Universalis
Thursday 23 October 2014    (other days)
Thursday of week 29 in Ordinary Time
 or Saint John of Capistrano, Priest

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, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.
(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.
Amen.
Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.*

* 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.


Hymn
Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving
The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.
The Lord’s ways are pure;
  the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
  the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
  What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
  and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
  who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
  teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
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.
The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)
Lord, your right hand upheld me.
You have given me the shield of your salvation;
  your right hand holds me up;
  by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
  my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
  I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
  they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
  and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
  you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
  they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
  trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
  and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
  at a mere rumour of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favour;
  they hide away and tremble where they hide.
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.
Lord, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.
The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
  Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
  you subject peoples to my rule,
  you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
  you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
  and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
  you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
  to David and his descendants for ever.
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.
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

Uncover my eyes, Lord,
and I will consider the wonders of your Law.

First Reading
Esther 5:1-8,7:1-10 ©
On the third day, Esther, dressed in her royal robes, presented herself in the inner court of the palace, which was in front of the king’s apartments. He was seated on the royal throne in the Royal Hall, facing the door. No sooner had he seen Queen Esther standing in his court than she won his favour and he held out the golden sceptre he had in his hand to her. Esther approached and touched the end of it.
  ‘What is the matter, Queen Esther?’ the king said. ‘Tell me what you desire; even if it is half my kingdom, I grant it you.’ ‘Would the king be pleased’ Esther replied ‘to come with Haman today to the banquet I have prepared for him?’ The king said, ‘Tell Haman to come at once, so that Esther may have her wish.’
  When the king and Haman were seated at the banquet with Queen Esther this second day, the king again said to Esther as they drank their wine, ‘Tell me what you request, Queen Esther? I grant it to you. Tell me what you desire; even if it is half my kingdom, it is yours for the asking.’ ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, O king,’ Queen Esther replied ‘and if it please your majesty, grant me my life – that is what I request; and the lives of my people – that is what I desire. For we are doomed, I and my people, to destruction, slaughter and annihilation; if we had merely been condemned to become slaves and servant-girls, I would have said nothing; but as things are, it will be beyond the means of the persecutor to make good the loss that the king is about to sustain.’ King Ahasuerus interrupted Queen Esther, ‘Who is this man?’ he exclaimed. ‘Where is he, the schemer of such an outrage?’ Esther replied, ‘The persecutor, the enemy? Why, this wretch Haman!’ Haman quaked with terror in the presence of the king and queen.
  In a rage the king rose and left the banquet to go into the palace garden; while Haman, realising that the king was determined on his ruin, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life. When the king returned from the palace garden into the banqueting hall, he found Haman huddled across the couch where Esther was reclining. ‘What!’ the king exclaimed. ‘Is he going to rape the queen before my eyes in my own palace?’ The words were scarcely out of his mouth than a veil was thrown over Haman’s face. Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, was present. He said, ‘How convenient! There is that fifty-cubit gallows which Haman ran up for Mordecai, whose report saved the king’s life. It is all ready at his house.’ ‘Hang him on it’ said the king. So Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had erected for Mordecai, and the king’s wrath subsided.
Responsory
Israel cried out to the Lord and he saved his people; he delivered them from all evil. The Lord worked wonders for Israel among the nations.
Declare this with cries of joy: The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob. The Lord worked wonders for Israel among the nations.

Second Reading
St Augustine's letter to Proba
We do not know how to pray as we ought
Perhaps you may still ask why St Paul said when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, since it is impossible that he or those to whom he wrote should not have known the Lord’s Prayer.
  Yet Paul himself was not exempt from such ignorance. When, to prevent him from becoming swollen-headed over the greatness of the revelations that had been given to him, he was given in addition a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him, he asked the Lord three times to take it away from him. Surely that was not knowing to pray as he ought? For in the end he heard the Lord’s reply, telling him why even such a great saint’s prayer had to be refused: My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness.
  So when we are suffering afflictions that might be doing us either good or harm, we do not to know how to pray as we ought. But because they are hard to endure and painful, because they are contrary to our nature (which is weak) we, like all mankind, pray to have our afflictions taken from us. At least, though, we owe this much respect to the Lord our God, that if he does not take our afflictions away we should not consider ourselves ignored and neglected, but should hope to gain some greater good through the patient acceptance of suffering. For my power is at its best in weakness.
  Scripture says this so that we should not be proud of ourselves if our prayer is heard, when we ask for something it would be better for us not to get; and so that we should not become utterly dejected if we are not given what we ask for, despairing of God’s mercy towards us: it might be that what we have been asking for could have brought us some still greater affliction, or it could have brought us the kind of good fortune that brings corruption and ruin. In such cases, it is clear that we cannot know how to pray as we ought.
  Hence if anything happens contrary to our prayer, we ought to bear the disappointment patiently, give thanks to God, and be sure that it was better for God’s will to be done than our own. The Mediator himself has given us an example of this. When he had prayed, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by, he transformed the human will that was in him because he had assumed human nature and added Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it. Thus, truly, By the obedience of one man many have been made righteous.
Responsory
Ask and you will receive; for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
The Lord is near to all who call upon him, who call upon him from their hearts; for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

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 and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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