Universalis
Tuesday 28 September 2021    (other days)
Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr 
 or Tuesday of week 26 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saints Laurence Ruiz and his Companions, Martyrs 

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 36 (37)
The fate of the evil and the righteous

Commit your life to the Lord, and he will act on your behalf.
Do not envy the wicked;
  do not be jealous of those that do evil.
They will dry up as quickly as hay;
  they will wither like the grass.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good,
  and your land and habitation will be secure.
Take your delight in the Lord,
  and he will give you what your heart desires.
Entrust your journey to the Lord, and hope in him:
  and he will act.
He will make your uprightness shine like the light,
  your judgement like the sun at noon.
Take your rest in the Lord, and hope in him:
  do not envy the one who thrives in his own way,
  the man who weaves plots.
Abstain from wrath, abandon anger:
  do not envy him who turns to evil,
for those who do evil will be destroyed,
  but those on the side of the Lord
  will inherit the earth.
A moment yet – and the sinner will be gone:
  you will look where he was and find nothing.
But the meek will inherit the land
  and delight in abundant peace.
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.
Commit your life to the Lord, and he will act on your behalf.

Psalm 36 (37)

Turn away from evil and do good: the Lord will support the just.
The wicked will plot against the righteous
  and gnash his teeth at him;
but the Lord will deride him in his turn,
  for the Lord has seen what awaits him.
The wicked have pulled out their swords,
  the wicked have drawn their bows,
to throw down the poor and the destitute,
  to murder whoever follows the straight path.
But their swords will enter their own hearts,
  and their bows will splinter.
For the righteous, the little they have is better
  than the abundant wealth of the wicked.
The limbs of the wicked will be broken
  while the Lord gives his strength to the just.
The Lord knows when the day of the perfect will come;
  and their inheritance will be eternal.
They will not be troubled in evil times,
  and in times of famine they will have more than enough.
For the wicked will perish:
  the enemies of the Lord will be like the flowers of the fields,
  and like smoke they will vanish away.
The wicked man borrows and does not return;
  but the righteous takes pity and gives.
The blessed ones of the Lord will inherit the earth,
  but those whom he curses will be cut off.
It is the Lord who strengthens the steps of man
  and chooses his path.
Even if he trips he will not fall flat,
  for the Lord is holding his hand.
I was young and I have grown old,
  but I have not seen the righteous man abandoned
  nor his children seeking for bread.
All day long he takes pity and lends,
  and his seed will be blessed.
Shun evil and do good,
  and you will live for ever.
For the Lord loves right judgement,
  and will not abandon his chosen ones.
The unjust will be destroyed for ever,
  and the seed of the wicked will be cut off,
but the righteous will inherit the earth
  and live there from age to age.
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.
Turn away from evil and do good: the Lord will support the just.

Psalm 36 (37)

Wait for the Lord, keep to his way.
The mouth of the righteous will speak wisdom,
  and his tongue will utter right judgement.
The law of his God is in his heart
  and his steps will not stumble.
The wicked man watches the just
  and seeks to kill him;
but the Lord will rescue the just man from his hands
  and not condemn the just in the time of judgement.
Put your hope in the Lord and follow his paths,
  and he will raise you up and make the land your inheritance,
  let you watch as the wicked are cut off.
I have seen the sinner triumph,
  flourish like a green cedar,
but he is gone, he is there no longer:
  I have looked for him but have not found him.
Preserve innocence, follow uprightness:
  for the future belongs to the man of peace.
The unrighteous will be destroyed altogether,
  their posterity will be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,
  and their protection in time of trouble.
The Lord will come to their help and free them,
  rescue them from the wicked and save them,
  because they have put their trust in him.
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.
Wait for the Lord, keep to his way.

℣. Anguish and distress have taken hold of me.
℟. Yet will I delight in your commands.

First Reading
Philippians 1:27-2:11 ©

An exhortation to imitate Christ

Avoid anything in your everyday lives that would be unworthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come to you and see for myself, or stay at a distance and only hear about you, I shall know that you are unanimous in meeting the attack with firm resistance, united by your love for the faith of the gospel and quite unshaken by your enemies. This would be the sure sign that they will lose and you will be saved. It would be a sign from God that he has given you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well. You and I are together in the same fight as you saw me fighting before and, as you will have heard, I am fighting still.
  If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead. In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus:
His state was divine,
yet he did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave,
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings in the heavens,
on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Responsory
1 P 2:24; Heb 2:14, 12:2
℟. Christ bore our sins on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for holiness;* that, through his death, he might destroy the devil, who has command over death.
℣. Jesus, on whom our faith depends, endured the cross for the sake of the joy that waited for him,* that, through his death, he might destroy the devil, who has command over death.

Second Reading
From the first old Slavic legend

The throne of the king who judges the poor faithfully will be made firm for ever

At the death of Vratislaus the people of Bohemia made his son Wenceslaus their king. He was by God’s grace a man of utmost faith. He was charitable to the poor, and he would clothe the naked, feed the hungry and offer hospitality to travellers according to the summons of the Gospel. He would not allow widows to be treated unjustly; he loved all his people, both rich and poor; he also provided for the servants of God, and he adorned many churches.
  The men of Bohemia, however, became arrogant and prevailed upon Boleslaus, his younger brother. They told him, “Your brother Wenceslaus is conspiring with his mother and his men to kill you.”
  On the feasts of the dedication of the churches in various cities, Wenceslaus was in the habit of paying them a visit. One Sunday he entered the city of Boleslaus on the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian, and after hearing Mass, he planned to return to Prague. But Boleslaus, with his wicked plan in mind, detained him with the words: “Why are you leaving, brother?” The next morning when they rang the bell for matins, Wenceslaus, on hearing the sound, said: “Praise to you, Lord; you have allowed me to live to this morning.” And so he rose and went to matins. Immediately Boleslaus followed him to the church door.
  Wenceslaus looked back at him and said: “Brother, you were a good subject to me yesterday.” But the devil had already blocked the ears of Boleslaus and perverted his heart. Drawing his sword Boleslaus replied: “And now I intend to be a better one!” With these words he struck his brother’s head with his sword. But Wenceslaus turned and said: “Brother, what are you trying to do?” And with that he seized Boleslaus and threw him to the ground. But one of Boleslaus’ counsellors ran up and stabbed Wenceslaus in the hand. With his hand wounded, he let go of his brother and took refuge in the church. But two evil men struck him down at the church door; and then another rushed up and ran him through with a sword. Thereupon Wenceslaus died with the words: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!
Responsory
℟. The saint will blossom like the lily;* he will flourish for ever in the presence of our God.
℣. Planted in the house of the Lord, established in the courts of our God,* he will flourish for ever in the presence of our God.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  under your guidance Saint Wenceslaus learnt
  to lay aside an earthly kingdom for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Help us, by his prayers,
  to deny ourselves
  and to follow you with all our 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 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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