends have all betrayed her
    and become her enemies.

    Judah is exiled after her downfall
    and harsh enslavement.
    She dwells among the nations now,
    but finds no relief there.
    Her pursuers all overtake her
    in places where there is no way out.

    The roads to Zion are in mourning;
    no one comes to her festivals now.
    Her gateways are all deserted;
    her priests groan;
    her virgins are grief-stricken;
    she suffers bitterly.

    Her oppressors now have the upper hand,
    her enemies enjoy prosperity;
    the Lord himself has made her suffer
    for her many, many sins;
    her little children have left her as prisoners
    driven in front of the oppressor.

    From the daughter of Zion
    all her glory has departed.
    Her leaders were like rams
    that find no pasture.
    Listlessly they took the road,
    driven by the drover.

    Jerusalem remembers
    her days of misery and distress,
    when her people fell before the enemy
    and no one came to help her.
    Her oppressors looked at her
    and laughed at her downfall.

    Jerusalem has sinned grievously
    and she has become a thing unclean.
    All those who used to honour her despise her;
    they have seen her nakedness.
    While she herself groans
    and turns her face away.

    Her filth clings to the hem of her clothes.
    She had never thought of ending like this,
    sinking as low as this.
    She has no one to comfort her.
    ‘O Lord, look on my degradation;
    my enemy is triumphant.’

    The oppressor has laid his hands
    on all she treasured;
    she has seen the pagans
    enter her sanctuary,
    men whom you had forbidden
    to attend your Assembly.

    All her people groan
    as they search for bread;
    they barter their valuables for food,
    to keep life in them.
    ‘Look, O Lord, and mark
    how despised I am.’

    All you who pass this way,
    look and see:
    is any sorrow like the sorrow
    that afflicts me,
    with which the Lord has struck me
    on the day of his burning anger?

    The Lord is acting rightly,
    for I had rebelled against his order.
    Listen therefore, all you nations,
    and see my sorrow.
    My virgins and my young men
    have gone into exile.

    I called for help to my lovers;
    they failed me.
    My priests and my elders
    were perishing inside the city,
    as they searched for food
    to keep life in them.

    Look, O Lord. How great my anguish!
    My entrails shudder;
    my heart turns over inside me.
    Alas! I have always been a rebel –
    and now, outside, the sword has robbed me of my children,
    and inside, there is death.

    Job 16:16; Lm 1:18,12

    ℟. My eyes are dark with weeping; no comforter is near to revive my courage. Tell me,* is there any sorrow like my sorrow?
    ℣. All you who pass by, look and see:* is there any sorrow like my sorrow?


    Second Reading
    St Bruno's commentary on Psalm 83
    If I forget you, Jerusalem

    How delightful is your dwelling-place, Lord of hosts!
    My soul is weak with longing for the courts of your palace

    That is, for the broad spaces of the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the city of God.

    Blessed are they who dwell in your house:
    they will praise you for ever.

    Now the psalmist shows why he desires to enter the courts of the Lord: Lord, God of all powers in heaven, my king and my God, blessed are they who dwell in your house. It is as if he said, ‘Who would not wish to enter your courts, since you are God, that is, the Creator, the Lord of the powers, the King, and since all are blessed who live in your house?’ Because ‘courts’ and ‘house’ mean the same thing here. When he says ‘blessed’ he means that they have all conceivable blessedness. And they are surely blessed, because they will praise you with loving devotion for ever, that is, for all eternity. They would not be able to praise the Lord for all eternity unless they were blessed for all eternity.

    Blessed the man whose help comes from you,
    who has set his heart on climbing to you.

    But no-one can reach this blessedness on his own, even if he has hope, faith and love. Blessed is the man whose help comes from you – in other words, only the man whose help comes from you will attain the blessedness he has set his heart on. That is to say: the only people who will attain blessedness are those who set their hearts on climbing many steps of virtue and good works, but also receive the help of your grace. No-one can climb by himself, as the Lord himself has said: No-one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man who is in heaven.
    I say that he is climbing to you because he now lives in the valley of tears, that is, in this present life, which is lowly and filled with the tears of tribulation; as opposed to the other life, which can be called a mountain in comparison, a mountain full of joy.
    Since the psalmist has said, Blessed the man whose help comes from you, one might ask, ‘Will God give his help?’ The answer is that help is truly offered by God to the blessed. For the lawgiver, that is, Christ, gave us the law and he gives us and will go on giving us blessings (that is, the many gifts of grace) by which he blesses his own people. This means he will raise them up to blessedness, and so they will go from strength to strength as they climb. In the future heavenly Zion Christ will be seen, the God of gods, and since he is God he will make his people divine also. Or, if you prefer, you can say that the God of gods, God the Trinity, will be visible in a spiritual sense in those who dwell in Zion. By the light of their understanding they will see God in themselves in a way that now they cannot, for God will be all in all.


    ℟. We are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become;* all we know is that when Christ appears we shall become like him, because we shall see him as he really is.
    ℣. Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure, just as Christ is pure;* all we know is that when Christ appears we shall become like him, because we shall see him as he really is.


    Let us pray.

    Since it is from you, God our Father,
    that redemption comes to us, your adopted children,
    look with favour on the family you love,
    give true freedom to us and to all who believe in Christ,
    and bring us all alike to our eternal heritage.
    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.