Universalis
Wednesday 18 December 2019    (other days)
18 December 

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
The co-eternal Son
A maiden’s offspring see;
A servant’s form Christ putteth on,
To set his people free.
Daughter of Sion, rise
To greet thine infant King;
Nor let thy stubborn heart despise
The pardon he doth bring.
Let deeds of darkness fly
Before the approaching morn;
For unto sin ’tis ours to die
And serve the Virgin-born.
Our joyful praises sing,
To Christ, that set us free;
Like tribute to the Father bring,
And, Holy Ghost, to thee.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David

Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.
I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
  to generation upon generation
  my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
  “My kindness shall be established for ever”;
  your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
  I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
  I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
  the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
  Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
  great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
  Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
  when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
  through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
  you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
  Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
  your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
  kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
  They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
  and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
  and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
  and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
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.
Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)

The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.
In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
  You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
  I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
  I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
  my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
  the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
  and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
  and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
  and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
  my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
  supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
  my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
  and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”
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 Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

Psalm 88 (89)

Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.
“But if his children abandon my law
  and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
  and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
  I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
  nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
  I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
  I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
  his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
  a faithful witness in the sky.”
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.
Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant: his dynasty shall last for ever.

℣. Lift up your heads and see.
℟. Your redemption is at hand.

First ReadingIsaiah 46:1-13 ©

Babylonian idols are condemned by the Lord

Bel is crouching. Nebo cringing.
Their idols are being loaded on animals, on beasts of burden,
carried off like bundles on weary beasts.
They are cringing and crouching together,
powerless to save the ones who carry them,
as they themselves go off into captivity.
‘Listen to me, House of Jacob,
all you who remain of the House of Israel,
you who have been carried since birth,
whom I have carried since the time you were born.
‘In your old age I shall be still the same,
when your hair is grey I shall still support you.
I have already done so, I have carried you,
I shall still support and deliver you.’
To whom can you compare me, equate me,
to whom claim I am similar, or comparable?
These prodigals weigh out gold from their purses
and silver on the scales.
They engage a goldsmith to make a god
then worship and prostrate themselves before it.
They lift it on their shoulders and carry it,
and put it where it is meant to stand.
It never moves from the spot.
You may invoke it, it never replies,
It never saves anyone in trouble.
Remember this and be dismayed,
stir your memories again, you sinners,
remember things long past.
I am God unrivalled
God who has no like.
From the beginning I foretold the future,
and predicted beforehand what is to be.
I say: My purpose shall last;
I will do whatever I choose.
I call a bird of prey from the east,
my man of destiny from a far country.
No sooner is it said than done,
no sooner planned than performed.
Listen to me, faint hearts,
who feel far from victory.
I bring my victory near, already it is close,
my salvation will not be late.
I will give salvation to Zion,
my glory shall be for Israel.
ResponsoryIs 46:12-13
℟. Listen to me, faint hearts, who feel far from victory.* I will give salvation to Zion, Israel shall have sight of my glory.
℣. I will bring my victory near, already it is close, my salvation will not be late.* I will give salvation to Zion, Israel shall have sight of my glory.

Second Reading
From the Letter to Diognetus

God showed his love through his Son

No man has ever seen God or known him, but God has revealed himself to us through faith, by which alone it is possible to see him. God, the Lord and maker of all things, who created the world and set it in order, not only loved man but was also patient with him. So he has always been, and is, and will be: kind, good, free from anger, truthful; indeed, he and he alone is good.
  He devised a plan, a great and wonderful plan, and shared it only with his Son. As long as he preserved this secrecy and kept his own wise counsel he seemed to be neglecting us, to have no concern for us. But when through his beloved Son he revealed and made public what he had prepared from the very beginning, he gave us all at once gifts such as we could never have dreamt of, even sight and knowledge of himself.
  When God had made all his plans in consultation with his Son, he waited until a later time, allowing us to follow our own whim, to be swept along by unruly passions, to be led astray by pleasure and desire. Not that he was pleased by our sins: he only tolerated them. Not that he approved of that time of sin: he was planning this era of holiness. When we had been shown to be undeserving of life, his goodness was to make us worthy of it. When we had made it clear that we could not enter God’s kingdom by our own power, we were to be enabled to do so by the power of God.
  When our wickedness had reached its culmination, it became clear that retribution was at hand in the shape of suffering and death. The time came then for God to make known his kindness and power (how immeasurable is God’s generosity and love!). He did not show hatred for us or reject us or take vengeance; instead, he was patient with us, bore with us, and in compassion took our sins upon himself; he gave his own Son as the price of our redemption, the holy one to redeem the wicked, the sinless one to redeem sinners, the just one to redeem the unjust, the incorruptible one to redeem the corruptible, the immortal one to redeem mortals. For what else could have covered our sins but his sinlessness? Where else could we, wicked and sinful as we were, have found the means of holiness except in the Son of God alone?
  How wonderful a transformation, how mysterious a design, how inconceivable a blessing! The wickedness of the many is covered up in the holy One, and the holiness of One sanctifies many sinners.
Responsory
℟. There is salvation in no-one else,* for there is no other name under heaven granted to men by which we may receive salvation.
℣. His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,* for there is no other name under heaven granted to men by which we may receive salvation.

Let us pray.
By the long-awaited coming of your new-born Son
  deliver us, Lord,
  from the age-old bondage of sin.
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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