Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office Readings

  • Saturday 1 May 2021

    Saturday of the 4th week of Eastertide 
    or Saint Joseph the Worker 

    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.



    Love’s redeeming work is done,
    fought the fight, the battle won.
    Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
    Lo, he sets in blood no more!

    Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
    Christ has burst the gates of hell;
    death in vain forbids him rise;
    Christ has opened paradise.

    Lives again our victor King;
    where, O death, is now thy sting?
    Dying once, he all doth save;
    where thy victory, O grave?

    Soar we now where Christ has led,
    following our exalted Head;
    made like him, like him we rise,
    ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

    Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
    Praise to thee by both be given:
    thee we greet triumphant now;
    hail, the Resurrection thou!


    Psalm 77 (78):40-51
    The history of salvation: the Lord's goodness, his people's infidelity (II)

    “These things all happened as warnings for us” (1 Cor 10:6).

    The Lord saved them from their foe. Alleluia.

    How often they defied him in the wilderness
    and caused him pain in the desert!

    Yet again they put God to the test
    and grieved the Holy One of Israel.
    They did not remember his deeds
    nor the day he saved them from the foe;

    when he worked his miracles in Egypt,
    his wonders in the plains of Zoan;
    when he turned their rivers into blood,
    made their streams impossible to drink.

    He sent dog-flies against them to devour them
    and swarms of frogs to molest them.
    He gave their crops to the grub,
    the fruit of their labour to the locust.

    He destroyed their vines with hail,
    their sycamore trees with frost.
    He gave up their cattle to plague,
    their flocks and herds to pestilence.

    He turned on them the heat of his anger,
    fury, rage and havoc,
    a troop of destroying angels.
    He gave free course to his anger.

    He did not spare them from death
    but gave their lives to the plague.
    He struck all the first-born in Egypt,
    the finest flower in the dwellings of Ham.

    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 saved them from their foe. Alleluia.


    Psalm 77 (78):52-64

    The Lord brought them to his holy mountain. Alleluia.

    Then he brought forth his people like sheep;
    he guided his flock in the desert.
    He led them safely with nothing to fear,
    while the sea engulfed their foes.

    So he brought them to his holy land,
    to the mountain which his right hand had won.
    He drove out the nations before them,
    and divided the land for their heritage.

    Their tents he gave as a dwelling
    to each one of Israel’s tribes.

    Still they put God to the proof and defied him;
    they refused to obey the Most High.

    They strayed, as faithless as their fathers,
    like a bow on which the archer cannot count.
    With their mountain shrines they angered him;
    made him jealous with the idols they served.

    God saw and was filled with fury:
    he utterly rejected Israel.
    He forsook his dwelling place in Shiloh,
    the tent where he lived among men.

    He gave his ark into captivity,
    his glorious ark into the hands of the foe.
    He gave up his people to the sword,
    in his anger against his chosen ones.

    So war devoured their young men,
    their maidens had no wedding songs;
    their priests fell by the sword,
    and their widows made no lament.

    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 brought them to his holy mountain. Alleluia.


    Psalm 77 (78):65-72

    He chose the tribe of Judah and David his servant to be shepherd of Israel, his own possession. Alleluia.

    Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
    like a warrior overcome with wine.
    He struck his foes from behind
    and put them to everlasting shame.

    He rejected the tent of Joseph;
    He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim
    but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    the hill of Sion which he loves.

    He built his shrine like the heavens,
    or like the earth which he made firm for ever.
    And he chose David his servant
    and took him away from the sheepfolds.

    From the care of the ewes he called him
    to be shepherd of Jacob his people,
    of Israel his own possession.
    He tended them with blameless heart,
    with discerning mind he led them.

    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.

    He chose the tribe of Judah and David his servant to be shepherd of Israel, his own possession. Alleluia.


    For your people, Lord Jesus, you bring water from the rock, and rain bread from heaven; you forgive sins with limitless generosity. Do not let us be marked by unfaithfulness, as in days of old, but grant that the covenant you sealed with your blood may merit us a place with you in your kingdom.


    ℣. God has given us a new birth and a living hope, alleluia.
    ℟. By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, alleluia.


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

    First Reading
    Apocalypse 18:1-20
    Destruction of Babylon

    After this, I saw another angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird. All the nations have been intoxicated by the wine of her prostitution; every king in the earth has committed fornication with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery.’
    A new voice spoke from heaven; I heard it say, ‘Come out, my people, away from her, so that you do not share in her crimes and have the same plagues to bear. Her sins have reached up to heaven, and God has her crimes in mind: she is to be paid in her own coin. She must be paid double the amount she exacted. She is to have a doubly strong cup of her own mixture. Every one of her shows and orgies is to be matched by a torture or a grief. I am the queen on my throne, she says to herself, and I am no widow and shall never be in mourning. For that, within a single day, the plagues will fall on her: disease and mourning and famine. She will be burnt right up. The Lord God has condemned her, and he has great power.’
    There will be mourning and weeping for her by the kings of the earth who have fornicated with her and lived with her in luxury. They see the smoke as she burns, while they keep at a safe distance from fear of her agony. They will say:

    ‘Mourn, mourn for this great city,
    Babylon, so powerful a city,
    doomed as you are within a single hour.’

    There will be weeping and distress over her among all the traders of the earth when there is nobody left to buy their cargoes of goods; their stocks of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, linen and purple and silks and scarlet; all the sandalwood, every piece in ivory or fine wood, in bronze or iron or marble; the cinnamon and spices, the myrrh and ointment and incense; wine, oil, flour and corn; their stocks of cattle, sheep, horses and chariots, their slaves, their human cargo.
    ‘All the fruits you had set your hearts on have failed you; gone for ever, never to return, is your life of magnificence and ease.’
    The traders who had made a fortune out of her will be standing at a safe distance from fear of her agony, mourning and weeping. They will be saying:

    ‘Mourn, mourn for this great city;
    for all the linen and purple and scarlet that you wore,
    for all your finery of gold and jewels and pearls;
    your riches are all destroyed within a single hour.’

    All the captains and seafaring men, sailors and all those who make a living from the sea will be keeping a safe distance, watching the smoke as she burns, and crying out, ‘Has there ever been a city as great as this!’ They will throw dust on their heads and say, with tears and groans:

    ‘Mourn, mourn for this great city
    whose lavish living has made a fortune
    for every owner of a sea-going ship;
    ruined within a single hour.’

    ‘Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apostles and prophets: God has given judgement for you against her.’

    Is 52:11-12; Jr 51:45; Rv 18:4

    ℟. Come out of Babylon, keep yourselves pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord, for the Lord will march at your head:* your rearguard will be Israel’s God, alleluia.
    ℣. Come out of her, O my people, and let every man save himself from the anger of the Lord:* your rearguard will be Israel’s God, alleluia.


    Second Reading
    From the commentary on the letter to the Romans by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop
    God's mercy has been extended to all; the whole world has been saved

    Though many, we are one body, and members one of another, united by Christ in the bonds of love. Christ has made Jews and Gentiles one by breaking down the barrier that divided us and abolishing the law with its precepts and decrees. This is why we should all be of one mind and if one member suffers some misfortune, all should suffer with him; if one member is honoured, all should be glad.
    Paul says: Accept one another as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God. Now accepting one another means being willing to share one another’s thoughts and feelings, bearing one another’s burdens, and preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This is how God accepted us in Christ, for John’s testimony is true and he said that God the Father loved the world so much that he gave his own Son for us. God’s Son was given as a ransom for the lives of us all. He has delivered us from death, redeemed us from death and from sin.
    Paul throws light on the purpose of God’s plan when he says that Christ became the servant of the circumcised to show God’s fidelity. God had promised the Jewish patriarchs that he would bless their offspring and make it as numerous as the stars of heaven. This is why the divine Word himself, who as God holds all creation in being and is the source of its well-being, appeared in the flesh and became man. He came into this world in human flesh not to be served, but, as he himself said, to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
    Christ declared that his coming in visible form was to fulfil the promise made to Israel. I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he said. Paul was perfectly correct, then, in saying that Christ became a servant of the circumcised in order to fulfil the promise made to the patriarchs and that God the Father had charged him with this task, as also with the task of bringing salvation to the Gentiles, so that they too might praise their Saviour and Redeemer as the Creator of the universe. In this way God’s mercy has been extended to all men, including the Gentiles, and it can be seen that the mystery of the divine wisdom contained in Christ has not failed in its benevolent purpose. In the place of those who fell away the whole world has been saved.


    ℟. We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life,* we must turn to the pagans, alleluia.
    ℣. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said, ‘I have made you a light for the nations’ –* we must turn to the pagans, alleluia.


    Let us pray.

    All-powerful, ever-living God,
    keep the mystery of Easter alive in us always.
    You gave us a new birth in holy baptism:
    give us grace to bear much fruit,
    and bring us to the joys of eternal life.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    God, for ever and ever.


    Let us praise the Lord.
    – Thanks be to God.

    Copyright © 1996-2021 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.