Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

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

Office of Readings

  • Sunday 25 July 2021

    17th 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
    2 Corinthians 7:2-16
    Paul is consoled by the Corinthians’ repentance

    Keep a place for us in your hearts. We have not injured anyone, or ruined anyone, or exploited anyone. I am not saying this to put any blame on you; as I have already told you, you are in our hearts – together we live or together we die. I have the very greatest confidence in you, and I am so proud of you that in all our trouble I am filled with consolation and my joy is overflowing.
    Even after we had come to Macedonia, however, there was no rest for this body of ours. Far from it; we found trouble on all sides: quarrels outside, misgivings inside. But God comforts the miserable, and he comforted us, by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his arrival but also by the comfort which he had gained from you. He has told us all about how you want to see me, how sorry you were, and how concerned for me, and so I am happier now than I was before.
    But to tell the truth, even if I distressed you by my letter, I do not regret it. I did regret it before, and I see that that letter did distress you, at least for a time; but I am happy now – not because I made you suffer, but because your suffering led to your repentance. Yours has been a kind of suffering that God approves, and so you have come to no kind of harm from us. To suffer in God’s way means changing for the better and leaves no regrets, but to suffer as the world knows suffering brings death. Just look at what suffering in God’s way has brought you: what keenness, what explanations, what indignation, what alarm! Yes, and what aching to see me, what concern for me, and what justice done! In every way you have shown yourselves blameless in this affair. So then, though I wrote the letter to you, it was not written for the sake either of the offender or of the one offended; it was to make you realise, in the sight of God, your own concern for us. That is what we have found so encouraging.
    With this encouragement, too, we had the even greater happiness of finding Titus so happy; thanks to you all, he has no more worries; I had rather boasted to him about you, and now I have not been made to look foolish; in fact, our boasting to Titus has proved to be as true as anything that we ever said to you. His own personal affection for you is all the greater when he remembers how willing you have all been, and with what deep respect you welcomed him. I am very happy knowing that I can rely on you so completely.

    2 Co 7:9-10

    ℟. The sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation, and there is no regret in it,* but worldly sadness leads to death.
    ℣. Our sadness is used by God, and so we suffer no harm,* but worldly sadness leads to death.


    Second Reading
    From a homily on the 2nd letter to the Corinthians by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
    I rejoice exceedingly in all my tribulations

    Again Paul turns to speak of love, softening the harshness of his rebuke. For after convicting and reproaching them for not loving him as he had loved them, breaking away from his love and attaching themselves to troublemakers, he again takes the edge off the reproach by saying: Open your hearts to us, that is, love us. He asks for a favour which will be no burden to them but will be more profitable to the giver than to the receiver. And he did not use the word “love” but said, more appealingly: Open your hearts to us.
    Who, he said, has cast us out of your minds, thrust us from your hearts? How is it that you feel constraint with us? For, since he has said earlier: You are restricted in your own affection, he now declares himself more openly and says: Open your heart to us, thus once more drawing them to him. For nothing so much wins love as the knowledge that one’s lover desires most of all to be himself loved.
    For I said before, he tells them, that you are in our hearts to die together or live together. This is love at its height, that even though in disfavour, he wishes both to die and to live with them. For you are in our hearts, not just somehow or other, but in the way I have said. It is possible to love and yet to draw back when danger threatens; but my love is not like that.
    I am filled with consolation. What consolation? That which comes from you because you, being changed for the better, have consoled me by what you have done. It is natural for a lover both to complain that he is not loved in return and to fear that he may cause distress by complaining too much. Therefore, he says: I am filled with consolation, I rejoice exceedingly.
    It is as if he said, I was much grieved on your account, but you have made it up for me in full measure and given me comfort; for you have not only removed the cause for any grief but filled me with a richer joy.
    Then he shows the greatness of that joy by saying not only I rejoice exceedingly but also the words which follow: in all my tribulations. So great, he says, was the delight that you gave me that it was not even dimmed by so much tribulation, but overcame by its strength and keenness all those sorrows which had invaded my heart, and took away from me all awareness of them.


    ℟. These things that prove that I am an apostle were done with all patience among you,* with signs and wonders and miracles.
    ℣. I will be glad to spend all I have, and myself as well, in order to help you,* with signs and wonders and miracles.



    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.

    Lord God, protector of those who hope in you,
    without whom nothing is strong, nothing holy,
    support us always with your love.
    Guide us so to use the good things of this world,
    that even now we may hold fast to what endures for ever.
    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.