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This is the Liturgy of the Hours for December 31. Your local date is .

Liturgy of the Hours for May 20

Office of Readings for The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church white (Seventh Week in Ordinary Time)

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1045
Proper of Seasons: 129
Psalter: Friday, Week I, 1176

Office of Readings for Friday of the First Week of Lent

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-VossAvailable on iTunes • Text from Psalm 23 King James Version; Used wih permission • Albums that contain this Hymn: Yesterday, Today, and Forever

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Rise up, Lord, and come to my aid.

Psalm 35:1-2, 3c, 9-19, 22-23, 27-28
The Lord as Savior in time of persecution

They came together…and laid their plans to capture Jesus by treachery and put him to death (Matthew 26:3-4).

I

O Lord, plead my cause against my foes;
fight those who fight me.
Take up your buckler and shield;
arise to help me.

O Lord, say to my soul:
“I am your salvation.”

But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord
and rejoice in his salvation.
My whole being will say:
“Lord, who is like you
who rescue the weak from the strong
and the poor from the oppressor?”

Lying witnesses arise
and accuse me unjustly.
They repay me evil for good:
my soul is forlorn.

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. Rise up, Lord, and come to my aid.

Ant. 2 All-powerful Lord, stand by me and defend me.

II

When they were sick I went into mourning,
afflicted with fasting.
My prayer was ever on my lips,
as for a brother, a friend.
I went as though mourning a mother,
bowed down with grief.

Now that I am in trouble they gather,
they gather and mock me.
They take me by surprise and strike me
and tear me to pieces.
They provoke me with mockery on mockery
and gnash their teeth.

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. All-powerful Lord, stand by me and defend me.

Ant. 3 My tongue will speak of your goodness all the day long.

III

O Lord, how long will you look on?
Come to my rescue!
Save my life from these raging beasts,
my soul from these lions.
I will thank you in the great assembly,
amid the throng I will praise you.

Do not let my lying foes
rejoice over me.
Do not let those who hate me unjustly
wink eyes at each other.

O Lord, you have seen, do not be silent,
do not stand afar off!
Awake, stir to my defense,
to my cause, O God!

Let there be joy for those who love my cause.
Let them say without end:
“Great is the Lord who delights
in the peace of his servant.”
Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,
all day long of your praise.

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, you rescue the poor from their oppressors, and you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life. Look on your Church as we journey to you, that the poor and weak may recognize the help you provide and proclaim your saving acts.

Ant. My tongue will speak of your goodness all the day long.

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
12:21-36
The plague inflicted on the firstborn

Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and procure lambs for your families, and slaughter them as Passover victims. Then take a bunch of hyssop, and dipping it in the blood that is in the basin, sprinkle the lintel and the two doorposts with this blood. But none of you shall go outdoors until morning. For the Lord will go by, striking down the Egyptians. Seeing the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and not let the destroyer come into your houses to strike you down.

“You shall observe this as a perpetual ordinance for yourselves and your descendants. Thus, you must also observe this rite when you have entered the land which the Lord will give you as he promised. When your children ask you, ‘What does this rite of yours mean?’ you shall reply, ‘This is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt; when he struck down the Egyptians, he spared our houses.’”

Then the people bowed down in worship, and the Israelites went and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

At midnight the Lord slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh on the throne to the first-born of the prisoner in the dungeon, as well as all the first-born of the animals. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was loud wailing throughout Egypt, for there was not a house without its dead.

During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Leave my people at once, you and the Israelites with you! Go and worship the Lord as you said. Take your flocks, too, and your herds, as you demanded, and be gone; and you will be doing me a favor.”

The Egyptians likewise urged the people on, to hasten their departure from the land; they thought that otherwise they would all die. The people, therefore, took their dough before it was leavened, in their kneading bowls wrapped in their cloaks on their shoulders. The Israelites did as Moses had commanded: they asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord indeed had made the Egyptians so well-disposed toward the people that they let them have whatever they asked for. Thus did they despoil the Egyptians.

RESPONSORY Exodus 12:7, 13; 1 Peter 1:18, 19

The children of Israel shall put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their houses.
This blood will be a sign to you.

You have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish.
This blood will be a sign to you.

Second reading
From the Mirror of Love by Saint Aelred, abbot
Christ, the model of brotherly love

The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies. We can find no greater inspiration for this than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ. He who is more fair than all the sons of men offered his fair face to be spat upon by sinful men; he allowed those eyes that rule the universe to be blindfolded by wicked men; he bared his back to the scourges; he submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers to the sharpness of the thorns; he gave himself up to be mocked and reviled, and at the end endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace.

In short, he was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb before the shearers he kept silent, and did not open his mouth.

Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity—Father, forgive them—and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love? Father, he says, forgive them. Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer?

Yet he put into it something more. It was not enough to pray for them: he wanted also to make excuses for them. Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. They are great sinners, yes, but they have little judgment; therefore, Father, forgive them. They are nailing me to the cross, but they do not know who it is that they are nailing to the cross: if they had known, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; therefore, Father, forgive them. They think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people. I have hidden my face from them, and they do not recognize my glory; therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulging his sinful nature. If he wishes to resist the promptings of his sinful nature he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord. Further, if he wishes to savor the joy of brotherly love with greater perfection and delight, he must extend even to his enemies the embrace of true love.

But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Savior.

RESPONSORY Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34

He surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked.
He bore the crimes of many and prayed all the while for sinners.

Jesus prayed: Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.
He bore the crimes of many and prayed all the while for sinners.

Concluding Prayer

Grant that your faithful,
O Lord, we pray,
may be so conformed to the paschal observances,
that the bodily discipline now solemnly begun
may bear fruit in the souls of all.
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.

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Personal Reflections

The Faith Journey of our Community

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edenj on February 23rd, 2024 at 15:36

FROM THE MIRROR OF LOVE, ST. AELROD
Father, forgive them—Who could listen to thIS wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity—and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love? Father, he says, forgive them. Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this...
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Vivienne Grace on February 23rd, 2024 at 5:45

Forgiveness
Praise be to God and great thanksgiving my son who was not speaking to me after I challenged his narrow view of family to only his own wife and children and not his birth family...
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