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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading 2 Peter 1:2 - 7 ©
May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more.
By his divine power, he has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice. But to attain this, you will have to do your utmost yourselves, adding goodness to the faith that you have, understanding to your goodness, self-control to your understanding, patience to your self-control, true devotion to your patience, kindness towards your fellow men to your devotion, and, to this kindness, love.
Psalm or canticle: Psalm 90
Gospel Mark 12:1 - 12 ©
Jesus went on to speak to them in parables, ‘A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. “They will respect my son” he said. But those tenants said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture:
It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?

And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.

12 posted on 06/05/2006 8:15:40 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Office of Readings -- Awakening Prayer

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 6
A prayer for relief from affliction
Lord, do not condemn me in your fury: do not destroy me in your anger.

Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed, and you, Lord – how long?

Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit: in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you? Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?

I struggle and groan, soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness: I grow older as my enemies watch.

Leave me, all who do evil, for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer, granted me what I asked.

Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
let shame and confusion overtake them soon.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Psalm 9A (9)
Thanksgiving for victory
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph, make music to your name, O Most High.

Because my enemies are in full retreat; they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour, upheld my case, taken your seat on the throne of judgement.

You have rebuked the nations, condemned the wicked, wiped out their name for ever and for ever.

My enemies are no more; their land is a desert for ever. You have demolished their cities, their very memory is wiped away.

But the Lord will reign for ever: he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice, judge the peoples impartially.

The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name; for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek you.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Psalm 9A (9)
Sing to the Lord who dwells in Sion, proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood: he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.

Take pity on me, Lord: see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death, and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Sion; I will rejoice in your salvation.

The nations have fallen into the pit that they made, into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth: the sinner is trapped by his very own action.

Sinners will go down to the underworld, and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten: the hope of the weak will never perish.

Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent: let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord: let them know that they are only men.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Reading Job 29:1 - 30:23 ©
And Job continued his solemn discourse. He said:
Who will bring back to me the months that have gone,
 and the days when God was my guardian,
when his lamp shone over my head,
 and his light was my guide in the darkness?
Shall I ever see my autumn days again
 when God hedged round my tent;
when Shaddai dwelt with me,
 and my children were around me;
when my feet were plunged in cream,
 and streams of oil poured from the rocks?

When I went out to the gate of the city,
 when I took my seat in the square,
as soon as I appeared, the young men stepped aside,
 while the older men rose to their feet.
Men of note interrupted their speeches,
 and put their fingers on their lips;
The voices of rulers were silenced,
 and their tongues stayed still in their mouths.

And now I am the laughing-stock
 of my juniors, the young people,
whose fathers I did not consider fit
 to put with the dogs that looked after my flock.

And these are the ones that now sing ballads about me,
 and make me the talk of the town!
To them I am loathsome, they stand aloof from me,
 do not scruple to spit in my face.
Because he has unbent my bow and chastened me
 they cast the bridle from their mouth.
That brood of theirs rises to right of me,
 stones are their weapons,
 and they take threatening strides towards me.
They have cut me off from all escape,
 there is no one to check their attack.
They move in, as though through a wide breach,
 and I am crushed beneath the rubble.
Terrors turn to meet me,
 my confidence is blown away as if by the wind;
 my hope of safety passes like a cloud.

And now the life in me trickles away,
 days of grief have gripped me.
At night-time, sickness saps my bones,
 I am gnawed by wounds that never sleep.
With immense power it has caught me by the clothes,
 clutching at the collar of my coat.
It has thrown me into the mud
 where I am no better than dust and ashes.

I cry to you, and you give me no answer;
 I stand before you, but you take no notice.
You have grown cruel in your dealings with me,
 your hand lies on me, heavy and hostile.
You carry me up to ride the wind,
 tossing me about in a tempest.
I know it is to death that you are taking me,
 the common meeting place of all that lives.

Reading A letter by St Boniface
The careful shepherd watches over Christ's flock
In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.
The ancient fathers showed us how we should carry out this duty: Clement, Cornelius and many others in the city of Rome, Cyprian at Carthage, Athanasius at Alexandria. They all lived under emperors who were pagans; they all steered Christ’s ship – or rather his most dear spouse, the Church. This they did by teaching and defending her, by their labours and sufferings, even to the shedding of blood.
I am terrified when I think of all this. Fear and trembling came upon me and the darkness of my sins almost covered me. I would gladly give up the task of guiding the Church which I have accepted if I could find such an action warranted by the example of the fathers or by holy Scripture.
Since this is the case, and since the truth can be assaulted but never defeated or falsified, with our tired mind let us turn to the words of Solomon: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own prudence. Think on him in all your ways, and he will guide your steps. In another place he says: The name of the Lord is an impregnable tower. The just man seeks refuge in it and he will be saved.
Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to him: O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.
Let us trust in him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For he is all-powerful and he tells us: My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, let us die for the holy laws of our fathers, so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock. Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as Saint Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction.
A concluding prayer may follow here.

13 posted on 06/05/2006 8:17:11 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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