Mar 15, Office of Readings for Friday of the 4th week of Lent

This is a syndicated post from Divine Office - Liturgy of the Hours of the Roman Catholic Church. [Read the original article...]

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1045
Proper of Seasons: 320
Psalter: Friday, Week IV, 1587

Office of Readings for Friday of the 4th 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

Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake,
lay not our sins to our charge,
but forgive that is past,
and give us grace to amend our sinful lives.
To decline from sin and incline to virtue,
that we may walk in a perfect heart before thee,
this night and evermore.
Amen.

Title: Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake; The anthem “Lord, for thy tender mercies sake,” often attributed to Richard Farrant, does not appear in any source under his name before the late 18th century and is now thought to be by the elder John Hilton.
“Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake” by Wells Cathedral is available from Amazon.com

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 has 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;
and 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 them 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 Numbers
14:1-25
The murmuring of the people and the intervention of Moses

The whole community broke out with loud cries, and even in the night the people wailed. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, the whole community saying to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt, or that here in the desert we were dead! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land only to have us fall by the sword? Our wives and little ones will be taken as booty. Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”

But Moses and Aaron fell prostrate before the whole assembled community of the Israelites; while Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, who had been in the party that scouted the land, tore their garments and said to the whole community of the Israelites, “The country which we went through and explored is a fine, rich land. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us in and give us that land, a land flowing with milk and honey. But do not rebel against the Lord! You need not be afraid of the people of that land; they are but food for us! Their defense has left them, but the Lord is with us. Therefore, do not be afraid of them.” In answer, the whole community threatened to stone them.

But then the glory of the Lord appeared at the meeting tent to all the Israelites. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn me? How long will they refuse to believe in me, despite all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them with pestilence and wipe them out. Then I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

But Moses said to the Lord: “Are the Egyptians to hear of this? For by your power you brought out this people from among them. And are they to tell of it to the inhabitants of this land? It has been heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people; you, Lord, who plainly reveal yourself! Your cloud stands over them, and you go before them by day in a column of cloud and by night in a column of fire. If now you slay this whole people, the nations who have heard such reports of you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them; that is why he slaughtered them in the desert.’

“Now then, let the power of my Lord be displayed in its greatness, even as you have said, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and rich in kindness, forgiving wickedness and crime; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness.’ Pardon, then, the wickedness of this people in keeping with your great kindness, even as you have forgiven them from Egypt until now.”

The Lord answered: “I pardon them as you have asked. Yet, by my life and the Lord’s glory that fills the whole earth, of all the men who have seen my glory and the signs I worked in Egypt and in the desert, and who nevertheless have put me to the test ten times already and have failed to heed my voice, not one shall see the land which I promised on oath to their fathers. None of these who have spurned me shall see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me unreservedly, I will bring him into the land where he has just been, and his descendants shall possess it. But now, since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn away tomorrow and set out in the desert on the Red Sea road.”

RESPONSORY Psalm 103:8, 9, 13, 14

The Lord is merciful and loving, slow to anger and full of compassion. He will not always reprove us; his wrath will come to an end.
As tenderly as a father treats his children, the Lord treats those who stand in awe of him.

He knows what we are made of, he remembers that we are dust.
As tenderly as a father treats his children, the Lord treats those who stand in awe of him.

Second reading
From an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
The paschal sacrament brings together in unity of faith those physically separated from each other

Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Savior. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm: Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other.

RESPONSORY Zephaniah 3:8, 9; John 12:32

Wait for me, says the Lord, wait for the day when I shall rise again.
I will purify the lips of all peoples on that day that they may call upon the name of the Lord, and unite in serving him.

When I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.
I will purify the lips of all peoples on that day that they may call upon the name of the Lord, and unite in serving him.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
who have prepared
fitting helps for us in our weakness,
grant, we pray, that we may receive
their healing effects with joy
and reflect them in a holy way of life.
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 © 2006-2011 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved. (165)

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