Universalis
Tuesday 29 July 2014    (other days)
Saint Martha
 (Tuesday of week 17 in Ordinary Time)

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
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.

Hymn
Worship, glory, praise and honour
To our God, high-throned above:
We, with many generations
Join to praise thy name of love.
In the scriptures, by the Spirit,
May we see the Saviour’s face,
Hear his word and heed his calling,
Know his will and grow in grace.

Psalm 9B (10)
Thanksgiving
The Lord will protect the rights of the oppressed.
With what purpose, Lord, do you stay away,
  hide yourself in time of need and trouble?
The wicked in their pride persecute the weak,
  trap them in the plots they have devised.
The sinner glories in his desires,
  the miser congratulates himself.
The sinner in his arrogance rejects the Lord:
  “there is no God, no retribution.”
This is what he thinks
 – and all goes well for him.
Your judgements are far beyond his comprehension:
  he despises all who stand against him.
The sinner says to himself: “I will stand firm;
  nothing can touch me, from generation to generation.”
His mouth is full of malice and deceit,
  under his tongue hide trouble and distress.
He lies in ambush by the villages,
  he kills the innocent in some secret place.
He watches the weak,
  he hides like a lion in its lair, and makes plans.
He plans to rob the weak,
  lure him to his trap and rob him.
He rushes in, makes a dive,
  and the poor victim is caught.
For he has said to himself, “God has forgotten.
  He is not watching, he will never see.”
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 Lord will protect the rights of the oppressed.

Psalm 9B (10)
Lord, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.
Rise up, Lord, raise your hand!
  Do not forget the weak.
Why does the wicked man spurn God?
  Because he says to himself, “you will not take revenge.”
But you do see: you see the trouble and the pain,
  and then you take things into your own hands.
The weak fall to your care,
  and you are the help of the orphan.
Break the arms of the sinner and evil-doer:
  seek out wickedness until there is no more to be found.
The Lord is King for ever and for ever.
  The Gentiles have perished from his land.
You have heard the prayer of the weak, Lord,
  and you will strengthen their hearts.
You will lend your ear to the pleas of the orphans and the helpless,
  so mere mortals can frighten them no longer.
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, you have seen our trouble and our sorrow.

Psalm 11 (12)
A prayer against the proud
The words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.
Save me, Lord, for the good men are all gone:
  there is no-one to be trusted among the sons of men.
Neighbour speaks falsehood to neighbour:
  with lying lips and crooked hearts they speak.
Let the Lord condemn all lying lips,
  all boastful tongues.
They say “Our tongues will make us great,
  our lips are ours, we have no master.”
“On account of the sufferings of the poor,
  the groans of the weak, I will rise up,” says the Lord.
  “I will bring to safety the one whom men despise.”
The words of the Lord are pure words,
  silver tried by fire, freed from dross,
  silver seven times refined.
You, Lord, will help us
  and guard us from now to all eternity –
while the wicked walk round outside,
  where the vilest are most honoured of the children of men.
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 words of the Lord are words without alloy, silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

The Lord will guide the humble on the right path.
He will teach his ways to the meek.

First Reading
2 Corinthians 9:1-15 ©
There is really no need for me to write to you on the subject of offering your services to the saints, since I know how anxious you are to help; in fact, I boast about you to the Macedonians, telling them, ‘Achaia has been ready since last year.’ So your zeal has been a spur to many more. I am sending the brothers all the same, to make sure that our boasting about you does not prove to have been empty this time, and that you really are ready as I said you would be. If some of the Macedonians who are coming with me found you unprepared, we should be humiliated – to say nothing of yourselves – after being so confident. That is why I have thought it necessary to ask these brothers to go on to you ahead of us, and make sure in advance that the gift you promised is all ready, and that it all comes as a gift out of your generosity and not by being extorted from you.
  Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.
  The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one, and, made richer in every way, you will be able to do all the generous things which, through us, are the cause of thanksgiving to God. For doing this holy service is not only supplying all the needs of the saints, but it is also increasing the amount of thanksgiving that God receives. By offering this service, you show them what you are, and that makes them give glory to God for the way you accept and profess the gospel of Christ, and for your sympathetic generosity to them and to all. And their prayers for you, too, show how they are drawn to you on account of all the grace that God has given you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Responsory
Give to others, and God will give to you: you will receive a full measure, a generous helping poured into your hands – all you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one God will use for you.
Each one should give as he has decided, not regretting his decision, or from a sense of duty. The measure you use for others is the one God will use for you.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Augustine
Blessed are they who deserved to receive Christ in their homes
Our Lord’s words teach us that though we labour among the many distractions of this world, we should have but one goal. For we are but travellers on a journey without as yet a fixed abode; we are on our way, not yet in our native land; we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment. But let us continue on our way, and continue without sloth or respite, so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination.
  Martha and Mary were sisters, related not only by blood but also by religious aspirations. They stayed close to our Lord and both served him harmoniously when he was among them. Martha welcomed him as travellers are welcomed. But in her case, the maidservant received her Lord, the invalid her Saviour, the creature her Creator, to serve him bodily food while she was to be fed by the Spirit. For the Lord willed to put on the form of a slave, and under this form to be fed by his own servants, out of condescension and not out of need. For this was indeed condescension, to present himself to be fed; since he was in the flesh he would indeed be hungry and thirsty.
  Thus was the Lord received as a guest who came unto his own and his own received him not; but as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God, adopting those who were servants and making them his brothers, ransoming the captives and making them his co-heirs. No one of you should say: “Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!” Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says: Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.
  But you, Martha, if I may say so, are blessed for your good service, and for your labours you seek the reward of peace. Now you are much occupied in nourishing the body, admittedly a holy one. But when you come to the heavenly homeland will you find a traveller to welcome, someone hungry to feed, or thirsty to whom you may give drink, someone ill whom you could visit, or quarrelling whom you could reconcile, or dead whom you could bury?
  No, there will be none of these tasks there. What you will find there is what Mary chose. There we shall not feed others, we ourselves shall be fed. Thus what Mary chose in this life will be realised there in all its fullness; she was gathering fragments from that rich banquet, the Word of God. Do you wish to know what we will have there? The Lord himself tells us when he says of his servants, Amen, I say to you, he will make them recline and passing he will serve them.
Responsory
After Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, they gave a dinner in his honour at Bethany, and Martha waited on the company at table.
Mary brought a quantity of very costly ointment and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, and Martha waited on the company at table.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  your Son graciously came as a guest to the home of Saint Martha.
By her prayers give us grace to serve Christ faithfully in our brethren,
  and bring us to your home in heaven.
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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