Universalis
Saturday 20 August 2022    (other days)
Saint Bernard, Abbot, Doctor 
 on Saturday of week 20 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
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
’Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord

The Lord has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.
The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
  he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
  Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
  around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.
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 has summoned heaven and earth to witness his judgement of his people.

Psalm 49 (50)

Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.
Listen, my people, and I will speak;
  Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
  for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
  nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
  and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
  Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
  for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
  or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
  to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
  I will rescue you, and you will honour 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.
Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you.

Psalm 49 (50)

A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.
To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
  Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
  and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
  you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
  and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
  you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
  so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
  I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
  lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
  whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.
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.
A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honour me.

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

First ReadingIsaiah 37:21-35 ©

Prophecies against the Assyrian king

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah. ‘This’ he said ‘is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says in answer to the prayer you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria. Here is the oracle that the Lord has pronounced against him:
“She despises you, she scorns you,
the virgin, daughter of Zion;
she tosses her head behind you,
the daughter of Jerusalem.
Whom have you insulted, whom did you blaspheme?
Against whom raised your voice
and lifted your insolent eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel.
Through your minions you have insulted the Lord;
you have said: With my many chariots
I have climbed the tops of mountains,
the utmost peaks of Lebanon.
I have felled its tall forest of cedars,
its finest cypresses.
I have reached its furthest recesses,
its forest garden.
Yes I have dug wells and drunk
of alien waters;
I have put down my feet, and have dried up
all the rivers of Egypt.
“Do you hear? Long ago
I planned for it,
from days of old I designed it,
now I carry it out.
Your part was to bring down in heaps of ruins
fortified cities.
Their inhabitants, hands feeble,
dismayed, discomfited,
were like plants of the field,
like tender grass,
like grass of housetop and meadow,
under the east wind.
I know whenever you rise and whenever you sit,
your going out, your coming in.
Because you have raved against me
and your insolence has come to my ears,
I will put my ring through your nostrils,
my bit between your lips,
to make you return by the road
on which you came.
“This shall be the sign for you:
This year will be eaten the self-sown grain,
next year what sprouts in the fallow,
but in the third year sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
The surviving remnant of the House of Judah shall bring forth
new roots below and fruits above.
For a remnant shall go out from Jerusalem,
and survivors from Mount Zion.
The jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
‘This, then, is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city,
he will let fly no arrow against it,
confront it with no shield,
throw up no earthwork against it.
By the road that he came on he will return;
he shall not enter this city. It is the Lord who speaks.
I will protect this city and save it
for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”’
ResponsoryIs 52:9-10
℟. The Lord has comforted his people: he has redeemed Jerusalem,* and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
℣. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations,* and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Second Reading
From a sermon of St Bernard of Clairvaux

I love because I love, I love that I may love

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal it may be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.
  The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?
  Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.
  What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?
Responsory
℟. How abundant are your treasures of loving-kindness, O Lord,* which you give to those who fear you.
℣. They delight in the abundance of your house, they drink the waters of contentment* which you give to those who fear you.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you made Saint Bernard burn with zeal for your house,
  and gave him grace to enkindle and enlighten others in your Church.
Grant that by his prayer
  we may be filled with the same spirit
  and always live as children of the light.
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.

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