Universalis
Thursday 23 October 2014    (other days)
Saint John of Capistrano, Priest
 or Thursday after the Eighteenth 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
Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving
The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.
The Lord’s ways are pure;
  the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
  the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
  What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
  and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
  who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
  teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
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 word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)
Lord, your right hand upheld me.
You have given me the shield of your salvation;
  your right hand holds me up;
  by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
  my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
  I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
  they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
  and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
  you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
  they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
  trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
  and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
  at a mere rumour of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favour;
  they hide away and tremble where they hide.
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, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.
The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
  Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
  you subject peoples to my rule,
  you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
  you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
  and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
  you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
  to David and his descendants for ever.
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.
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

Uncover my eyes, Lord,
and I will consider the wonders of your Law.

First Reading
Esther 5:1-8,7:1-10 ©
On the third day, Esther, dressed in her royal robes, presented herself in the inner court of the palace, which was in front of the king’s apartments. He was seated on the royal throne in the Royal Hall, facing the door. No sooner had he seen Queen Esther standing in his court than she won his favour and he held out the golden sceptre he had in his hand to her. Esther approached and touched the end of it.
  ‘What is the matter, Queen Esther?’ the king said. ‘Tell me what you desire; even if it is half my kingdom, I grant it you.’ ‘Would the king be pleased’ Esther replied ‘to come with Haman today to the banquet I have prepared for him?’ The king said, ‘Tell Haman to come at once, so that Esther may have her wish.’
  When the king and Haman were seated at the banquet with Queen Esther this second day, the king again said to Esther as they drank their wine, ‘Tell me what you request, Queen Esther? I grant it to you. Tell me what you desire; even if it is half my kingdom, it is yours for the asking.’ ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, O king,’ Queen Esther replied ‘and if it please your majesty, grant me my life – that is what I request; and the lives of my people – that is what I desire. For we are doomed, I and my people, to destruction, slaughter and annihilation; if we had merely been condemned to become slaves and servant-girls, I would have said nothing; but as things are, it will be beyond the means of the persecutor to make good the loss that the king is about to sustain.’ King Ahasuerus interrupted Queen Esther, ‘Who is this man?’ he exclaimed. ‘Where is he, the schemer of such an outrage?’ Esther replied, ‘The persecutor, the enemy? Why, this wretch Haman!’ Haman quaked with terror in the presence of the king and queen.
  In a rage the king rose and left the banquet to go into the palace garden; while Haman, realising that the king was determined on his ruin, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life. When the king returned from the palace garden into the banqueting hall, he found Haman huddled across the couch where Esther was reclining. ‘What!’ the king exclaimed. ‘Is he going to rape the queen before my eyes in my own palace?’ The words were scarcely out of his mouth than a veil was thrown over Haman’s face. Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, was present. He said, ‘How convenient! There is that fifty-cubit gallows which Haman ran up for Mordecai, whose report saved the king’s life. It is all ready at his house.’ ‘Hang him on it’ said the king. So Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had erected for Mordecai, and the king’s wrath subsided.
Responsory
Israel cried out to the Lord and he saved his people; he delivered them from all evil. The Lord worked wonders for Israel among the nations.
Declare this with cries of joy: The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob. The Lord worked wonders for Israel among the nations.

Second Reading
A treatise by St John of Capestrano
The lives of good clerics bring light and serenity
Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. They must learn from their eminent teacher, Jesus Christ, what he declared not only to his apostles and disciples, but also to all the priests and clerics who were to succeed them, when he said: You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavour? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
  Truly the unclean, immoral cleric is trampled underfoot like worthless manure. He is saturated with the filth of vice and entangled in the chains of sin. In this condition he must be considered worthless both to himself and to others. As Gregory says: “When a man’s life is frowned upon, it follows that his preaching will be despised.”
  Presbyters who are born leaders deserve to be doubly honoured, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. It is indeed a double task that worthy priests perform, that is to say, it is both exterior and interior, both temporal and spiritual, and, finally, both a passing task and an eternal one.
  Even though they dwell on earth and are bound by the same necessities of nature along with all mortal creatures, at the same time they are engaged in earnest communication with the angels in heaven, so that they may be pleasing to their king and learn how to serve him. Therefore, just as the sun rises over the world in God’s heaven, so clerics must let their light shine before men so that they may see their good deeds and give praise to their heavenly Father.
  You are the light of the world. Now a light does not illumine itself, but instead it diffuses its rays and shines all around upon everything that comes into its view. So it must be with the glowing lives of upright and holy clerics. By the brightness of their holiness they must bring light and serenity to all who gaze upon them. They have been placed here to care for others. Their own lives should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the house of the Lord.
Responsory
Do not remain silent when you should speak, and do not hide your wisdom; for wisdom is recognised in speech, and it is the tongue that gives good counsel.
Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with the patience that the work of teaching requires, for wisdom is recognised in speech, and it is the tongue that gives good counsel.

Let us pray.
Almighty God, you sent Saint John of Capestrano
  to comfort Christian people in a time of distress.
Keep us, we pray, in the safety of your protection,
  and give your Church lasting peace.
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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