Universalis
Friday 3 December 2021    (other days)
Saint Francis Xavier, Priest 
 on Friday of the 1st week of Advent

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 Advent of our God
  With eager prayers we greet
And singing haste upon the road
  His glorious gift to meet.
The everlasting Son
  Scorns not a Virgin’s womb;
That we from bondage may be won
  He bears a bondsman’s doom.
Daughter of Zion, rise
  To meet thy lowly King;
Let not thy stubborn heart despise
  The peace he deigns to bring.
In clouds of awful light,
  As Judge he comes again,
His scattered people to unite,
  With them in heaven to reign.
Let evil flee away
  Ere that dread hour shall dawn.
Let this old Adam day by day
  God’s image still put on.
Praise to the Incarnate Son,
  Who comes to set us free,
With God the Father, ever One,
  To all eternity.

Psalm 34 (35)
The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution

O Lord, arise to help me.
Judge, Lord, those who are judging me:
  attack those who are attacking me.
Take up your shield and come out to defend me.
  Brandish your spear and hold back my pursuers.
Say to my soul, “I am your deliverance.”
My soul will exult in the Lord
  and rejoice in his aid.
My bones themselves will say
  “Lord, who is your equal?”
You snatch the poor man
  from the hand of the strong,
the needy and weak
  from those who would destroy them.
Lying witnesses rose up against me;
  they asked me questions I could not answer.
They paid me back evil for the good I did,
  my soul is desolation.
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.
O Lord, arise to help me.

Psalm 34 (35)

Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.
Yet I – when they were ill, I put on sackcloth,
  I mortified my soul with fasting,
  I prayed for them from the depths of my heart.
I walked in sadness as for a close friend, for a brother;
  I was bowed down with grief as if mourning my own mother.
But they – when I was unsteady, they rejoiced and gathered together.
  They gathered and beat me: I did not know why.
They were tearing me to pieces, there was no end to it:
  they teased me, heaped derision on me, they ground their teeth at me.
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, plead my cause; defend me with your strength.

Psalm 34 (35)

My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.
Lord, how long will you wait?
  Rescue my life from their attacks,
  my only life from the lions.
I will proclaim you in the great assembly,
  in the throng of people I will praise you.
Let not my lying enemies triumph over me,
  those who hate me for no reason,
who conspire against me by secret signs.
You see them, Lord, do not stay silent:
  Lord, do not leave me.
Rise up and keep watch at my trial:
  my God and my Lord, watch over my case.
Let those who support my cause rejoice,
  let them say always “How great is the Lord,
  who takes care of his servant’s welfare.”
And my tongue too will ponder your justice,
  and praise you all day long.
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 tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

℣. You will hear the word from my mouth.
℟. You will speak to them in my name.

First ReadingIsaiah 19:16-24 ©

The future conversion of Egypt and Assyria

That day, the Egyptians will become like women, fearful, terrified, when they see the uplifted hand that the Lord of Hosts will raise against them. The land of Judah will become the terror of Egypt. Whenever Egypt is reminded of this, she will be terrified, because of the fate the Lord of Hosts has prepared for her. That day, in the land of Egypt there will be five towns speaking the language of Canaan and swearing oaths in the name of the Lord of Hosts; Ir Haheres will be one of them. That day, there will be an altar to the Lord in the centre of the land of Egypt and, close to the frontier, a pillar to the Lord, which will be both sign and witness of the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt. When in oppression the Egyptians cry to the Lord he will send them a saviour to protect and deliver them. The Lord will reveal himself to them, and that day the Egyptians will acknowledge the Lord and worship him with sacrifices and offerings. They will make vows to the Lord and perform them. Then, though the Lord has struck the Egyptians harshly, he will heal them. They will turn to the Lord who will listen to them and heal them. That day, there will be a road from Egypt to Assyria. Assyria will have access to Egypt and Egypt have access to Assyria. Egypt will serve Assyria.
  That day, Israel, making the third with Egypt and Assyria, will be blessed in the centre of the world.
Responsory
Is 19:21; Lk 13:29
℟. The Egyptians will know the Lord in that day,* and they will worship him with sacrifice and burnt offerings.
℣. Men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God,* and they will worship him with sacrifice and burnt offerings.

Second Reading
A letter from St Francis Xavier to St Ignatius

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel

We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. No Portuguese live here, the country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.
  I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
  I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.
  Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: “What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”
  I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.
  This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like – even to India.
Responsory
℟. The harvest is rich but the labourers are few,* so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.
℣. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth;* so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you won so many peoples to yourself
  by the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier.
Give us the same zeal that he had for the faith,
  and let your Church rejoice
  and see the virtue and number of her children increase
  throughout the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation from the Latin. 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.

You can also view this page in Latin and English.

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