Universalis
Wednesday 1 June 2016    (other days)
Saint Justin, Martyr 
 (Wednesday after the First Sunday after Trinity)

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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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.
I love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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 saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
that came from his lips.

First Reading
Job 32:1-6,33:1-22 ©
These three men said no more to Job, because he was convinced of his innocence. But another man was infuriated – Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram. He fumed with rage against Job for thinking that he was right and God was wrong; and he was equally angry with the three friends for giving up the argument and thus admitting that God could be unjust. While they were speaking, Elihu had held himself back, because they were older than he was; but when he saw that the three men had not another word to say in answer, his anger burst out. Thus Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite spoke next. He said:
I am still young,
  and you are old,
so I was shy, afraid,
  to tell you what I know.
Now, Job, be kind enough to listen to my words,
  and attend to all I have to say.
Now as I open my mouth,
  and my tongue shapes words against my palate,
my heart shall utter sayings full of wisdom,
  and my lips speak the honest truth.
Refute me, if you can.
  Prepare your ground to oppose me.
See, I am your fellow man, not a god;
  like you, I was fashioned out of clay.
God’s breath it was that made me,
  the breathing of Shaddai that gave me life.
Thus, no fear of me need disturb you,
  my hand will not lie heavy over you.
How could you say in my hearing –
  for the sound of your words did not escape me –
‘I am clean, and sinless,
  I am pure, free of all fault.
Yet he is inventing grievances against me,
  and imagining me his enemy.
He puts me in the stocks,
  he watches my every step’?
In saying so, I tell you, you are wrong:
  God does not fit man’s measure.
Why do you rail at him
  for not replying to you, word for word?
God speaks first in one way,
  and then in another, but no one notices.
He speaks by dreams, and visions that come in the night,
  when slumber comes on mankind,
  and men are all asleep in bed.
Then it is he whispers in the ear of man,
  or may frighten him with fearful sights,
to turn him away from evil-doing,
  and make an end of his pride;
to save his soul from the pit
  and his life from the pathway to Sheol.
With suffering, too, he corrects man on his sick-bed,
  when his bones keep trembling with palsy;
when his whole self is revolted by food,
  and his appetite spurns dainties;
when his flesh rots as you watch it,
  and his bare bones begin to show;
when his soul is drawing near to the pit,
  and his life to the dwelling of the dead.
Responsory
℟. How rich are the depths of God, how deep his wisdom and knowledge,* how inscrutable are his judgements!
℣. Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?* How inscrutable are his judgements!

Second Reading
From the Acts of the martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companion saints
I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians
The saints were seized and brought before the prefect of Rome, whose name was Rusticus. As they stood before the judgement seat, Rusticus the prefect said to Justin: “Above all, have faith in the gods and obey the emperors.” Justin said: “We cannot be accused or condemned for obeying the commands of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
  Rusticus said: “What system of teaching do you profess?” Justin said: “I have tried to learn about every system, but I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians, though these are not approved by those who are held fast by error.”
  The prefect Rusticus said: “Are those doctrines approved by you, wretch that you are?” Justin said: “Yes, for I follow them with their correct teaching.”
  The prefect Rusticus said: “What sort of teaching is that?” Justin said: “Worship the God of the Christians. We hold him to be from the beginning the one creator and maker of the whole creation, of things seen and things unseen. We worship also the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was foretold by the prophets as the future herald of salvation for the human race and the teacher of distinguished disciples. For myself, since I am a human being, I consider that what I say is insignificant in comparison with his infinite godhead. I acknowledge the existence of a prophetic power, for the one I have just spoken of as the Son of God was the subject of prophecy. I know that the prophets were inspired from above when they spoke of his coming among men.”
  Rusticus said: “You are a Christian, then?” Justin said: “Yes, I am a Christian.”
  The prefect said to Justin: “You are called a learned man and think that you know what is true teaching. Listen: if you were scourged and beheaded, are you convinced that you would go up to heaven?” Justin said: “I hope that I shall enter God’s house if I suffer that way. For I know that God’s favour is stored up until the end of the whole world for all who have lived good lives.”
  The prefect Rusticus said: “Do you have an idea that you will go up to heaven to receive some suitable rewards?” Justin said: “It is not an idea that I have; it is something I know well and hold to be most certain.”
  The prefect Rusticus said: “Now let us come to the point at issue, which is necessary and urgent. Gather round then and with one accord offer sacrifice to the gods.” Justin said: “No one who is right thinking stoops from true worship to false worship.”
  The prefect Rusticus said: “If you do not do as you are commanded you will be tortured without mercy.” Justin said: “We hope to suffer torment for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so be saved. For this will bring us salvation and confidence as we stand before the more terrible and universal judgement-seat of our Lord and Saviour.”
  In the same way the other martyrs also said: “Do what you will. We are Christians; we do not offer sacrifice to idols.”
  The prefect Rusticus pronounced sentence, saying: “Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the command of the emperor be scourged and led away to suffer capital punishment according to the ruling of the laws.” Glorifying God, the holy martyrs went out to the accustomed place. They were beheaded, and so fulfilled their witness of martyrdom in confessing their faith in their Saviour.
Responsory
℟. I have testified to the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and now I care nothing for any danger.* I do not count my life precious compared with my work, which is to finish the course I run, the task of preaching which the Lord Jesus has given me, in proclaiming the good news of God’s grace.
℣. I am not ashamed of this gospel. It is an instrument of God’s power, that brings salvation to all who believe in it, Jew first and then Greek.* I do not count my life precious compared with my work, which is to finish the course I run, the task of preaching which the Lord Jesus has given me, in proclaiming the good news of God’s grace.

Let us pray.
Lord God, in a wonderful way, through the folly of the cross,
  you taught your martyr Saint Justin the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Heed his prayer for us:
  dispel every deceiving error,
  and ground us firmly in our faith.
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.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

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