Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. III:
Ordinary: 651
Proper of Seasons: 185
Psalter: Thursday, Week I, 765

Office of Readings for Thursday in Ordinary Time

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Be thou my vision, through night and come day
Light on me always, thy spirit to stay
Thou, eternal father, the great and the last
The wise and true sov’reign of all that shall pass.

Be thou my wisdom, my staff and my stay,
Shine through the darkness, give light to my way!
Be thou the true source of all I enjoy
So, let carnal pleasures no longer annoy.

Be thou my guardian my sword in the fight
Be thou my dignity thou my delight
Thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tow’r
Wilt thou raise me heaven ward, o pow’r of my pow’r.

Riches I heed not, or man’s empty praise
Thou my inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, still first in my heart
The high king of heaven my treasure thou art.

High king of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, o bright heaven’s sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be thou my vision, o ruler of all.

𝄞 “Be Thou My Vision” by Rebecca Hincke • • Available for Purchase • Title: Be Thou My Vision; Text: from Mark Hamilton Dewey’s SSATBB arrangement; Copyright: Public Domain; Artist: Rebecca Hincke; (c) 2017 Surgeworks, Inc. • Albums that contain this Hymn: The Hymns and Chants of Divine Office, Vol. 1

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.

Psalm 18:31-51
Hymn of thanksgiving

If God is on our side who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

IV

As for God, his ways are perfect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield
of all who make him their refuge.

For who is God but the Lord?
Who is a rock but our God?
The God who girds me with strength
and makes the path safe before me.

My feet you made swift as the deer’s;
you have made me stand firm on the heights.
You have trained my hands for battle
and my arms to bend the heavy bow.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The word of the Lord is a strong shield for all who put their trust in him.

Ant. 2 Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord.

V

You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me, trained me with care.
You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.

I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.
I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

You girded me with strength for battle;
you made my enemies fall beneath me,
you made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.

You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.
People unknown to me served me:
when they heard of me they obeyed me.

Foreign nations came to me cringing:
foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Your strong right hand has upheld me, Lord.

Ant. 3 May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.

VI

Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,
the God who gives me redress
and subdues people under me.

You saved me from my furious foes.
You set me above my assailants.
You saved me from violent men,
so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
I will sing a psalm to your name.

He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, our strength and salvation, put in us the flame of your love and make our love for you grow to a perfect love which reaches to our neighbor.

Ant. May the living God, my Savior, be praised for ever.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see.
The wonders of your law.

READINGS

First reading
From the letter to the Galatians
4:8-31
Our divine inheritance and the freedom of the new covenant

In the past, when you did not acknowledge God, you served as slaves to gods who are not really divine. Now that you have come to know God—or rather, have been known by him—how can you return to those powerless, worthless, natural elements to which you seem willing to enslave yourselves once more? You even go so far as to keep the ceremonial observance of days and months, seasons and years! I fear for you; all my efforts with you may have been wasted.

I beg you, brothers, to become like me as I became like you. (Understand, you have not done me any wrong.) You are aware that it was a bodily ailment that first occasioned my bringing you the gospel. My physical condition was a challenge which you did not despise or brush aside in disgust. On the contrary, you took me to yourselves as an angel of God, even as if I had been Christ Jesus! What has happened to your openhearted spirit? I can testify on your behalf that if it were possible you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. Have I become your enemy just because I tell you the truth?

The people I have referred to are not courting your favor in any generous spirit. What they really want is to exclude you so that you may court their favor. It would be well for you to be courted for the right reasons at all times, and not only when I happen to be with you. You are my children, and you put me back in labor pains until Christ is formed in you. If only I could be with you now and speak to you differently! You have me at a complete loss!

You who want to be subject to the law, tell me: do you know what the law has to say? There it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave girl, the other by his freeborn wife. The son of the slave girl had been begotten in the course of nature, but the son of the free woman was the fruit of the promise.

All this is an allegory: the two women stand for the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, and brought forth children to slavery: this is Hagar. The mountain Sinai [Hagar] is in Arabia and corresponds to the Jerusalem of our time, which is likewise in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem on high is freeborn, and it is she who is our mother. That is why Scripture says:

“Rejoice, you barren one who bear no children;
break into song, you stranger to the pains of childbirth!
For many are the children of the wife deserted —
far more than of her who has a husband!”

You, my brothers, are children of the promise, as Isaac was. But just as in those days the son born in nature’s course persecuted the one whose birth was in the realm of spirit, so do we find it now. What does Scripture say on the point? “Cast out slave girl and son together; for the slave girl’s son shall never be an heir on equal terms with the son” of the one born free.

Therefore, my brothers, we are not children of a slave girl but of a mother who is free. It was for liberty that Christ freed us.

RESPONSORY Galatians 4:28, 31; 2 Corinthians 3:17

We are like Isaac, children born of the promise, not children born of the slave, but of the free woman.
Christ has set us free to be free men.

The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Christ has set us free to be free men.

Second reading
From an explanation of Paul’s letter to the Galatians by Saint Augustine, bishop
Let Christ be formed in you.

The Apostle says, Be like me, for though born a Jew, by reason of spiritual discernment I now consider carnal things of small importance. And he adds, For I am as you are, that is to say: For I, like you, am a man. Then he tactfully reminds them of his love so that they will not look on him as an enemy: Brothers, I beseech you, he says, you did me no wrong, as if to say, “Do not imagine that I want to wrong you.” And to have them imitate him as they would a parent, he addresses them as little children: My little children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in you. Actually he is here speaking more in the person of Mother Church than his own. So too he says elsewhere: I was gentle among you like a nurse fondling her little ones.

Christ is formed in the believer by faith of the inner man, called to the freedom that grace bestows, meek and gentle, not boasting of non-existent merits, but through grace making some beginning of merit. Hence he can be called “my least one” by him who said: Inasmuch as you did it to the least of my brethren you did it to me.

Christ is formed in him who receives Christ’s mould, who clings to him in spiritual love. By imitating him he becomes, as far as is possible to his condition, what Christ is. John says: He who remains in Christ should walk as he did.

Children are conceived in order to be formed in their mother’s womb, and when they have been so formed, mothers are in travail to give them birth. We can thus understand Paul’s words: With whom I am in labor until Christ be formed in you. By labor we understand his anxiety for those with whom he is in travail, that they be born unto Christ. And he is again in labor when he sees them in danger of being led astray. These anxieties, which can be likened to the pangs of childbirth, will continue until they come to full age in Christ, so as not to be moved by every wind of doctrine.

He is not therefore talking about the beginnings of faith by which they were born, but of strong and perfect faith when he says: With whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in you. He also refers elsewhere in different words to his being in labor, when he says: There is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

RESPONSORY Ephesians 4:15; Proverbs 4:18

Let us speak the truth in love
so that in all things we may grow into Christ who is our Head.

The path of the just is like the passage of the dawn; it grows from first light to the full splendor of day.
So that in all things we may grow into Christ who is our Head.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Keep your family safe, O Lord,
with unfailing care, that,
relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace,
they may be defended always by your protection.
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.

ACCLAMATION (at least in the communal celebration)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.


The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974,
International Commission on English in the Liturgy
Corporation
. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible
© 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States.
The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use
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