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Thursday Office of Readings for those celebrating Ascension on Sunday

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1045
Proper of Seasons: 935
Psalter: Thursday, Week II, 1301

Office of Readings for Thursday in Week 6 of Easter when the Solemnity of the Ascension is celebrated on the following Sunday

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

Wherever you go, I will follow,
Wherever you live is my home.
Though days be of blessing or sorrow,
Though house be of canvas or stone,
Though Eden be lost to the past,
Though mountains before us so vast,
You won’t be alone, I have promised
Wherever you go, I am here.

Whatever you dream, I am with you,
When stars call your name in the night.
Though shadows and mist cloud the future,
Together we bear their light.
And now together we stand
With only a promise in hand.
But lead where you dream: I will follow.
To dream with you is my delight.

And if you should fall, you will find me,
When no other friend can you claim,
If foes beat you down or betray you,
And if others desert you in shame.
If home and dreams aren’t enough,
And if you will run away from my love,
I’ll raise you from where you have fallen.
Faithful to you is my name.

And when you will die, I will be there
To sing you to sleep with a psalm,
I’ll sooth you with tales of our journey,
Your fears and your doubts I will calm.
We’ll live when this life done
Forever in mem’ry as one.
And we will be buried together,
To waken and to greet a new dawn.

Wherever you go, I will follow.
Behold! The horizon shines clear.
The possible gleams like a city:
Together we’ve nothing to fear.
So speak with words bold and true
The message my heart speaks to you.
You won’t be alone, I have promised.
Wherever you go, I am here.

“Covenant Hymn” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss from her album “The Power of His Love” is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

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

Psalm 44
The misfortune 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 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, alleluia.

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

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, alleluia.

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

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 from us
and forget our oppression and misery?

For we are brought down low to the dust;
our body lies prostrate on 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, alleluia.

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.

Christ Jesus, you have risen from the dead, alleluia.
Let the heavens and the earth rejoice, alleluia.

READINGS

First reading
From the first letter of the apostle John 3:1-10
We are children of God

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
in letting us be called children of God!
Yet that is what we are.
The reason the world does not recognize us
is that it never recognized the Son.

Dearly beloved,
we are God’s children now;
what we shall later be has not yet come to light.
We know that when it comes to light
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

Everyone who has this hope based on him
keeps himself pure, as he is pure.
Everyone who sins acts lawlessly
for sin is lawlessness.
You know well that the reason he revealed himself
was to take away sins;
in him there is nothing sinful.
The man who remains in him does not sin.
The man who sins has not seen him or known him.

Little ones,
let no one deceive you;
the man who acts in holiness is holy indeed,
even as the Son is holy.
The man who sins belongs to the devil,
because the devil is a sinner from the beginning.
It was to destroy the devil’s works
that the Son of God revealed himself.
No one begotten of God acts sinfully
because he remains of God’s stock;
he cannot sin
because he is begotten of God.

That is the way to see who are God’s children,
and who are the devil’s.
No one whose actions are unholy belongs to God,
nor anyone who fails to love his brother.

RESPONSORY 1 John 3:1-2

See how great is the love the Father has given us:
we are called God’s children, and that is what we are, alleluia.

We know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he really is.
We are called God’s children, and that is what we are, alleluia.

Second reading
From a sermon by St. Leo the Great, Pope
Our faith is increased by the Lord’s ascension

At Easter, beloved brethren, it was the Lord’s resurrection which was the cause of our joy; our present rejoicing is on account of his ascension into heaven. With all due solemnity we are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up, in Christ, above all the hosts of heaven, above all the ranks of angels, beyond the highest heavenly powers to the very throne of God the Father. It is upon this ordered structure of divine acts that we have been firmly established, so that the grace of God may show itself still more marvellous when, in spite of the withdrawal from men’s sight of everything that is rightly felt to command their reverence, faith does not fail, hope is not shaken, charity does not grow cold.

For such is the power of great minds, such is the light of truly believing souls, that they put unhesitating faith in what is not seen with the bodily eye; they fix their desires on what is beyond sight. Such fidelity could never be born in our hearts, nor could anyone be justified by faith, if our salvation lay only in what was visible.

And so our Redeemer’s visible presence has passed into the sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because sight has been replaced by a doctrine whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high. This faith was increased by the Lord’s ascension and strengthened by the gift of the Spirit; it would remain unshaken by fetters and imprisonment, exile and hunger, fire and ravening beasts, and the most refined tortures ever devised by brutal persecutors. Throughout the world women no less than men, tender girls as well as boys, have given their life’s blood in the struggle for this faith. It is a faith that has driven out devils, healed the sick and raised the dead.

Even the blessed apostles, though they had been strengthened by so many miracles and instructed by so much teaching, took fright at the cruel suffering of the Lord’s passion and could not accept his resurrection without hesitation. Yet they made such progress through his ascension that they now found joy in what had terrified them before. They were able to fix their minds on Christ’s divinity as he sat at the right hand of his Father, since what was presented to their bodily eyes no longer hindered them from turning all their attention to the realisation that he had not left his Father when he came down to earth, nor had he abandoned his disciples when he ascended into heaven.

The truth is that the Son of Man was revealed as Son of God in a more perfect and transcendent way once he had entered into his Father’s glory; he now began to be indescribably more present in his divinity to those from whom he was further removed in his humanity. A more mature faith enabled their minds to stretch upward to the Son in his equality with the Father; it no longer needed contact with Christ’s tangible body, in which as man he is inferior to the Father. For while his glorified body retained the same nature, the faith of those who believed in him was now summoned to heights where, as the Father’s equal, the only-begotten Son is reached not by physical handling but by spiritual discernment.

RESPONSORY Hebrews 8:1; 10:22,23

We have such a high priest who sits at the right hand of the throne of majesty in heaven.
Let us approach him in true sincerity and full of faith, with our hearts cleansed and freed from an evil conscience, alleluia.

Let us stand firm in the profession of our hope, for he who made the promise is faithful.
Let us approach him in true sincerity and full of faith, with our hearts cleansed and freed from an evil conscience, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
who made your people
partakers in your redemption,
grant, we pray,
that we may perpetually render thanks
for the Resurrection of the Lord.
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.

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