Universalis
Thursday 5 December 2019    (other days)
Thursday 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 17 (18)
Thanksgiving

The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.
The Lord’s ways are pure;
  the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
  the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
  What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
  and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
  who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
  teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
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 word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)

Lord, your right hand upheld me.
You have given me the shield of your salvation;
  your right hand holds me up;
  by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
  my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
  I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
  they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
  and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
  you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
  they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
  trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
  and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
  at a mere rumour of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favour;
  they hide away and tremble where they hide.
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, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)

Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.
The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
  Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
  you subject peoples to my rule,
  you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
  you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
  and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
  you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
  to David and his descendants for ever.
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.
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

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

First Reading
Isaiah 16:1-5,17:4-8 ©

Zion, refuge of the Moabites. The conversion of Ephraim

Send lambs
to the king of the country
from Sela, by way of the desert,
to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
Flying backwards and forwards
like bewildered nestlings,
at the ford of the Arnon.
‘Advise us what to do,
decide for us.
‘Spread your shadow as if it were night
at the height of noon.
Hide those who have been driven out,
do not let the refugee be seen.
‘Let those who have been driven out of Moab
stay with you;
be their refuge
against the destroyer.’
Once the oppression is over,
and the destroyer is no more,
and those now trampling the country underfoot have gone away,
the throne will be made secure in gentleness,
and on it there will sit in all fidelity,
within the tent of David,
a judge careful for justice
and eager for integrity.
That day, the glory of Jacob will be diminished,
from being fat he will grow lean;
as when a reaper hugs an armful of standing corn
and slices off the ears,
or when they glean the ears in the Valley of Rephaim:
nothing remains but gleanings;
or when an olive tree is beaten:
two or three berries left on the topmost bough,
four or five on the branches of the tree.
It is the Lord, the God of Israel, who speaks.
That day, man will look to his creator and his eyes will turn to the Holy One of Israel. He will no longer look after the altars, his own handiwork, nor gaze at what his hands have made: the sacred poles and the solar pillars.
Responsory
Jr 33:15-16; Is 16:5
℟. I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land,* and this is the name by which he will be called: The Lord is our righteousness.
℣. A throne will be established in steadfast love and on it will sit in faithfulness one who judges and seeks justice,* and this is the name by which he will be called: The Lord is our righteousness.

Second Reading
From a commentary on the Diatessaron by Saint Ephraem, deacon

Keep watch: he is to come again

To prevent his disciples from asking the time of his coming, Christ said: About that hour no one knows, neither the angels nor the Son. It is not for you to know times or moments. He has kept those things hidden so that we may keep watch, each of us thinking that he will come in our own day. If he had revealed the time of his coming, his coming would have lost its savour: it would no longer be an object of yearning for the nations and the age in which it will be revealed. He promised that he would come but did not say when he would come, and so all generations and ages await him eagerly.
  Though the Lord has established the signs of his coming, the time of their fulfilment has not been plainly revealed. These signs have come and gone with a multiplicity of change; more than that, they are still present. His final coming is like his first. As holy men and prophets waited for him, thinking that he would reveal himself in their own day, so today each of the faithful longs to welcome him in his own day, because Christ has not made plain the day of his coming.
  He has not made it plain for this reason especially, that no one may think that he whose power and dominion rule all numbers and times is ruled by fate and time. He described the signs of his coming; how could what he has himself decided be hidden from him? Therefore, he used these words to increase respect for the signs of his coming, so that from that day forward all generations and ages might think that he would come again in their own day.
  Keep watch; when the body is asleep nature takes control of us, and what is done is not done by our will but by force, by the impulse of nature. When deep listlessness takes possession of the soul, for example, faint-heartedness or melancholy, the enemy overpowers it and makes it do what it does not will. The force of nature, the enemy of the soul, is in control.
  When the Lord commanded us to be vigilant, he meant vigilance in both parts of man: in the body, against the tendency to sleep; in the soul, against lethargy and timidity. As Scripture says: Wake up, you just, and I have risen, and am still with you; and again, Do not lose heart. Therefore, having this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Responsory
℟. I will make a covenant with you, this time for ever, to love you as faithfully as I loved David.* See, I have made of him a witness to all races, a leader and a master of the nations.
℣. This salvation of God has been sent to the pagans; they will listen to it.* See, I have made of him a witness to all races, a leader and a master of the nations.

Let us pray.
Show forth your power, O Lord, and come.
Come in your great strength and help us.
Be merciful and forgiving,
  and hasten the salvation which only our sins delay.
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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