Universalis
Saturday 21 December 2019    (other days)
21 December 
 (optional commemoration of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Doctor)

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
The co-eternal Son
A maiden’s offspring see;
A servant’s form Christ putteth on,
To set his people free.
Daughter of Sion, rise
To greet thine infant King;
Nor let thy stubborn heart despise
The pardon he doth bring.
Let deeds of darkness fly
Before the approaching morn;
For unto sin ’tis ours to die
And serve the Virgin-born.
Our joyful praises sing,
To Christ, that set us free;
Like tribute to the Father bring,
And, Holy Ghost, to thee.

Psalm 106 (107)
Thanksgiving after rescue

Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his kindness is for ever.
Let them say this, the people the Lord has redeemed,
  those whom he rescued from their enemies
  whom he gathered together from all lands,
  from east and west, from the north and the south.
They wandered through desert and wilderness,
  they could find no way to a city they could dwell in.
Their souls were weary within them,
  weary from hunger and thirst.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He set them on the right path
  towards a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who feeds hungry creatures
  and gives water to the thirsty to drink.
They sat in the darkness and shadow of death,
  imprisoned in chains and in misery,
because they had rebelled against the words of God
  and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He wore out their hearts with labour:
  they were weak, there was no-one to help.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them out of the darkness and shadow of death,
  he shattered their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who shatters doors of bronze,
  who breaks bars of iron.
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 them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men.

Psalm 106 (107)

They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.
The people were sick because they transgressed,
  afflicted because of their sins.
All food was distasteful to them,
  they were on the verge of death.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
  delivered them from their ruin.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
Let them offer a sacrifice of praise
  and proclaim his works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
  those who trade across the great waters –
they have seen the works of the Lord,
  the wonders he performs in the deep.
He spoke, and a storm arose,
  and the waves of the sea rose up.
They rose up as far as the heavens
  and descended down to the depths:
the sailors’ hearts melted from fear,
  they staggered and reeled like drunkards,
  terror drove them out of their minds.
But they cried to the Lord in their trouble
  and he rescued them from their distress.
He turned the storm into a breeze
  and silenced the waves.
They rejoiced at the ending of the storm
  and he led them to the port that they wanted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
  for the wonders he works for men:
let them exalt him in the assembly of the people,
  give him praise in the council of the elders.
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.
They have seen the Lord’s deeds and the wonders he does.

Psalm 106 (107)

The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.
The Lord has turned rivers into wilderness,
  he has made well-watered lands into desert,
  fruitful ground into salty waste
  because of the evil of those who dwelt there.
But he has made wilderness into ponds,
  deserts into the sources of rivers,
he has called together the hungry
  and they have founded a city to dwell in.
They have sowed the fields, planted the vines;
  they grow and harvest their produce.
He has blessed them and they have multiplied;
  he does not let their cattle decrease.
But those others became few and oppressed
  through trouble, evil, and sorrow.
He poured his contempt on their princes
  and set them to wander the trackless waste.
But the poor he has saved from their poverty
  and their families grow numerous as sheep.
The upright shall see, and be glad,
  and all wickedness shall block up its mouth.
Whoever is wise will remember these things
  and understand the mercies of 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.
The upright see and rejoice; they consider the love of the Lord.

℣. Lord our God, turn our hearts back to you.
℟. Let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

First Reading
Isaiah 48:12-21,49:9-13 ©

The new Exodus

Listen to me, Jacob,
Israel whom I have called:
I am the first,
I am also the last.
My hand laid the foundations of earth
and my right hand spread out the heavens.
I summon them
and they all come forward together.
Assemble, all of you, and listen;
which of them has foretold this?
‘My beloved will perform my pleasure
with Babylon and the offspring of the Chaldaeans.’
I, yes I myself, have spoken and summoned him,
brought him and prospered his plans.
Come near and listen to this:
from the beginning I have never spoken to you obscurely,
and all the time these things have been happening, I have been present.
– And now the Lord, with his spirit,
sends me.
Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you,
I lead you in the way that you must go.
If only you had been alert to my commandments,
your happiness would have been like a river,
your integrity like the waves of the sea.
Your children would have been numbered like the sand,
your descendants as many as its grains.
Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me.
Go away from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldaeans!
Declare this with cries of joy and proclaim it,
send it out to the ends of the earth.
Say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.’
Those he led through the deserts never went thirsty;
he made water spring for them from the rock,
he split the rock and water flowed.
On every roadway they will graze,
and each bare height shall be their pasture.
They will never hunger or thirst,
scorching wind and sun shall never plague them;
for he who pities them will lead them
and guide them to springs of water.
I will make a highway of all the mountains,
and the high roads shall be banked up.
Some are on their way from afar,
others from the north and the west,
others from the land of Sinim.
Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth!
You mountains, break into happy cries!
For the Lord consoles his people
and takes pity on those who are afflicted.
Responsory
Ps 96:11, 72:7; Is 49:13
℟. Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth! You mountains, break into happy cries, for our Lord is coming,* and he will take pity on those who are afflicted.
℣. In his days justice shall flourish, and peace till the moon fails;* and he will take pity on those who are afflicted.

Second Reading
From a commentary by St Ambrose on St Luke's Gospel

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The angel Gabriel had announced the news of something that was as yet hidden and so, to buttress the Virgin Mary’s faith by means of a real example, he told her also that an old and sterile woman had conceived, showing that everything that God willed was possible to God.
  When Mary heard this she did not disbelieve the prophecy, she was not uncertain of the message, she did not doubt the example: but happy because of the promise that had been given, eager to fulfil her duty as a cousin, hurried by her joy, she went up into the hill country.
  Where could she hurry to except to the hills, filled with God as she was? The grace of the Holy Spirit does not admit of delays. And Mary’s arrival and the presence of her Son quickly show their effects: As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting her child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
  See the careful distinction in the choice of words. Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice but her son John was the first to feel the effects of grace. She heard as one hears in the natural course of things; he leapt because of the mystery that was there. She sensed the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord — the woman knew the woman, the child knew the child. The women speak of grace while inside them grace works on their babies. And by a double miracle the women prophesy under the inspiration of their unborn children.
  The infant leapt and the mother was filled with the Spirit. The mother was not filled before her son: her son was filled with the Holy Spirit and in turn filled his mother. John leapt and so did Mary’s spirit. John leapt and filled Elizabeth with the Spirit; but we know that Mary was not filled but her spirit rejoiced. For the Incomprehensible was working incomprehensibly within his mother. Elizabeth had been filled with the Spirit after she conceived, but Mary before, at the moment the angel had come. “Blessed are you,” said Elizabeth, “who believed”.
  You too, my people, are blessed, you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognises his works.
  Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.
  The soul that has been able to reach this state proclaims the greatness of the Lord just as Mary did and rejoices in God its saviour just like her.
  The Lord’s greatness is proclaimed, as you have read elsewhere, where it says Join me in magnifying the Lord. This does not mean that anything can be added to the Lord’s greatness by human words, but that he is magnified in us. Christ is the image of God and so any good or religious act that a soul performs magnifies that image of God in that soul, the God in whose likeness the soul itself was made. And thus the soul itself has some share in his greatness and is ennobled.
Responsory
℟. ‘Blessed are you who have believed, because what has been promised to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.’ And Mary said,* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
℣. Come and hear: I will tell what God has done for my soul.* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.

Let us pray.
In your goodness, Lord,
  listen to your people’s prayer.
As we rejoice in the coming of your Son
  in flesh and blood like ours,
grant that when he comes again in glory
  we may receive the gift of eternal life.
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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