Universalis
Thursday 27 June 2019    (other days)
Thursday of week 12 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop, Doctor 

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
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
Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face.
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.
Amen.
Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face.

Psalm 43 (44)
If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you.
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.
Amen.
If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you.

Psalm 43 (44)
Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.
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.
Amen.
Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.

℣. Let your face shine on your servant, Lord.
℟. Teach me your decrees.

First Reading
1 Samuel 21:2-10,22:1-5 ©
David’s flight
David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came out trembling to meet David and said, ‘Why are you alone and no one with you?’ David replied to Ahimelech the priest, ‘The king has given me an order and said to me, “Let no one know anything of the mission I am sending you on, nor of the order I am giving you.” As regards my soldiers, I have arranged to meet them at such and such a place. Meanwhile, if you have five loaves of bread to hand, give them to me, or whatever there is.’ The priest replied to David, ‘I have no ordinary bread to hand; there is only consecrated bread – provided your soldiers have kept themselves from women?’
  David replied to the priest, ‘Certainly, women are forbidden us, as always when I set off on a campaign. The soldiers’ things are pure. Though this is a profane journey, they are certainly pure today as far as their things are concerned.’ The priest then gave him what had been consecrated, for the only bread there was the bread of offering which is taken away from the presence of the Lord to be replaced by warm bread when it is removed.
  Now one of Saul’s servants happened to be there that day, detained in the presence of the Lord; his name was Doeg the Edomite and he was the chief of Saul’s guardsmen.
  David then said to Ahimelech, ‘Have you no spear or sword here to hand? I did not bring either my sword or my weapons with me, because the king’s business was pressing.’ The priest replied, ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you killed in the Valley of the Terebinth is over there wrapped up in a cloth behind the ephod; if you wish to take it, do so, for there is no other here.’ David said, ‘There is none like it; give it to me.’
  David left there and and took refuge in the Cave of Adullam; his brothers and all his father’s family heard of it and joined him there. All the oppressed, those in distress, all those in debt, anyone who had a grievance, gathered round him and he became their leader. There were about four hundred men with him.
  David went from there to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, ‘Allow my father and mother to stay with you until I know what God intends to do for me.’ He left them with the king of Moab and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
  But the prophet Gad said to David, ‘Do not stay in the stronghold; go and make your way into the land of Judah.’ So David went away and came to the forest of Hereth.
Responsory
Rm 7:6; Mk 2:25-26
℟. Having died to that which held us prisoners, we are discharged from the law.* Let us serve God, then, in a new way, the way of the spirit, in contrast to the old way, the way of a written code.
℣. Have you never read what David did when he was hungry? He went into the house of God and ate the sacred bread.* Let us serve God, then, in a new way, the way of the spirit, in contrast to the old way, the way of a written code.

Second Reading
A homily on the Beatitudes by St Gregory of Nyssa
God is like an inaccessible rock
The feelings that come to a man who stands on a high mountain peak and looks down onto some immense sea are the same feelings that come to me when I look out from the high mountain peak of the Lord’s words into the incomprehensible depths of his thoughts.
  When you look at mountains that stand next to the sea, you will often find that they seem to have been cut in half, so that on the side nearest the sea there is a sheer drop and something dropped from the summit will fall straight into the depths. Someone who looks down from such a peak will become dizzy, and so too I become dizzy when I look down from the high peak of these words of the Lord: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  These words offer the sight of God to those whose hearts have been purified and purged. But look: St John says No-one has seen God. The Apostle Paul’s sublime mind goes further still: What no man has seen and no man can see. This is the slippery and crumbling rock that seems to give the mind no support in the heights. Even the teaching of Moses declared God to be a rock that was so inaccessible that our minds could not even approach it: No-one can see the Lord and live.
  To see God is to have eternal life – and yet the pillars of our faith, John and Paul and Moses, say that God cannot be seen. Can you understand the dizziness of a soul that contemplates their words? If God is life, whoever does not see God does not see life. If the prophets and the Apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, attest that God cannot be seen, does this not wreck all the hopes of man?
  It is the Lord who sustains our floundering hope, just as he sustained Peter when he was floundering in the water, and made the waters firm beneath his feet. If the hand of the Word stretches out to us as well, and sets us firm in a new understanding when these speculations have made us lose our balance, we shall be safe from fear, held safe in the guiding hand of the Word. Blessed, he says, are those who possess a pure heart, for they shall see God.
Responsory
℟. No-one has ever seen God;* but God’s only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, has made him known.
℣. Can anyone measure the magnificence of the great Lord, and his inexpressible grandeur?* But God’s only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, has made him known.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  teach us at all times to fear and love your holy name,
for you never withdraw your guiding hand
  from those you establish in your love.
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.
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 apps and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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