Universalis
Thursday 12 December 2019    (other days)
Thursday of the 2nd week of Advent 
 or Our Lady of Guadalupe 

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 43 (44)
In time of defeat

It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing.
Our own ears have heard, O God,
  and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
  what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
  and put us in their place,
  struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
  it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
  the light of your face,
  for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
  who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
  in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
  my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
  you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
  and proclaim your name for all ages.
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.
It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing.

Psalm 43 (44)

Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.
But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
  so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
  and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
  you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
  not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
  mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
  the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
  I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
  my enemies and my persecutors.
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.
Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.

Psalm 43 (44)

Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love.
All this happened to us,
  but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
  our hearts did not turn away;
  our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
  with horrors all about us:
  you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
  if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
  He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
  that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
  Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
  How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
  our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
  In your mercy, redeem 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.
Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love.

℣. Listen to the word of the Lord, you nations.
℟. Make it known to coasts and islands far away.

First ReadingIsaiah 26:7-21 ©

A promise of resurrection

The path of the upright man is straight,
you smooth the way of the upright.
Following the path of your judgements,
we hoped in you, O Lord,
your name, your memory are all my soul desires.
At night my soul longs for you
and my spirit in me seeks for you;
when your judgements appear on earth
the inhabitants of the world learn the meaning of integrity.
If favour is shown to the wicked,
he does not learn the meaning of integrity.
He does evil in the land of uprightness,
he fails to see the majesty of the Lord.
O Lord, your hand is raised,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your jealous love for this people and be ashamed,
let the fire prepared for your enemies consume them.
O Lord, you are giving us peace,
since you treat us
as our deeds deserve.
O Lord our God,
other lords than you have ruled us,
but we acknowledge no-one other than you,
no other name than yours.
The dead will not come to life,
their ghosts will not rise,
for you have punished them, annihilated them,
and wiped out their memory.
Enlarge the nation, O Lord, enlarge it,
to the nation grant glory,
extend all the frontiers of the country.
Distressed, we search for you, O Lord;
the misery of oppression was your punishment for us.
As a woman with child near her time
writhes and cries out in her pangs,
so are we, O Lord, in your presence:
we have conceived, we writhe
as if we were giving birth;
we have not given the spirit of salvation to the earth,
no more inhabitants of the world are born.
Your dead will come to life,
their corpses will rise;
awake, exult,
all you who lie in the dust,
for your dew is a radiant dew
and the land of ghosts will give birth.
Go into your rooms, my people,
shut your doors behind you.
Hide yourselves a little while
until the wrath has passed.
For, see, the Lord will soon come out of his dwelling,
to punish all the inhabitants of earth for their crimes.
The earth will reveal its blood
and no longer hide its slain.
Responsory
Is 26:19; Dn 12:2
℟. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy,* for the dew of the Lord shall bring you light.
℣. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,* for the dew of the Lord shall bring you light.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop

Love desires to see God

When God saw the world falling to ruin because of fear, he immediately acted to call it back to himself with love. He invited it by his grace, preserved it by his love, and embraced it with compassion.
  Thus, when the earth had grown old in evil, God sent the flood both to punish and to release it. He called Noah to be the father of a new era, urged him with gentle words, and showed his trust in him. He instructed him about the present and reassured him about the future. God did not just issue orders but shared in the work of shutting into the ark all that was to be born into the world in the future. Thus by sharing in love he took away servile fear, and he protected with shared love whatever their shared labour had saved.
  Thus God called Abraham out of the heathen world, lengthened his name from ‘Abram’, and made him our father in faith. He accompanied him on his journeys, protected him in foreign lands, enriched him with possessions, and honoured him with victories. He made promises to him, saved him from harm, accepted his hospitality, and astonished him by giving him the offspring he had despaired of. Abraham was favoured with so many good things and drawn by God’s sweet love so that he would learn to love, not fear: love, not fear was to inspire him to worship.
  Thus when Jacob was fleeing, God comforted him with a dream and roused him to combat upon his return. He hugged him in a wrestler’s grip so that he would love the one who had given battle and not fear him.
  Thus God called Moses as a father would. It was with fatherly affection that he invited him to become the liberator of his people.
  But in all the events we have recalled, the flame of God’s love set human hearts on fire and intoxicated human senses. Wounded by love, men longed to see God with their bodily eyes.
  How could our narrow human vision perceive one whom the whole world cannot contain? What will be, what ought to be, what can be – the law of love does not care about these things. Love does not have judgement, reason, strategy. Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, refuses to be cured if its goal is difficult to achieve.
  Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves. It goes where it is led, not where it ought to go. Love gives birth to desire, it bursts into flame and that fire draws it to seek forbidden things. What more is there to say?
  Love cannot accept not seeing the thing that it loves. That is why the saints counted whatever they deserved as being nothing if it did not mean that they could see the Lord.
  Thus although a love that desires to see God may not be desiring something reasonable, but still its desire is a truly good thing.
  Thus it was that Moses dared to say: If I have found favour in your eyes, show me your face.
  Thus it was that the psalmist said: Show me your face. Even the pagans were obeying the same impulse when they made their idols: even though they were mistaken, they knew that they had to see with their eyes what they worshipped with their hearts.
Responsory
℟. As a mother comforts her sons, so will I comfort you, says the Lord; and help will come to you from Jerusalem, the city I have chosen.* At the sight your heart will rejoice.
℣. I will give salvation to Zion; Israel shall have sight of my glory.* At the sight your heart will rejoice.

Let us pray.
Clear a pathway, Lord, in our hearts
  to make ready for your only Son,
so that when he comes
  we may serve you in sincerity of heart.
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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