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

Office Readings

  • Sunday 18 October 2020

    29th Sunday 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.



    Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
    Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
    Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
    Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

    Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
    Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
    Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
    Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

    Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
    Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
    Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
    O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

    Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
    Be thou mine inheritance now and always;
    Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
    O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art.

    High King of Heaven, thou Heaven’s bright sun,
    O grant me its joys after victory is won!
    Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
    Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.


    Psalm 1
    The two paths

    “Blessed are those who placed their trust in the cross of the Lord and descended into the waters of baptism” (an unknown author of the 2nd century).

    The cross of the Lord is become the tree of life for us.

    Happy indeed is the man
    who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
    nor lingers in the way of sinners
    nor sits in the company of scorners,
    but whose delight is the law of the Lord
    and who ponders his law day and night.

    He is like a tree that is planted
    beside the flowing waters,
    that yields its fruit in due season
    and whose leaves shall never fade;
    and all that he does shall prosper.
    Not so are the wicked, not so!

    For they like winnowed chaff
    shall be driven away by the wind.
    When the wicked are judged they shall not stand,
    nor find room among those who are just;
    for the Lord guards the way of the just
    but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

    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 cross of the Lord is become the tree of life for us.


    Lord, you are the fullness of life, of holiness and of joy. Fill our days and nights with the love of your wisdom, that we may bear fruit in the beauty of holiness, like a tree watered by running streams.


    We are like trees by flowing streams, for you, Lord, have placed us by the source of life, the cross of your Son. May we bear fruit for ever and be counted in the assembly of your saints.


    Psalm 2
    The Messiah, king and victor

    “They rose up together against your servant Jesus, whom you had anointed” (Acts 4:27).

    It is I who have set up my king on Sion.

    Why this tumult among nations,
    among peoples this useless murmuring?
    They arise, the kings of the earth,
    princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
    ‘Come, let us break their fetters,
    come, let us cast off their yoke.’

    He who sits in the heavens laughs;
    the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
    Then he will speak in his anger,
    his rage will strike them with terror.
    ‘It is I who have set up my king
    on Sion, my holy mountain.’

    I will announce the decree of the Lord:
    The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son.
    It is I who have begotten you this day.
    Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,
    put the ends of the earth in your possession.
    With a rod of iron you will break them,
    shatter them like a potter’s jar.’

    Now, O kings, understand,
    take warning, rulers of the earth;
    serve the Lord with awe
    and trembling, pay him your homage
    lest he be angry and you perish;
    for suddenly his anger will blaze.

    Blessed are they who put their trust in God.

    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.

    It is I who have set up my king on Sion.


    Lord God, you gave the peoples of the world as the inheritance of your only Son; you crowned him as King of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your Church to be his Bride. As he proclaims the law of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so share his royal power for ever.


    Psalm 3
    The Lord is my protector

    “He slept and took his rest, but he rose again from the dead, since the Lord was his protector” (St Irenaeus).

    You, Lord, are my salvation and my glory: you lift up my head.

    How many are my foes, O Lord!
    How many are rising up against me!
    How many are saying about me:
    ‘There is no help for him in God.’

    But you, Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, who lift up my head.
    I cry aloud to the Lord.
    He answers from his holy mountain.

    I lie down to rest and I sleep.
    I wake, for the Lord upholds me.
    I will not fear even thousands of people
    who are ranged on every side against me.

    Arise, Lord; save me, my God,
    you who strike my foes on the mouth,
    you who break the teeth of the wicked!
    O Lord of salvation, bless your people!

    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.

    You, Lord, are my salvation and my glory: you lift up my head.


    Lord God, you heard the cry of your Son when he was oppressed and saved him from the sleep of death. Arise, Lord, help your Church. Be her shield so that she may hold up her head and radiate the glory of the resurrection.


    ℣. Let the word of Christ dwell with you in all its richness.
    ℟. Teach and instruct one another, in all wisdom.


    Readings (official one-year cycle)

    First Reading
    Esther 1:1-3,9-13,15-16,19,2:5-10,16-17
    The rejection of Vashti and selection of Esther

    It was in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus whose empire stretched from India to Ethiopia and comprised one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. In those days, when King Ahasuerus was sitting on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet at his court for all his administrators and ministers, chiefs of the army of Persia and Media, nobles and governors of provinces.
    Queen Vashti, too, had given a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Ahasuerus.
    On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs in attendance on the person of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king crowned with her royal diadem, in order to display her beauty to the people and the administrators, for she was very beautiful.
    But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. The king was very angry at this and his rage grew hot. He then consulted the wise men who were versed in the law, since it was the practice to refer matters affecting the king to expert lawyers and jurists. ‘According to law,’ he said ‘what is to be done to Queen Vashti for not obeying the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?’
    In the presence of the king and of the administrators Memucan answered, ‘Vashti has wronged not only the king, but also all the administrators and nations inhabiting the provinces of King Ahasuerus. The queen’s conduct will soon become known to all the women and encourage them in a contemptuous attitude towards their husbands, since they will say, “King Ahasuerus ordered Queen Vashti to appear before him and she did not come.” The wives of all the Persian and Median administrators will hear of the queen’s answer before the day is out, and will start talking to the king’s administrators in the same way; that will mean contempt and anger all round. If it is the king’s pleasure, let him issue a royal edict, to be irrevocably incorporated into the laws of the Persians and Medes, to the effect that Vashti is never to appear again before King Ahasuerus, and let the king confer her royal dignity on a worthier woman.
    Now in the citadel of Susa there lived a Jew called Mordecai son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who had been deported from Jerusalem among the captives taken away with Jeconiah king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He had brought up Hadassah, otherwise called Esther, his uncle’s daughter, who had lost both father and mother; the girl had a good figure and a beautiful face, and on the death of her parents Mordecai had adopted her as his daughter.
    Following the promulgation of the king’s edict, a great number of girls were brought to the citadel of Susa where they were entrusted to Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, the custodian of the women. The girl pleased him and won his favour. Not only did he quickly provide her with all she needed for her dressing room and her meals, but he gave her seven special maids from the king’s household and transferred her and her maids to the best part of the harem. Esther did not reveal her race or kindred, since Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. She was brought to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign; and the king liked Esther better than any of the other women; none of the other girls found so much favour and approval with him. So he set the royal diadem on her head and proclaimed her queen instead of Vashti.

    Ps 113:5-8; Lk 1:51-52

    ℟. Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, yet deigns to look down upon the heavens and the earth?* He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash-heap, to give them a place among princes.
    ℣. He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts; he has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree.* He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash-heap, to give them a place among princes.


    Second Reading
    A letter to Proba by St Augustine
    Let us exercise our desire in prayer

    Why in our fear of not praying as we should, do we turn to so many things, to find what we should pray for? Why do we not say instead, in the words of the psalm: I have asked one thing from the Lord, this is what I will seek: to dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, to see the graciousness of the Lord, and to visit his temple? There, the days do not come and go in succession, and the beginning of one day does not mean the end of another; all days are one, simultaneously and without end, and the life lived out in these days has itself no end.
    So that we might obtain this life of happiness, he who is true life itself taught us to pray, not in many words as though speaking longer could gain us a hearing. After all, we pray to one who, as the Lord himself tells us, knows what we need before we ask for it.
    Why he should ask us to pray, when he knows what we need before we ask him, may perplex us if we do not realise that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for he cannot fail to know it), but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. His gift is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it. That is why we are told: Enlarge your desires, do not bear the yoke with unbelievers.
    The deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire, the larger will be our capacity to receive that gift, which is very great indeed. No eye has seen it; it has no colour. No ear has heard it; it has no sound. It has not entered man’s heart; man’s heart must enter into it.
    In this faith, hope and love we pray always with unwearied desire. However, at set times and seasons we also pray to God in words, so that by these signs we may instruct ourselves and mark the progress we have made in our desire, and spur ourselves on to deepen it. The more fervent the desire, the more worthy will be its fruit. When the Apostle tells us: Pray without ceasing, he means this: Desire unceasingly that life of happiness which is nothing if not eternal, and ask it of him who alone is able to give it.


    ℟. When you seek me, you shall find me – if you search with all your heart.* If you pray to me, I will listen to you.
    ℣. I know the plans I have in mind for you – plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you.* If you pray to me, I will listen to you.



    If time allows, those who celebrate the Office of Readings of a Sunday (or solemnity, or feast of the Lord) on the evening before, or at the crack of dawn on the day itself, may enrich the celebration with three Old Testament canticles and a Gospel reading.


    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, ever-living God,
    make us ever obey you willingly and promptly.
    Teach us how to serve you
    with sincere and upright hearts
    in every sphere of life.
    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.