Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Saturday 17 October 2020

    Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr 
    on Saturday of week 28 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 49 (50)
    True reverence for the Lord

    “I have not come to abolish the Law but to bring it to perfection” (cf Mt 5:17).

    The Lord has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.

    The God of gods, the Lord,
    has spoken and summoned the earth,
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
    Out of Sion’s perfect beauty he shines.
    Our God comes, he keeps silence no longer.

    Before him fire devours,
    around him tempest rages.
    He calls on the heavens and the earth
    to witness his judgement of his people.

    ‘Summon before me my people
    who made covenant with me by sacrifice.’
    The heavens proclaim his justice,
    for he, God, is the judge.

    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 Lord has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.


    Psalm 49 (50)

    Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.

    ‘Listen, my people, I will speak;
    Israel, I will testify against you,
    for I am God, your God.
    I accuse you, lay the charge before you.

    ‘I find no fault with your sacrifices,
    your offerings are always before me.
    I do not ask more bullocks from your farms,
    nor goats from among your herds.

    ‘For I own all the beasts of the forest,
    beasts in their thousands on my hills.
    I know all the birds in the sky,
    all that moves in the field belongs to me.

    ‘Were I hungry, I would not tell you,
    for I own the world and all it holds.
    Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,
    or drink the blood of goats?

    ‘Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God
    and render him your votive offerings.
    Call on me in the day of distress.
    I will free you and you shall honour me.’

    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.

    Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.


    Psalm 49 (50)

    A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.

    But God says to the wicked:
    ‘But how can you recite my commandments
    and take my covenant on your lips,
    you who despise my law
    and throw my words to the winds?

    ‘You who see a thief and go with him;
    who throw in your lot with adulterers,
    who unbridle your mouth for evil
    and whose tongue is plotting crime,

    ‘you who sit and malign your brother
    and slander your own mother’s son.
    You do this, and should I keep silence?
    Do you think that I am like you?

    ‘Mark this, you who never think of God,
    lest I seize you and you cannot escape;
    a sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me
    and I will show God’s salvation to the upright.’

    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.

    A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.


    Father, accept us as a sacrifice of praise, so that we may go through life unburdened by sin, walking in the way of salvation, and always giving thanks to you.


    Father, because Jesus, your servant, became obedient even unto death, his sacrifice was greater than all holocausts of old. Accept the sacrifice of praise we offer you through him, and may we show the effects of it in our lives by striving to do your will until our whole life becomes adoration in spirit and truth.


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


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    Malachi 3:1-24
    The Day of the Lord

    Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord as in former days, as in the years of old. I mean to visit you for the judgement and I am going to be a ready witness against sorcerer, adulterer and perjurer, against those who oppress the wage-earner, the widow and the orphan, and who rob the settler of his rights – no need for you to be afraid of me, says the Lord of Hosts.
    No; I, the Lord, do not change; and you, sons of Jacob, you are not ruined yet! Since the days of your ancestors you have evaded my statutes and not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of Hosts. You ask, ‘How are we to return? Can a man cheat God?’ Yet you are cheating me. You ask, ‘How are we cheating you?’ In the matter of tithes and dues. The curse lies on you because you, yes you the whole nation, are cheating me. Bring the full tithes and dues to the storehouse so that there may be food in my house, and then see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out blessing for you in abundance. For your sake I will lay a strict injunction on the locust not to destroy the fruits of your soil nor to make the vine in your fields barren, says the Lord of Hosts. All the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delights, says the Lord of Hosts.
    You say harsh things about me, says the Lord. You ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ You say, ‘It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? Now we have reached the point when we call the arrogant blessed; yes, they prosper, these evil-doers; they try God’s patience and yet go free.’ This is what those who fear the Lord used to say to one another. But the Lord took note and heard them: a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who fear him and take refuge in his name. On the day which I am preparing, says the Lord of Hosts, they are going to be my own special possession. I will make allowances for them as a man makes allowances for the son who obeys him. Then once again you will see the difference between an upright man and a wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him. For the day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and the evil-doers will be like stubble. The day that is coming is going to burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts, leaving them neither root nor stalk. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays; you will leap like calves going out to pasture. You will trample on the wicked, who will be like ashes under your feet on the day I am preparing, says the Lord of Hosts.
    Remember the Law of my servant Moses to whom at Horeb I prescribed laws and customs for the whole of Israel. Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before my day comes, that great and terrible day. He shall turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the hearts of children towards their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.

    Ml 3:1; Lk 1:76

    ℟. I shall send my messenger to prepare a way before me,* and the Lord you are seeking will enter his temple, the angel of the covenant for whom you long.
    ℣. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of the Most High. You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his way before him,* and the Lord you are seeking will enter his temple, the angel of the covenant for whom you long.


    Second Reading
    From St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Romans
    I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals

    I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God.
    No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire.
    The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the world. Do not try to tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light. Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of imitating the passion of my God. If you have him in your heart, you will understand what I wish. You will sympathise with me because you will know what urges me on.
    The prince of this world is determined to lay hold of me and to undermine my will which is intent on God. Let none of you here help him; instead show yourselves on my side, which is also God’s side. Do not talk about Jesus Christ as long as you love this world. Do not harbour envious thoughts. And supposing I should see you, if then I should beg you to intervene on my behalf, do not believe what I say. Believe instead what I am now writing to you. For though I am alive as I write to you, still my real desire is to die. My love of this life has been crucified, and there is no yearning in me for any earthly thing. Rather within me is the living water which says deep inside me: “Come to the Father.” I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world. I want only God’s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.
    I am no longer willing to live a merely human life, and you can bring about my wish if you will. Please, then, do me this favour, so that you in turn may meet with equal kindness. Put briefly, this is my request: believe what I am saying to you. Jesus Christ himself will make it clear to you that I am saying the truth. Only truth can come from that mouth by which the Father has truly spoken. Pray for me that I may obtain my desire. I have not written to you as a mere man would, but as one who knows the mind of God. If I am condemned to suffer, I will take it that you wish me well. If my case is postponed, I can only think that you wish me harm.


    ℟. Nothing will be hidden from you, if you are perfect in your faith and love towards Jesus Christ, for these are the beginning and end of life:* faith is the beginning and love is the end.
    ℣. Arm yourselves with gentleness and renew your faith, which is the flesh of the Lord, and your love, which is the blood of Jesus Christ.* Faith is the beginning and love is the end.


    Let us pray.

    Almighty, ever-living God,
    the sufferings of the martyrs adorn the Church,
    which is the Body of Christ.
    As we celebrate the martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch,
    grant that it may be for us a constant source of strength,
    as it was for him the entry into 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.

    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.