Universalis
Monday 20 September 2021    (other days)
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Martyrs 
 on Monday of week 25 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
The martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross they died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

Psalm 6
A prayer for relief from affliction

Lord, save me in your merciful love.
Lord, do not condemn me in your fury:
  do not destroy me in your anger.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick;
  heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed,
  and you, Lord – how long?
Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit:
  in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you?
  Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?
I struggle and groan,
  soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness:
  I grow older as my enemies watch.
Leave me, all who do evil,
  for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer,
  granted me what I asked.
Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
  let shame and confusion overtake them soon.
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, save me in your merciful love.

Psalm 9A (9)
Thanksgiving for victory

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
  I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph,
  make music to your name, O Most High.
Because my enemies are in full retreat;
  they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour,
  upheld my case,
  taken your seat on the throne of judgement.
You have rebuked the nations,
  condemned the wicked,
  wiped out their name for ever and for ever.
My enemies are no more;
  their land is a desert for ever.
You have demolished their cities,
  their very memory is wiped away.
But the Lord will reign for ever:
  he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice,
  judge the peoples impartially.
The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
  a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name;
  for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek you.
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 Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.

Psalm 9A (9)

I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.
Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion,
  proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood:
  he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.
Take pity on me, Lord:
  see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death,
  and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Zion;
  I will rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have fallen into the pit that they made,
  into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth:
  the sinner is trapped by his very own action.
Sinners will go down to the underworld,
  and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten:
  the hope of the weak will never perish.
Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent:
  let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord:
  let them know that they are only men.
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 will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.

℣. Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
℟. The Lord is our help and our shield.

First Reading
Ezekiel 34:1-6,11-16,23-31 ©

Israel, the Lord’s flock

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:
  Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.
  For the Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I shall bring them out of the countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land. I shall feed them in good pasturage; the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There they will rest in good grazing ground; they will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
  I mean to raise up one shepherd, my servant David, and to put him in charge of them and he will pasture them; he will pasture them and be their shepherd. I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be their ruler. I, the Lord, have spoken. I shall make a covenant of peace with them; I shall rid the country of wild animals. They will be able to live safely in the wilderness and go to sleep in the woods. I shall settle them round my hill; I shall send rain at the proper time; it will be a fertile rain. The trees of the countryside will yield their fruit and the earth its produce; they will feel safe on their own farms. And men will learn that I am the Lord when I break their yoke-straps and release them from their captors. No more will they be a prey to foreign countries, no more will they be eaten by wild animals in this country. They will live without fear and no one will disturb them again. I shall make splendid vegetation grow for them; no more will they suffer from famine in this land; no more will they have to bear the insults of other nations. And men will learn that I, their God, am with them and that they, the House of Israel, are my people – it is the Lord who speaks. And you, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord who speaks.
Responsory
Ez 34:12-14; Jn 10:10
℟. I shall rescue my sheep from wherever they have been scattered during mist and darkness, and bring them back to their own land.* I shall feed them in good pastures.
℣. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.* I shall feed them in good pastures.

Second Reading
From the final exhortation of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, priest and martyr

Faith is crowned by love and perseverance

My brethren and dear friends, think about this and reflect on it: from the beginning of time God has ordered the heavens, the earth, and all things. Consider the creation of man in this light and reflect on why he has created man, each man, in his image and likeness: why, and with what purpose.
  If, then, placed as we are in this world full of danger and misery, we do not know the Lord our creator, what is the point in having been born? Our life is pointless. Thanks to God, we have come into this world. Also thanks to God, we have received baptism, we have entered the Church, and we have received the glorious name of disciples of the Lord. But what use would that name be if it did not correspond to reality? If it does not, then it is in vain that we have come into the world and entered into the Church. Moreover, such a state of affairs would not serve the Lord and his grace. It would be better for us never to have been born than to receive the grace of the Lord and then sin against him.
  Look at the farmer sowing his field. He ploughs the earth at the appropriate time, then he manures it, and he cultivates the growing seed without caring how hard his work is under a hot sun. When harvest time arrives, if the ears are fat then he forgets his labour and his sweat because his heart is full of joy and he delights in the harvest. But if the grains are shrivelled and there is nothing but straw and empty husks, then the farmer remembers his sweat and heavy labour: the more he has worked the field, the more he turns his back on it.
  It is the same with the Lord. The Earth is his field; we men are his seed; his manure is grace. By the Incarnation and the Redemption he waters us with his blood so that we can grow and ripen. When the time for harvest comes at the Day of Judgement, if by his grace we are found to be ripe, we shall know the joy of the kingdom as the adoptive children of God. But if we are found to be unripe, we shall have become enemies of God instead of the adoptive sons we were, and we shall receive the eternal punishment we deserve.
  My very dear brethren, know this: our Lord Jesus, coming down here, himself suffered pains beyond counting: by his Passion he founded the Church and by the passion of his faithful he makes it grow. The powers of this world may well oppress it and attack it, but they will never have victory over it. After the Ascension of Jesus, from the time of the Apostles until now, the holy Church has grown everywhere in the middle of persecution.
  It is fifty or sixty years now since the holy Church entered our land of Korea. The faithful have endured persecution over and over again. Today it is beginning once more: many of our friends in faith, and I myself, are in prison. You too are under threat. Since we form one body, how can we not have sad hearts? How can we not, as human beings, feel the pain of separation?
  All the same, as Scripture tells us, God takes care of the least of the hairs of our head and nothing escapes his infinite knowledge. How then can we see this persecution except as something ordered by the Lord either as a prize or as a punishment? Follow therefore the will of God, fight with all your heart for our divine leader Jesus, and you will vanquish the demon of this world, who has already been vanquished by Christ.
  I implore you: do not forget fraternal love but help one another and persevere until the Lord takes pity on us and ends this persecution.
  There are twenty of us here and, thank God, all is well with us so far. If one of us is put to death I beg you not to forget his family.
  There are many other things I could say to you, but how to say them all in a letter? So I will end here. As for us, in a short time we will go into combat. I beg you to keep yourselves faithful so that we can all be reunited in the joys of heaven. With all my heart, I embrace you.
Responsory
℟. God looks on, his angels look on, Christ, too, looks on as we struggle and strive in the contest of faith.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to join battle in the presence of God, and to be crowned by Christ, the Judge!
℣. Let us be armed with a great determination and be prepared to face the combat, pure in heart, sound in faith, and full of courage.* What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to join battle in the presence of God, and to be crowned by Christ, the Judge!

Let us pray.
O God, you have created all nations and you are their salvation.
  In the land of Korea your call to Catholic faith formed a people of adoption,
  whose growth you nurtured by the blood of Andrew, Paul and their companions.
Through their martyrdom and their intercession
  grant us strength
  that we too may remain faithful to your commandments even until death.
We make our prayer 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.

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