Universalis
Tuesday 21 February 2017    (other days)
Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, Doctor 
 or Tuesday after Sexagesima 

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 67 (68)
The Lord's triumphal journey
Let God arise, let those who hate him flee before him.
God arises and his enemies are scattered:
  those who hate him flee from his sight.
You blow them away like wisps of smoke;
  as wax melts in front of a fire,
  so the wicked melt away before God.
The righteous are glad and exult in God’s sight;
  they rejoice in their gladness.
Sing to the Lord and celebrate his name!
Make a road for him who rides upon the clouds –
  “The Lord” is his name.
Rejoice in his sight,
  the father of orphans, defender of widows,
  God in his holy dwelling-place,
God, who gives the lonely a house to dwell in,
  God, who leads captives out into prosperity;
  but the rebellious shall live in a desert land.
God, when you set out in the sight of your people,
  when you crossed the wilderness – the earth shook.
The heavens sent down dew at your coming –
  the God of Sinai, the God of Israel.
At your bidding the rains came, O God,
  your inheritance was worn out but you refreshed it.
All your creatures took up residence there,
  in your goodness you made a place for the needy.
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.
Let God arise, let those who hate him flee before him.

Psalm 67 (68)
This God of ours is a God who saves. The Lord holds the keys of death.
The Lord gives out the word,
  and a great army of maidens brings the news:
“The kings of the armies are fleeing, they are fleeing,
  and the fair one at home is dividing the spoils.
While you sleep among the sheepfolds,
  the wings of the dove shine with silver,
  her feathers glow with green gold.
Through her the Almighty scatters the kings,
  and the mountain of Zalmon is white with snow.”
The mountain of Bashan is God’s mountain;
  the mountain of God is a high-peaked mountain.
Why do you envy it, you high-peaked mountains,
  envy the mountain that God has chosen?
  The Lord will dwell there for ever.
The chariots of God are ten thousand thousand:
  the Lord has come from Sinai to his holy sanctuary.
You have scaled the heights, you have taken captives,
  you have received men as gifts
  so that even the rebels live with the Lord God.
Blessings on the Lord, day after day!
  God will carry us, God our saviour.
Our God is a God of salvation,
  our Lord is a Lord who rescues from death.
Truly God will break the heads of his enemies,
  take the scalps of those who tread the path of crime.
The Lord has spoken:
  “I shall bring them back from Bashan,
  I shall bring them back from the depths of the sea,
so that your feet may be dipped in blood
  and the tongues of your dogs receive food from your enemies.”
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.
This God of ours is a God who saves. The Lord holds the keys of death.

Psalm 67 (68)
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord.
They have seen your processions, O God,
  the processions of God, my king, to his sanctuary.
First came the singers, last the musicians,
  between them the maidens playing their drums.
“Bless God in the assemblies:
  bless the Lord, you who spring from Israel!”
There was young Benjamin, leading them,
  the princes of Judah in their rich robes,
  the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
O God, command in your strength;
  make firm what you have achieved in us.
From your temple in Jerusalem,
  kings shall bring you tribute.
Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds,
  the herd of bulls, the lords of peoples.
  Let them lie prostrate before you with tribute of silver.
Scatter the peoples that delight in war.
  Nobles will come from Egypt,
  Ethiopia will stretch out its hands to God.
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
  celebrate the Lord.
Sing to God who rides on the highest heavens,
  at the origin of all things.
Listen! – he speaks, a voice of power.
Acknowledge the strength of the Lord:
  his majesty is over Israel,
  his strength is in the clouds.
God inspires awe in his holy place;
  he, the God of Israel, gives power to his people;
  he gives them strength.
Blessed be God!
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.
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord.

I will hear whatever the Lord God has to say:
words of peace for his people.

First Reading
Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 ©
There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
a time for planting,
a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing,
a time for healing;
a time for knocking down,
a time for building.
A time for tears,
a time for laughter;
a time for mourning,
a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away,
a time for gathering them up;
a time for embracing,
a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching,
a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for throwing away.
A time for tearing,
a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.
A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.
What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes? I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at. All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.
  I know there is no happiness for man except in pleasure and enjoyment while he lives. And when man eats and drinks and finds happiness in his work, this is a gift from God.
  I know that what God does he does consistently. To this nothing can be added, from this nothing taken away; yet God sees to it that men fear him. What is, already was; what is to be, has been already; yet God cares for the persecuted. But I still observe that under the sun crime is where law should be, the criminal where the good should be. ‘God’ I thought to myself ‘will judge both virtuous and criminal, because there is a time here for all that is purposed or done.’ I also thought that mankind behaves like this so that God may show them up for what they are, and expose them for the brute beasts they are to each other. Indeed, the fate of man and beast is identical; one dies, the other too, and both have the selfsame breath; man has no advantage over the beast, for all is vanity. Both go to the same place; both originate from the dust and to the dust both return. Who knows if the spirit of man mounts upward or if the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?
  I see there is no happiness for man but to be happy in his work, for this is the lot assigned him. Who then can bring him to see what is to happen after his time?
Responsory
℟. Our time is growing short: those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it.* I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.
℣. There is a season for everything; there is no activity, here beneath the heavens, but has its allotted time for beginning and coming to an end.* I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Second Reading
From a letter by Saint Peter Damian, bishop
Let us rejoice in the joy that follows sadness
You asked me to write you some words of consolation, my brother. Embittered by so many tribulations, you are seeking some comfort for your soul. You asked me to offer you some soothing suggestions.
  But there is no need for me to write. Consolation is already within your reach, if your good sense has not been dulled. My son, come to the service of God. Stand in justice and fear. Prepare your soul; it is about to be tested. These words of Scripture show that you are a son of God and, as such, should take possession of your inheritance. What could be clearer than this exhortation?
  Where there is justice as well as fear, adversity will surely test the spirit. But it is not the torment of a slave. Rather it is the discipline of a child by its parent.
  Even in the midst of his many sufferings, the holy man Job could say: Whip me, crush me, cut me in slices! And he would always add: This at least would bring me relief, yet my persecutor does not spare me.
  But for God’s chosen ones there is great comfort; the torment lasts but a short time. Then God bends down, cradles the fallen figure, whispers words of consolation. With hope in his heart, man picks himself up and walks again toward the glory of happiness in heaven.
  Craftsmen exemplify this same practice. By hammering gold, the smith beats down the dross. The sculptor files metal to reveal a shining vein underneath. The potter’s furnace puts vessels to the test. And the fire of suffering tests the mettle of just men. The apostle James echoes this thought: Think it a great joy, dear brothers and sisters, when you stumble onto the many kinds of trials and tribulations.
  When men suffer pain for the evil they have perpetrated in life, they should take some reassurance. They also know that for their good deeds undying rewards await them in the life to come.
  Therefore, my brother, scorned as you are by men, lashed as it were by God, do not despair. Do not be depressed. Do not let your weakness make you impatient. Instead, let the serenity of your spirit shine through your face. Let the joy of your mind burst forth. Let words of thanks break from your lips.
  The way that God deals with men can only be praised. He lashes them in this life to shield them from the eternal lash in the next. He pins people down now; at a later time he will raise them up. He cuts them before healing; he throws them down to raise them anew.
  The Scriptures reassure us: let your understanding strengthen your patience. In serenity look forward to the joy that follows sadness. Hope leads you to that joy and love enkindles your zeal. The well-prepared mind forgets the suffering inflicted from without and glides eagerly to what it has contemplated within itself.
Responsory
℟. Blessed is the man who is found blameless, and who does not go after gold nor place his trust in hoards of money.* His fortune will be firmly based on the Lord.
℣. He had the power to sin and has not sinned, to wrong another and has not done it.* His fortune will be firmly based on the Lord.

Let us pray.
Almighty God, teach us by the example and doctrine of Saint Peter Damian
  to prefer nothing whatever to Christ,
  and to make the service of your Church our chief concern,
  and so come to the joy of your eternal kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

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, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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