Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1045
Proper of Seasons: 66
Psalter: Friday, Week IV, 1587

Office of Readings for Friday after Ash Wednesday

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.

HYMN

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me by the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of my enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of my Lord for ever.

𝄞 “Psalm 23” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss • • Available on iTunes • Text from Psalm 23 King James Version; Used wih permission • Albums that contain this Hymn: Yesterday, Today, and Forever

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Our fathers have told us of the Lord’s power; they have recounted for us his marvelous deeds.

Psalm 78:1-39
Salvation history reveals the goodness of God and the faithlessness of his people

These events are recalled as a warning to us (1 Corinthians 10:6).

I

Give heed, my people, to my teaching;
turn your ear to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable
and reveal hidden lessons of the past.

The things we have heard and understood,
the things our fathers have told us,
these we will not hide from their children
but will tell them to the next generation:

the glories of the Lord and his might
and the marvelous deeds he has done,
the witness he gave to Jacob,
the law he established in Israel.

He gave a command to our fathers
to make it known to their children
that the next generation might know it,
the children yet to be born.

They too should arise and tell their sons
that they too should set their hope in God
and never forget God’s deeds
but keep every one of his commands:

so that they might not be like their fathers,
a defiant and rebellious race,
a race whose heart was fickle,
whose spirit was unfaithful to God.

The sons of Ephraim, armed with the bow,
turned back in the day of battle.
They failed to keep God’s covenant
and would not walk according to his law.

They forgot the things he had done,
the marvelous deeds he had shown them.
He did wonders in the sight of their fathers,
in Egypt, in the plains of Zoan.

He divided the sea and led them through
and made the waters stand up like a wall.
By day he led them with a cloud:
by night, with a light of fire.

He split the rocks in the desert.
He gave them plentiful drink as from the deep.
He made streams flow out from the rock
and made waters run down like rivers.

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. Our fathers have told us of the Lord’s power; they have recounted for us his marvelous deeds.

Ant. 2 The children of Israel ate the manna and drank from the spiritual rock which followed after them.

II

Yet still they sinned against him;
they defied the Most High in the desert.
In their heart they put God to the test
by demanding the food they craved.

They even spoke against God.
They said: “Is it possible for God
to prepare a table in the desert?

It was he who struck the rock,
water flowed and swept down in torrents.
But can he also give us bread?
Can he provide meat for his people?”

When he heard this the Lord was angry.
A fire was kindled against Jacob,
his anger rose against Israel
for having no faith in God;
for refusing to trust in his help.

Yet he commanded the clouds above
and opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down manna for their food,
and gave them bread from heaven.

Mere men ate the bread of angels.
He sent them abundance of food:
he made the east wind blow from heaven
and roused the south wind by his might.

He rained food on them like dust,
winged fowl like the sands of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp
and all around their tents.

So they ate and had their fill;
for he gave them all they craved.
But before they had sated their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
God’s anger rose against them.

He slew the strongest among them,
struck down the flower of Israel.

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 children of Israel ate the manna and drank from the spiritual rock which followed after them.

Ant. 3 They remembered that God was their helper and redeemer.

III

Despite this they went on sinning;
they had no faith in his wonders:
so he ended their days like a breath
and their years in sudden ruin.

When he slew them then they would seek him,
return and seek him in earnest.
They would remember that God was their rock,
God the Most High their redeemer.

But the words they spoke were mere flattery;
they lied to him with their lips.
For their hearts were not truly with him;
they were not faithful to his covenant.

Yet he who is full of compassion
forgave their sin and spared them.
So often he held back his anger
when he might have stirred up his rage.

He remembered they were only men,
a breath that passes never to return.

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 Jesus Christ, Shepherd of your Church, in order to strengthen our faith and to lead us to the kingdom, you renewed and far surpassed the marvels of the old law. Through the uncertainties of this earthly journey, lead us home to the everlasting pastures.

Ant. They remembered that God was their helper and redeemer.

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.

Turn back to the Lord your God.
He is kind and merciful.

READINGS

First reading
From the book of Exodus
2:1-22; 18:4
The birth and flight of Moses

A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, who conceived and bore a son. Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket, daubed it with bitumen and pitch, and putting the child in it, placed it among the reeds on the river bank. His sister stationed herself at a distance to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe, while her maids walked along the river bank. Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying! She was moved with pity for him and said, “It is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” “Yes, do so,” she answered.

So the maiden went and called the child’s own mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you.” The woman therefore took the child and nursed it. When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

On one occasion, after Moses had grown up, when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor, he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen. Looking about and seeing no one, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting! So he asked the culprit, “Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?” But he replied, “Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses became afraid and thought, “The affair must certainly be known.”

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put him to death. But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian. As he was seated there by a well, seven daughters of a priest of Midian came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. But some shepherds came and drove them away. Then Moses got up and defended them and watered their flock.

When they returned to their father Reuel, he said to them, “How is it you have returned so soon today?” They answered, “An Egyptian saved us from the interference of the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock!” “Where is the man?” he asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to have something to eat.”

Moses agreed to live with him, and the man gave him his daughter Zipporah in marriage. She bore him a son, whom he named Gershom; for he said, “I am a stranger in a foreign land.” The other son she bore was called Eliezer; for he said, “My father’s God is my helper; he has rescued me from Pharaoh’s sword.”

RESPONSORY Hebrews 11:24-25, 26, 27

When he grew up, Moses, guided by faith, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to suffer with the people of God rather than have the fleeting pleasures of sin.
He fixed his gaze on the reward God had promised.

To bear the stigma of Christ was worth more to him than all the treasures of Egypt. With faith as his guide he left Egypt behind.
He fixed his gaze on the reward God had promised.

Second reading
From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
Prayer is the light of the spirit

Prayer and converse with God is a supreme good: it is a partnership and union with God. As the eyes of the body are enlightened when they see light, so our spirit, when it is intent on God, is illumined by his infinite light. I do not mean the prayer of outward observance but prayer from the heart, not confined to fixed times or periods but continuous throughout the day and night.

Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times also, when it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in the service of others, our spirit should long for God and call him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering to the Lord of the universe. Throughout the whole of our lives we may enjoy the benefit that comes from prayer if we devote a great deal of time to it.

Prayer is the light of the spirit, true knowledge of God, mediating between God and man. The spirit, raised up to heaven by prayer, clings to God with the utmost tenderness; like a child crying tearfully for its mother, it craves the milk that God provides. It seeks the satisfaction of its own desires, and receives gifts outweighing the whole world of nature.

Prayer stands before God as an honored ambassador. It gives joy to the spirit, peace to the heart. I speak of prayer, not words. It is the longing for God, love too deep for words, a gift not given by man but by God’s grace. The apostle Paul says: We do not know how we are to pray but the Spirit himself pleads for us with inexpressible longings.

When the Lord gives this kind of prayer to a man, he gives him riches that cannot be taken away, heavenly food that satisfies the spirit. One who tastes this food is set on fire with an eternal longing for the Lord: his spirit burns as in a fire of utmost intensity.

Practice prayer from the beginning. Paint your house with the colors of modesty and humility. Make it radiant with the light of justice. Decorate it with the finest gold leaf of good deeds. Adorn it with the walls and stones of faith and generosity. Crown it with the pinnacle of prayer. In this way you will make it a perfect dwelling place for the Lord. You will be able to receive him as in a splendid palace, and through his grace you will already possess him, his image enthroned in the temple of your spirit.

RESPONSORY Lamentations 5:20; Matthew 8:25

Will you forget us for ever? Will you leave us abandoned day after day?
Turn us back to you, O Lord, and we will come to you.

Save us, Lord, or we shall perish.
Turn us back to you, O Lord, and we will come to you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Show gracious favor,
O Lord, we pray,
to the works of penance we have begun,
that we may have strength to accomplish
with sincerity the bodily observances we undertake.
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.

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
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