Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office of Readings

  • Friday 11 June 2021

    The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - Solemnity 

    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.



    God has spoken by his prophets,
    Spoken his unchanging word,
    Each from age to age proclaiming
    God the One, the righteous Lord.
    Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
    one firm anchor holdeth fast:
    God is King, his throne eternal,
    God the first and God the last.

    God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
    Christ, the everlasting Son,
    Brightness of the Father’s glory,
    With the Father ever one;
    Spoken by the Word incarnate,
    God of God, ere time began,
    Light of Light, to earth descending,
    Man, revealing God to man.


    Psalm 35 (36)
    The sinner's wickedness; God's goodness

    “The man who follows me will not walk in darkness, but he will have the light of life for his guide” (Jn 8:12).

    In you is the source of life; we drink from the stream of your goodness.

    Sin speaks to the sinner
    in the depths of his heart.
    There is no fear of God
    before his eyes.

    He so flatters himself in his mind
    that he knows not his guilt.
    In his mouth are mischief and deceit.
    All wisdom is gone.

    He plots the defeat of goodness
    as he lies on his bed.
    He has set his foot on evil ways,
    he clings to what is evil.

    Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven;
    your truth to the skies.
    Your justice is like God’s mountain,
    your judgements like the deep.

    To both man and beast you give protection.
    O Lord, how precious is your love.
    My God, the sons of men
    find refuge in the shelter of your wings.

    They feast on the riches of your house;
    they drink from the stream of your delight.
    In you is the source of life
    and in your light we see light.

    Keep on loving those who know you,
    doing justice for upright hearts.
    Let the foot of the proud not crush me
    nor the hand of the wicked cast me out.

    See how the evil-doers fall!
    Flung down, they shall never arise.

    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.

    In you is the source of life; we drink from the stream of your goodness.


    Lord, you are the source of unfailing light. Give us true knowledge of your mercy so that we may renounce our pride and be filled with the riches of your house.


    Lord God, source of light and life, you make the sun rise and the rain fall on good and bad men alike. By the light of your truth may the virtuous know your goodness and sinners feel your mercy, so that together they may drink from your stream of delight.


    Psalm 60 (61)
    An exile's prayer

    “The prayer of a just man who looks to the things which are eternal” (St Hilary).

    When my heart was faint, you raised me up.

    O God, hear my cry!
    Listen to my prayer!
    From the end of the earth I call;
    my heart is faint.

    On the rock too high for me to reach
    set me on high,
    O you who have been my refuge,
    my tower against the foe.

    Let me dwell in your tent for ever
    and hide in the shelter of your wings.
    For you, O God, hear my prayer,
    grant me the heritage of those who fear you.

    May you lengthen the life of the king;
    may his years cover many generations.
    May he ever sit enthroned before God:
    bid love and truth be his protection.

    So I will always praise your name
    and day after day fulfil my vows.

    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.

    When my heart was faint, you raised me up.


    Lord, tower of strength against the enemy, our protector in battle and crown in victory, protect the Church which calls to you from the ends of the earth, for you are our joy and our glory as we praise you day after day.


    Lord Jesus, love and truth of the Father, you came to earth to relieve the pain of our exile; you took our weakness as your own. Uphold us when our hearts grow faint until we stand with you before God and praise your name.


    Psalm 97 (98)
    The Lord has brought salvation

    “This psalm tells of the first coming of the Lord and of the faith of all peoples” (St Athanasius).

    All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

    Sing a new song to the Lord
    for he has worked wonders.
    His right hand and his holy arm
    have brought salvation.

    The Lord has made known his salvation;
    has shown his justice to the nations.
    He has remembered his truth and love
    for the house of Israel.

    All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.
    Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
    ring out your joy.

    Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
    with the sound of music.
    With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    acclaim the King, the Lord.

    Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
    the world, and all its peoples.
    Let the rivers clap their hands
    and the hills ring out their joy

    Rejoice at the presence of the Lord,
    for he comes to rule the earth.
    He will rule the world with justice
    and the peoples with fairness.

    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.

    All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


    Lord Jesus, you have revealed your justice to all nations. We stood condemned, and you came to be judged in our place. Send your saving power on us and, when you come in glory, bring your mercy to those for whom you were condemned.


    Father, you deserve the lasting song of praise you formed upon the lips of men, by opening your boundless love to us through the mystery of your Son. Grant that the eucharistic gathering everywhere, by which the Church celebrates the Easter wedding feast, may always renew the song which we will sing to your glory in heaven.


    ℣. I will remember the works of the Lord.
    ℟. I will think of the wonders he did of old.


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

    First Reading
    Romans 8:28-39

    We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory.
    After saying this, what can we add? With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.
    Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. As scripture promised: For your sake we are being massacred daily, and reckoned as sheep for the slaughter. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
    For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.


    ℟. God brought us to life in Christ when we were dead through our sins,* because he loved us with so great a love.
    ℣. This was to show for all ages to come how infinitely rich he is in grace,* because he loved us with so great a love.


    Second Reading
    A reading from the works of St Bonaventure
    With you is the source of life

    You who have been redeemed, consider who it is who hangs on the cross for you, whose death gives life to the dead, whose passing is mourned by heaven and earth, while even the hard stones are split. Consider how great he is; consider what he is.
    In order that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept on the cross, in order that the word of scripture might be fulfilled – ‘They shall look on him whom they have pierced’ – God’s providence decreed that one of the soldiers should open his sacred side with a spear, so that blood with water might flow out to pay the price of our salvation. This blood, which flowed from its source in the secret recesses of his heart, gave the sacraments of the Church power to confer the life of grace, and for those who already live in Christ was a draught of living water welling up to eternal life.
    Arise, then, bride of Christ, be like the dove that nests in the rock-face at the mouth of a cavern, and there, like a sparrow which finds its home, do not cease to keep vigil; there, like a turtle-dove, hide the fledglings of your chaste love; place your lips there to draw water from the wells of your Saviour. For this is the spring flowing from the middle of paradise; it divides and becomes four rivers, then spreads through all devout hearts, and waters the whole world and makes it fruitful.
    O soul devoted to God, whoever you may be, run to this source of life and light with eager longing. And with the power of your inmost heart cry out to him: ‘O indescribable beauty of God most high! O pure radiance of everlasting light! O life that gives life to all life! O light that illuminates every light, and preserves in its undying splendour the myriad flames that have shone before the throne of your godhead from the dawn of time!
    ‘O water eternal and inaccessible, clear and sweet, flowing from the spring that is hidden from the eyes of all mortal men; the spring whose depths cannot be plumbed, whose height cannot be measured, whose shores cannot be charted, whose purity cannot be muddied.’
    From this source flows the river which makes glad the city of God, so that with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving we sing to you our hymns of praise, and by experience prove that with you is the fountain of life; and in your light we shall see light.


    ℟. Bless the Lord, my soul, remembering all he has done for you;* he rescues your life from deadly peril, crowns you with the gifts of his kindness and compassion.
    ℣. O taste and see that the Lord is good:* he rescues your life from deadly peril, crowns you with the gifts of his kindness and compassion.



    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 God and Father,
    we glory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, your beloved Son,
    as we call to mind the great things his love has done for us.
    Fill us with the grace that flows in abundance
    from the Heart of Jesus, the source of heaven’s gifts.
    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.


    The week’s sequence of readings from Scripture has been interrupted today, because today’s feast has a First Reading of its own.
    The reading you would otherwise have seen is shown below. It is perfectly reasonable (and encouraged) to join it on to yesterday’s or tomorrow’s First Reading, if it goes well with one of them and you think this is a sensible way of avoiding a gap.

    Joshua 10:1-14,11:15-17
    God’s people take possession of the land

    Now it happened that Adoni-zedek the king of Jerusalem was told that Joshua had conquered Ai and put the town under a ban, dealing with Ai and its king as he had dealt earlier with Jericho and its king; and also that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made their peace with Israel and entered their community. There was consternation at this, since Gibeon was as important a town as one of the royal towns themselves, and larger than Ai, while all its citizens were fighting men. Then Adoni-zedek the king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham the king of Hebron, Piram the king of Jarmuth, Japhia the king of Lachish and Debir the king of Eglon, ‘Join me and help me to conquer Gibeon, because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.’ The five Amorite kings joined forces and set off together, that is, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish and the king of Eglon, they and all their armies with them; they besieged Gibeon and attacked it.
    The men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal, ‘Do not desert your servants; come up here quickly to save us and help us, because all the Amorite kings living in the mountains have allied themselves against us.’ Joshua came up from Gilgal in person, bringing all the fighting men and all the bravest of his army with him. The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of these men; I have delivered them into your power; not one of them will be able to stand against you.’ Having marched from Gilgal throughout the night, Joshua caught them unawares.
    The Lord drove them headlong before Israel, defeating them completely at Gibeon; furthermore, he pursued them towards the descent of Beth-horon and harassed them as far as Azekah, and as far as Makkedah. And as they fled from Israel down the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord hurled huge hailstones from heaven on them all the way to Azekah, which killed them. More of them died under the hailstones than at the edge of Israel’s sword. Then Joshua spoke to the Lord, the same day that the Lord delivered the Amorites to the Israelites. Joshua declaimed:

    ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and, moon, you also, over the Vale of Aijalon.’

    And the sun stood still, and the moon halted, till the people had vengeance on their enemies.
    Is this not written in the Book of the Just? The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and delayed its setting for almost a whole day.
    What the Lord had ordered his servant Moses, Moses in turn had ordered Joshua, and Joshua carried it out, leaving nothing unaccomplished that the Lord had ordered Moses. Thus Joshua mastered the whole country: the highlands, the whole Negeb and the whole land of Goshen, the lowlands, the Arabah, the highlands and the lowlands of Israel.
    From Mount Halak, which rises towards Seir, to Baal-gad in the Vale of Lebanon below Mount Hermon, he captured all their kings, struck them down and slaughtered them.

    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.