Universalis
Wednesday 16 October 2019    (other days)
Wednesday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity 
 or Saint Hedwig, Religious 
 or Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin 

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
O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalm 102 (103)
Praise of the compassionate Lord
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  Never forget all he has done for you.
The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
  who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
  who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
  who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
  who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.
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.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.

Psalm 102 (103)
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
  full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
  he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
  he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
  so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
  so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
  so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
  he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
  he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
  no trace of him remains.
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.
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

Psalm 102 (103)
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
  to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
  for those who keep his covenant,
  for those who remember his commandments
  and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
  and his rule shall extend over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels,
  strong in your strength, doers of his command,
  bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
  his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
  in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless the Lord!
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.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

℣. Make me grasp the way of your precepts, Lord.
℟. I will meditate on your wonders.

First Reading
Zechariah 3:1-4:14 ©
Promises to Prince Zerubbabel and High Priest Joshua
He showed me Joshua the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing on his right to accuse him. The angel of the Lord said to Satan, ‘May the Lord rebuke you, Satan, may the Lord rebuke you, he who has made Jerusalem his very own. Is not this man a brand snatched from the fire?’ Now Joshua was dressed in dirty clothes as he stood before the angel of the Lord. The angel said these words to those who stood before him, ‘Take off his dirty clothes and clothe him in splendid robes of state, and put a clean turban on his head.’ They clothed him in splendid robes of state and put a clean turban on his head. The angel of the Lord was standing there and said to him, ‘Look, I have taken away your iniquity from you.’ The angel of the Lord then proclaimed to Joshua: ‘The Lord of Hosts says this, “If you walk in my ways and keep my ordinances, you shall govern my house, you shall watch over my courts, and I will give you free access among those who stand here. For this is the stone which I am placing before Joshua; on this single stone there are seven eyes; and I myself intend to cut the inscription on it – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.
  ‘“Now listen, High Priest Joshua, you and the friends who sit before you – for you are men of good omen. I now mean to raise my servant Branch, and I intend to put aside the iniquity of this land in a single day. On that day – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks – you will entertain each other under your vine and fig tree.”’
  The angel who was talking to me came back and roused me as a man is roused from his sleep. And he asked me, ‘What can you see?’ I answered, ‘As I look, this is what I see: there is a lamp-stand entirely of gold with a bowl at the top of it; seven lamps are on the lamp-stand, and seven lips for the lamps on it. By it are two olive trees, one to the right of it and one to the left.’ Speaking again, I said to the angel who was talking to me, ‘What do those things mean, my lord?’ The angel who was talking to me replied, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ He then gave me this answer, ‘These seven are the eyes of the Lord; they cover the whole world.’ In reply to this I asked him, ‘What is the meaning of these two olive trees, to the right and to the left of the lamp-stand?’ (Speaking again, I asked him, ‘What is the meaning of the two olive branches pouring the oil through the two golden pipes?’) He replied, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ He said, ‘These are the two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole world.
  ‘This is the word of the Lord with regard to Zerubbabel, “Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.
  “What are you, you great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, be a plain! He will pull out the keystone to shouts of: Blessings on it, blessings on it!”’
  The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this Temple; his hands will finish it. (And you will learn that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you.) A day for little things, no doubt, but who would dare despise it? People will rejoice when they see the chosen stone in the hands of Zerubbabel.’
ResponsoryRv 11:3-4
℟. These are the two olive trees and the two lamps* that stand in the presence of the Lord of the earth.
℣. The Lord will appoint as prophets his two witnesses* that stand in the presence of the Lord of the earth.

Second Reading
From the discourses addressed to Thalassius by Saint Maximus the Confessor
The light that enlightens every man
The lamp that is set on the lamp-stand is the true light from the Father, the light that enlightens every man coming into the world, namely our Lord Jesus Christ. By becoming one of us and assuming our human nature he became and was called the lamp. This means that he is by nature the wisdom and word of God, the Father, which is faithfully and loyally preached in God’s Church and which is raised up as a shining and resplendent light among the nations by a life of virtue led in accordance with the commandments, giving light to all who are in the house (by that I mean in this world). So the divine Word says somewhere: Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Clearly he is calling himself a lamp, for while he was God by nature he became a man according to God’s plan of salvation.
  I think that in his wisdom the great David understood this when he called the Lord a lamp: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. For that is the sort of Saviour my Lord and God is, delivering men from the darkness of ignorance and sin, which is also why scripture calls him a lamp.
  Like a lamp he has dispelled the gloom of ignorance and the darkness of sin, and in this way he alone has become the path to salvation for all men. By virtue and knowledge he brings to the Father all those who are resolved to follow him, who is the way of righteousness, by keeping the divine commandments. The Holy Church he calls the lamp-stand, for through its preaching the word of God shines out on it and enlightens all that live in this world, as in a house, with the brightness of truth, filling the minds of all men with the knowledge of God.
  The word will not suffer being kept under a bushel: it needs to be set on that great and beautiful lamp-stand that is the Church. For if the word is restricted by the letter of the law, like a light hidden under a bushel, it deprives all men of eternal light. It offers no spiritual vision to men striving to free themselves from the senses. For they recognise that these are misleading, capable only of error and able to grasp only what is of their own nature, that is to say subject to decay. But once the word is placed on the lamp-stand, that is the Church, where God receives true worship in spirit, then it will give light to all men.
  If the letter is not understood according to the spirit, then it can only be grasped with the senses, which means that what it has to say is restricted and the force of what is written is not allowed to sink into the mind.
  Therefore, let us not put the lamp (that is the enlightening word of knowledge) which we have lit by spiritual contemplation and action under a bushel. Let us not be guilty of restricting the incomprehensible force of wisdom by the letter. Let us put it on the lamp-stand (by that I mean the Church), where on the heights of true contemplation it may hold out the light of divine teaching to all men.
Responsory
℟. Walk while you have the light, or darkness will overtake you.* While you still have the light, trust to the light and you will become sons of light.
℣. I have come into this world to give sight to the blind.* While you still have the light, trust to the light and you will become sons of light.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  open our hearts to your grace.
Let it go before us and be with us,
  that we may always be intent upon doing your will.
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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