Jesus

The Daily Office

The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office or the Work of God (Opus Dei), is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer.  The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer.  At times the dialogue is between the Church or individual soul and God; at times it is a dialogue among the members of the Church; and at times it is even between the Church and the world.  The Divine Office "is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father." (SC 84)  The dialogue is always held, however, in the presence of God and using the words and wisdom of God.  Each of the five canonical Hours includes selections from the Psalms that culminate in a scriptural proclamation.  The two most important or hinge Hours are Morning and Evening Prayer. These each include a Gospel canticle:  the Canticle of Zechariah from Luke 1:68-79 for Morning Prayer (known as the Benedictus), and the Canticle of Mary from Luke 1:46-55 for Evening Prayer (known as the Magnificat). The Gospel canticle acts as a kind of meditative extension of the scriptural proclamation in light of the Christ event.  Morning and Evening Prayer also include intercessions that flow from the scriptural proclamation just as the Psalms prepare for it.

Office of Readings

Thursday May 19, 2017

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
Love’s redeeming work is done,
fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
death in vain forbids him rise;
Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our victor King;
where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
following our exalted Head;
made like him, like him we rise,
ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection thou!

Psalm 34 (35)
The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution
O Lord, arise to help me. Alleluia.
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.”
Let them be thrown into confusion,
  those who are after my life.
Let them be weakened and put to flight,
  those who plan harm to me.
Let them be like chaff blowing in the wind,
  when the angel of the Lord scatters them.
Let their paths be dark and slippery,
  when the angel of the Lord harries them.
For it was without cause that they spread out their nets to ensnare me,
  without cause that they dug a pit to take my life.
Let death come upon them suddenly,
  may they be entangled in their own nets.
But 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.
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. Alleluia.

Psalm 34 (35)
Lord, plead my cause; defend me with your strength. Alleluia.
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.
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. Alleluia.

Psalm 34 (35)
My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long. Alleluia.
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,
  who do not speak of peace,
  who plan crimes against the innocent,
who cry out slanders against me,
  saying “Yes! Yes! We saw it ourselves!”
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.
Judge me according to your justice,
  Lord: my God, let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not think to themselves,
  “Yes! We have what we wanted!”
Let them not say,
  “We have swallowed him up.”
But 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. Alleluia.

Christ, at your resurrection, alleluia,
let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 22:1-9 ©
Then the angel showed me the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the pagans.
  The ban will be lifted. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.
  The angel said to me, ‘All that you have written is sure and will come true: the Lord God who gives the spirit to the prophets has sent his angel to reveal to his servants what is soon to take place. Very soon now, I shall be with you again.’ Happy are those who treasure the prophetic message of this book.
  I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I had heard and seen them all, I knelt at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me, to worship him; but he said, ‘Do not do that: I am a servant just like you and like your brothers the prophets and like those who treasure what you have written in this book. It is God that you must worship.’
Responsory
℟. There shall be no more night, because the Lord God will be the light of his servants,* and they will rule as kings for ever and ever, alleluia.
℣. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him,* and they will rule as kings for ever and ever, alleluia.

Second Reading
From a sermon by Blessed Isaac of Stella, abbot
Firstborn of many brothers
Just as the head and body of a man form one single man, so the Son of the Virgin and those he has chosen to be his members form a single man and the one Son of Man. Christ is whole and entire, head and body, say the Scriptures, since all the members form one body, which with its head is one Son of Man, and he with the Son of God is one Son of God, who himself with God is one God. Therefore the whole body with its head is Son of Man, Son of God, and God. This is the explanation of the Lord’s words: Father, I desire that as you and I are one, so they may be one with us.
  And so, according to this well-known reading of Scripture, neither the body without the head, nor the head without the body, nor the head and body without God make the whole Christ. When all are united with God they become one God. The Son of God is one with God by nature; the Son of Man is one with him in his person; we, his body, are one with him sacramentally. Consequently those who by faith are spiritual members of Christ can truly say that they are what he is: the Son of God and God himself. But what Christ is by his nature we are as his partners; what he is of himself in all fullness, we are as participants. Finally, what the Son of God is by generation, his members are by adoption, according to the text: As sons you have received the Spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, Abba, Father.
  Through his Spirit, he gave men the power to become sons of God, so that all those he has chosen might be taught by the firstborn among many brothers to say: Our Father, who are in heaven. Again he says elsewhere: I ascend to my Father and to your Father.
  By the Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin, was born our head, the Son of Man; and by the same Spirit, in the waters of baptism, we are reborn as his body and as sons of God. And just as he was born without any sin, so we are reborn in the forgiveness of all our sins. As on the cross he bore the sum total of the whole body’s sins in his own physical body, so he gave his members the grace of rebirth in order that no sin might be imputed to his mystical body. It is written: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt for his sin. The ‘blessed man’ of this text is undoubtedly Christ. Insofar as God is his head, Christ forgives sins. Insofar as the head of the body is one man, there is no sin to forgive; and insofar as the body that belongs to this head consists of many members, there is sin indeed, but it is forgiven and no guilt is imputed.
  In himself he is just: it is he who justifies himself. He alone is both Saviour and saved. In his own body on the cross he bore what he had washed from his body by the waters of baptism. Bringing salvation through wood and through water, he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world which he took upon himself. Himself a priest, he offers himself as sacrifice to God, and he himself is God. Thus, through his own self, the Son is reconciled to himself as God, as well as to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.
Responsory
℟. All of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other.* In him lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you find your own fulfilment, alleluia.
℣. He is the source of the body’s life, the first to return from the dead, to be in all things alone supreme.* In him lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you find your own fulfilment, alleluia.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  grant that the Easter mystery may shape our lives,
so that what we celebrate with joy
  may be our constant defence and salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

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