Thursday 21 February 2019    (other days)
Thursday of week 6 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, Doctor 

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.

Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 94 (95)
Come before the Lord, singing with joy.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
  (repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
  (repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
  (repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
  (repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
  (repeat antiphon*)
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.
(repeat antiphon*)

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.

Where true love is dwelling, God is dwelling there:
Love’s own loving Presence love does ever share.
Love of Christ has made us out of many one;
In our midst is dwelling God’s eternal Son.
Give him joyful welcome, love him and revere:
Cherish one another with a love sincere.

Psalm 43 (44)
In time of defeat
It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing.
Our own ears have heard, O God,
  and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
  what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
  and put us in their place,
  struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
  it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
  the light of your face,
  for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
  who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
  in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
  my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
  you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
  and proclaim your name for all ages.
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 was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing.

Psalm 43 (44)
Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.
But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
  so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
  and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
  you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
  not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
  mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
  the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
  I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
  my enemies and my persecutors.
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.
Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.

Psalm 43 (44)
Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love.
All this happened to us,
  but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
  our hearts did not turn away;
  our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
  with horrors all about us:
  you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
  if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
  He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
  that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
  Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
  How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
  our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
  In your mercy, redeem 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.
Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love.

℣. Lord, to whom shall we go?
℟. You have the words of eternal life.

First Reading
Proverbs 10:6-32 ©
The blessings of the Lord are on the head of the virtuous man,
  premature mourning stops the mouths of the wicked.
The virtuous man is remembered with blessings,
  the wicked man’s name rots away.
The heart that is wise is obedient to instruction,
  the gabbling fool is heading for ruin.
He walks secure whose ways are honourable,
  but he who follows crooked ways is soon discovered.
A wink of the eye, and a man makes trouble,
  a bold rebuke, and a man makes peace.
The mouth of the virtuous man is a life-giving fountain,
  violence lurks in the mouth of the wicked.
Hatred provokes disputes,
  love covers over all offences.
On the lips of a discerning man is wisdom found,
  on the back of a fool, the stick.
Wise men store up knowledge,
  but the mouth of a fool makes ruin imminent.
The rich man’s wealth is his stronghold,
  poverty is the poor man’s undoing.
The virtuous man’s wage affords him life,
  but destruction is all the wicked man earns.
The path of life is to abide by discipline,
  and he who ignores correction goes astray.
The lips of just men silence hatred,
  he who voices slander is a fool.
A flood of words is never without its fault,
  he who has his lips controlled is a prudent man.
The virtuous man’s tongue is purest silver,
  the heart of the wicked is of trumpery value.
The lips of the virtuous man nourish a multitude,
  but fools die in poverty.
The blessing of the Lord is what brings riches,
  to this hard toil has nothing to add.
The joy of the fool lies in doing wrong,
  but the joy of the man of discernment in acquiring wisdom.
What the wicked man fears overtakes him,
  what the virtuous desires comes to him as a present.
When the storm is over, the wicked man is no more,
  but the virtuous stands firm for ever.
As vinegar to the teeth, smoke to the eyes,
  so the sluggard to the one who sends him.
The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
  the years of the wicked will be cut short.
The hope of virtuous men is all joy,
  the expectations of the wicked are frustrated.
The Lord is a stronghold for the man of honest life,
  for evildoers nothing but ruin.
The virtuous man will never be moved from his own place,
  but the land will offer no home for the wicked.
The mouth of the virtuous man utters wisdom,
  the deceitful tongue shall be torn out.
The lips of the virtuous man drip with kindness,
  the mouth of the wicked with deceit.
Ps 37:30-31, 112:6-7
℟. The just man’s mouth utters wisdom and his lips speak what is right;* the law of his God is in his heart.
℣. The just man will be remembered for ever; he has no fear of evil news.* The law of his God is in his heart.

Second Reading
From the Explanations of the Psalms by Saint Ambrose, bishop
Open your lips, and let God's word be heard
We must always meditate on God’s wisdom, keeping it in our hearts and on our lips. Your tongue must speak justice, the law of God must be in your heart. Hence Scripture tells you: You shall speak of these commandments when you sit in your house, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down, and when you get up. Let us then speak of the Lord Jesus, for he is wisdom, he is the word, the Word indeed of God.
  It is also written: Open your lips, and let God’s word be heard. God’s word is uttered by those who repeat Christ’s teaching and meditate on his sayings. Let us always speak this word. When we speak about wisdom, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about virtue, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about peace, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking of Christ.
  Open your lips, says Scripture, and let God’s word be heard. It is for you to open, it is for him to be heard. So David said: I shall hear what the Lord says in me. The very Son of God says: Open your lips, and I will fill them. Not all can attain to the perfection of wisdom as Solomon or Daniel did, but the spirit of wisdom is poured out on all according to their capacity, that is, on all the faithful. If you believe, you have the spirit of wisdom.
  Meditate, then, at all times on the things of God, and speak the things of God, when you sit in your house. By house we can understand the Church, or the secret place within us, so that we are to speak within ourselves. Speak with prudence, so as to avoid falling into sin, as by excess of talking. When you sit in your house, speak to yourself as if you were a judge. When you walk along the way, speak, so as never to be idle. You speak along the way if you speak in Christ, for Christ is the way. When you walk along the way, speak to yourself, speak to Christ. Hear him say to you: I desire that in every place men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling. When you lie down, speak so that the sleep of death may not steal upon you. Listen and learn how you are to speak as you lie down; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
  When you get up or rise again, speak of Christ, so as to fulfil what you are commanded. Listen and learn how Christ is to awaken you from sleep. Your soul says: I hear my brother knocking at the door. Then Christ says to you: Open the door to me, my sister, my spouse. Listen and learn how you are to awaken Christ. Your soul says: I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, awaken or reawaken the love of my heart. Christ is that love.
℟. God gave us all Christ Jesus to be our wisdom, our justification, our sanctification, and our atonement,* so that the scripture might be fulfilled. If anyone boasts, let him make his boast in the Lord.
℣. We have all received something out of his abundance, grace answering to grace,* so that the scripture might be fulfilled. If anyone boasts, let him make his boast in the Lord.

Let us pray.
To those who love you, Lord,
  you promise to come with your Son
  and make your home within them.
Come, then, with your purifying grace
  and make our hearts a place where you can dwell.
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.

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