Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. IV:
Ordinary: 615
Proper of Seasons: 597
Psalter: Thursday, Week II, 880

Christian Prayer:
Does not contain Office of Readings.

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

I am the Lord bringing light through the cloud
Let the Heavens rain down righteousness
Let earth open up, and salvation bear fruit;
Let the Heavens rain down righteousness
I am the Lord your God, beside me there is no other god
I call you by your name let the Heavens rain down righteousness
I the Lord have created it.

I am the Lord bringing light through the cloud
Let the Heavens rain down righteousness
Let earth open up, and salvation bear fruit;
Let the Heavens rain down righteousness
I am the Lord your God, beside me there is no other god
I call you by your name let the Heavens rain down righteousness
I the Lord have created it.

𝄞 “Isaiah 45” by Kathleen Lundquist • • Available for Purchase • Title: Isaiah 45; Text: Medieval English text; Music: Gregorian Tone 4, setting by Paul Crossung; Artist: Kathleen Lundquist; Used with permission. • Albums that contain this Hymn: Sing of Mary

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Lord, you are our savior; we will praise you for ever.

Psalm 44
The misfortunes of God’s people

We triumph over all these things through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).

I

We heard with our own ears, O God,
our fathers have told us the story
of the things you did in their days,
you yourself, in days long ago.

To plant them you uprooted the nations;
to let them spread you laid peoples low.
No sword of their own won the land;
no arm of their own brought them victory.
It was your right hand, your arm
and the light of your face; for you loved them.

It is you, my king, my God,
who granted victories to Jacob.
Through you we beat down our foes;
in your name we trampled down our aggressors.

For it was not in my bow that I trusted
nor yet was I saved by my sword:
it was you who saved us from our foes,
it was you who put our foes to shame.
All day long our boast was in God
and we praised your name without ceasing.

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. Lord, you are our savior; we will praise you for ever.

Ant. 2 Spare us, O Lord; do not bring your own people into contempt.

II

Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced us;
you no longer go forth with our armies.
You make us retreat from the foe
and our enemies plunder us at will.

You make us like sheep for the slaughter
and scatter us among the nations.
You sell your own people for nothing
and make no profit by the sale.

You make us the taunt of our neighbors,
the laughing stock of all who are near.
Among the nations, you make us a byword,
among the peoples a thing of derision.

All day long my disgrace is before me;
my face is covered with shame
at the voice of the taunter, the scoffer,
at the sight of the foe and avenger.

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. Spare us, O Lord; do not bring your own people into contempt.

Ant. 3 Rise up, O Lord, and save us, for you are merciful.

III

This befell us though we had not forgotten you,
though we had not been false to your covenant,
though we had not withdrawn our hearts;
though our feet had not strayed from your path.
Yet you have crushed us in a place of sorrows
and covered us with the shadow of death.

Had we forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to another god
would not God have found this out,
he who knows the secrets of the heart?
It is for you that we face death all day long
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep?
Arise, do not reject us for ever!
Why do you hide your face
and forget our oppression and misery?

For we are brought down low to the dust;
our body lies prostrate on the earth.
Stand up and come to our help!
Redeem us because of your love!

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, rise up and come to our aid; with your strong arm lead us to freedom, as you mightily delivered our forefathers. Since you are the king who knows the secrets of our hearts, fill them with the light of truth.

Ant. Rise up, O Lord, and save us, for you are merciful.

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.

Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.

READINGS

First reading
From the second letter of the apostle Peter
2:9-22
The condemnation of the wicked

The Lord knows how to rescue devout men from trial, and how to continue the punishment of the wicked up to the day of judgment. He knows, especially, how to treat those who live for the flesh in their desire for whatever corrupts, and who despise authority.

These bold and arrogant men have no qualms whatever about reviling celestial beings, on whom angels, though greater than men in strength and power, pass no opprobrious sentence in the Lord’s presence. These men pour abuse on things of which they are ignorant. They act like creatures of instinct, brute animals born to be caught and destroyed. Because of their decadence they too will be destroyed, suffering the reward of their wickedness. Thinking daytime revelry a delight, they are stain and defilement as they share your feasts in a spirit of seduction. Constantly on the lookout for a woman, theirs is a never-ending search for sin. They lure the weaker types. Their hearts are trained in greed. An accursed lot are they! They have abandoned the straight road and wander off on the path taken by Balaam, son of Beor. He was a man attracted to dishonest gain, but he was rebuked for his evildoing. A mute beast spoke with a human voice to restrain the prophet’s madness.

These men are waterless springs, mists whipped by the gale. The darkest gloom has been reserved for them. They talk empty bombast while baiting their hooks with passion, with the lustful ways of the flesh, to catch those who have just come free of a life of errors. They promise them freedom though they themselves are slaves of corruption—for surely anyone is the slave of that by which he has been overcome.

When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first. It would have been better for them not to have recognized the road to holiness than to have turned their backs on the holy law handed on to them, once they had known it. How well the proverb fits them: “The dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow bathes by wallowing in the mire.”

RESPONSORY Phil. 4:8, 9; 1 Cor. 16:11

There are many things that are true, honorable and just,
many that are pure; think about them.
These you must do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith,
be courageous and strong.
These you must do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Second reading
From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostum, bishop
If we are sheep, we overcome, if wolves, we are overcome

As long as we are sheep, we overcome and, though surrounded by countless wolves, we emerge victorious; but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome, for we lose the shepherd’s help. He, after all, feeds the sheep not wolves, and will abandon you if you do not let him show his power in you.

What he says is this: “Do not be upset that, as I send you out among the wolves, I bid you be as sheep and doves. I could have managed things quite differently and sent you, not to suffer evil nor to yield like sheep to the wolves, but to be fiercer than lions. but the way I have chosen is right. It will bring you greater praise and at the same time manifest my power.” That is what he told Paul: My grace is enough for you, for in weakness my power is made perfect. “I intend,” he says, “to deal the same way with you.” For, when he says, I am sending you out like sheep, he implies: “But do not therefore lose heart, for I know and am certain that no one will be able to overcome you.”

The Lord, however, does want them to contribute something, lest everything seem to be the work of grace, and they seem to win their reward without deserving it. Therefore he adds: You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves. But, they may object, what good is our cleverness amid so many dangers? How can we be clever when tossed about by so many waves? However great the cleverness of the sheep as he stands among the wolves – so may wolves! – what can it accomplish? However great the innocence of the dove, what good does it do him, with so many hawks swooping upon him? To all this I say: Cleverness and innocence admittedly do these irrational creatures no good, but they can help you greatly.

What cleverness is the Lord requiring here? The cleverness of a snake. A snake will surrender everything and will put up no great resistance even if its body is being cut in pieces, provided it can save its head. So you, the Lord is saying, must surrender everything but your faith: money, body, even life itself. For faith is the head and the root; keep that, and though you lose all else, you will get it back in abundance. The Lord therefore counselled the disciples to be not simply clever or innocent; rather he joined the two qualities so that they become a genuine virtue. He insisted on the cleverness of the snake so that deadly wounds might be avoided, and he insisted on the innocence of the dove so that revenge might not be taken on those who injure or lay traps for you. Cleverness is useless without innocence.

Do not believe that this precept is beyond your power. More than anyone else, the Lord knows the true natures of created things; he knows that moderation, not a fierce defense, beats back a fierce attack.

RESPONSORY Matthew 10:16; John 12:36

See, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves,
says the Lord.
Be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.

While you have the light,
believe in the light,
so that you may become children of light.
Be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Stir up
the will of your faithful,
we pray, O Lord, that
striving more eagerly to bring
your divine work to fruitful completion,
they may receive in greater measure
the healing remedies your kindness bestows.
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 (only added when praying in community)

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. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2019 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.