Universalis
Wednesday 20 February 2019    (other days)

 or Wednesday of week 6 in Ordinary Time 

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 38 (39)
A prayer in sickness
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.
I said, “I will watch my ways,
  I will try not to sin in my speech.
I will set a guard on my mouth,
  for as long as my enemies are standing against me.”
I stayed quiet and dumb, spoke neither evil nor good,
  but my pain was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me,
  and fire blazed in my thoughts.
Then I spoke out loud:
  “Lord, make me know my end.
Let me know the number of my days,
  so that I know how short my life is to be.”
All the length of my days is a handsbreadth or two,
  the expanse of my life is as nothing before you.
For in your sight all men are nothingness:
  man passes away, like a shadow.
Nothingness, although he is busy:
  he builds up treasure, but who will collect it?
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.
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalm 38 (39)
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.
What, now, can I look forward to, Lord?
  My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
  do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
  for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
  for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
 – for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
  turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
  for I come as a stranger before you,
  a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
  before I leave this world,
  before I am no more.
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, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

Psalm 51 (52)
Against calumny
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
Why do you take pride in your malice,
  you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
  your tongue is sharp as a razor –
  you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
  you speak lies rather than the truth;
  your tongue is in love with every deceit.
For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
  He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
  uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
  they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
  but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
  and in the power of his stratagems.”
But I flourish like an olive in the palace of God.
  I hope in the kindness of God,
  for ever, and through all ages.
I shall praise you for all time for what you have done.
  I shall put my hope in your name and in its goodness
  in the sight of your chosen ones.
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 trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

℣. My soul trusts in the word of the Lord.
℟. My soul is longing for him.

First ReadingProverbs 9:1-18 ©
Wisdom and folly
Wisdom has built herself a house,
  she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine,
  she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants
  and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
  To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread,
  drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live,
  walk in the ways of perception.’
Correct a mocker and you make an enemy;
  rebuke a wicked man, you get insult in return.
Do not rebuke the mocker, he will only hate you,
  rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it.
Be open with the wise, he grows wiser still,
  teach a virtuous man, he will learn yet more.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
  the knowledge of the Holy One – perception indeed!
For days are multiplied by me
  and years of life increased.
Are you wise? It is to your advantage.
  A mocker? The burden is yours alone.
Dame Folly acts on impulse,
  is childish and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house,
  on a throne commanding the city,
inviting the passers-by
  as they pass on their lawful occasions,
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
  To the fool she says,
‘Stolen waters are sweet,
  and bread tastes better when eaten in secret.’
The fellow does not realise that here the Shades are gathered,
  that her guests are heading for the valleys of Sheol.
Responsory
Lk 14:16-17; Pr 9:5
℟. A man once gave a great banquet, and he sent his servants to tell his guests:* Come, for all is now ready.
℣. Come, eat my bread and drink the wine I have mixed.* Come, for all is now ready.

Second Reading
The commentary on Proverbs by Procopius of Gaza
The Wisdom of God has mixed wine for us and set up a feast
Wisdom has built herself a house. God the Father’s Power, himself a person, has fashioned as his dwelling-place the whole world, in which he lives by his activity; and has fashioned man also, who was created to resemble God’s own image and likeness and has a nature which is partly seen and partly hidden from our eyes.
  And she has set up seven pillars. To man, who was made in the image of Christ when the rest of creation was completed, Wisdom gave the seven gifts of the Spirit to enable him to believe in Christ and to keep his commandments. By means of these gifts, strength is stimulated by knowledge and knowledge is reflected in strength until the spiritual man is brought to completion, solidly founded on firm faith and on the supernatural graces in which he shares.
  His nature is made more glorious by strength, by good counsel, and by prudence. Strength brings a desire to seek out all manifestations of the divine will through which all things were made. Good counsel distinguishes what is God’s will from what is not and leads him to ponder, to proclaim and to fulfil the will of God. Prudence, finally, leads him to turn towards the will of God and not to other things.
  She has mingled her wine in a bowl and spread her table. Because the Word of God has mingled in man, as in a bowl, a spiritual and a physical nature and has given him a knowledge both of creation and of himself as the Creator, it is natural for the things of God to have on man’s mind the inebriating effect of wine. Christ himself, the bread from heaven, is his nourishment enabling him to grow in virtue, and it is Christ who quenches his thirst and gladdens him with his teaching. For all who desire to share in it, he has prepared this rich banquet, this spiritual feast.
  She has sent forth her servants with the sublime message that all are to come to the bowl and drink. Christ has sent forth his apostles, the servants of his divine will, to proclaim the message of the Gospel which, because it comes from the Spirit, transcends both the natural and the written law. By this he calls us to himself: in him, as in a bowl, there was brought about by the mystery of the incarnation a marvelous mingling of the divine and human natures, although each still remains distinct. And through the apostles he cries out: Is anyone foolish? Let him turn to me. If anyone is so foolish as to think in his heart that there is no God, let him renounce his disbelief and turn to me by faith. Let him know that I am the maker of all things and their Lord.
  And to those who lack wisdom he says: Come, eat my bread and drink the wine that I have prepared for you. To those who still lack the works of faith and the higher knowledge which inspires them he says ‘Come, eat my body, the bread that is the nourishment of virtue, and drink my blood, the wine that cheers you with the joy of true knowledge and makes you divine. For I have miraculously mingled my divinity with my blood for your salvation.’
Responsory
℟. Wisdom has built herself a house, she has erected her seven pillars;* Wisdom has prepared her wine and laid her table.
℣. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him, says the Lord.* Wisdom has prepared her wine and laid her table.

Let us pray.
To those who love you, Lord,
  you promise to come with your Son
  and make your home within them.
Come, then, with your purifying grace
  and make our hearts a place where you can dwell.
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, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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