Wednesday 15 September 2021

Our Lady of Sorrows 
on Wednesday of week 24 in Ordinary Time

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, use the version with the Invitatory Psalm instead.

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

Hail, of paradise the portal!
Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
Who to man our Saviour gavest.

Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
Mother of our Christ, defend us.

Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
Every spirit bow before thee.


Psalm 102 (103):1-7
Praise of the compassionate Lord

“Through the tender mercy of God, the Rising Sun has come to visit us from on high” (cf. Lk 1:78).

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion,
who fills your life with good things,
renewing your youth like an eagle’s.

The Lord does deeds of justice,
gives judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
and his deeds to Israel’s sons.

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.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.


Psalm 102 (103):8-16

As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
His wrath will come to an end;
he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults.

For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west
so far does he remove our sins.

As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;
the wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again.

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.

As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.


Psalm 102 (103):17-22

Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children
when they keep his covenant in truth,
when they keep his will in their mind.

The Lord has set his sway in heaven
and his kingdom is ruling over all.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels,
mighty in power, fulfilling his word,
who heed the voice of his word.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts,
his servants who do his will.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works,
in every place where he rules.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord!

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.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

Psalm-prayer

You have compassion for the sinner, Lord, as a father has compassion for his children. Heal the weakness of your people and save us from lasting death that we may praise and glorify you for ever.

Or:

God of kindness and Father of mercy, you remove sin and renew life through baptism. Remember that we are dust. Do not treat us as our sins deserve, but help us to keep the commands of your new covenant and praise you with the saints and angels.


℣. Mary remembered all these things.
℟. She treasured them all in her heart.


Readings (official one-year cycle)

First Reading
Ezekiel 10:18-22,11:14-25
The glory of the Lord abandons the condemned City

The glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold and paused over the cherubs. The cherubs spread their wings and rose from the ground to leave, and as I watched the wheels rose with them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. This was the creature that I had seen supporting the God of Israel beside the river Chebar, and I was now certain that these were cherubs. Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings. Their faces were just as I had seen them beside the river Chebar. Each moved straight forward.
The word of the Lord was then addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel, these are told by the citizens of Jerusalem, “You have been sent away from the Lord; it is to us that the land was given as our domain.” Say therefore, “The Lord says this: Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for a while I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone.” Then say, “The Lord says this: I will gather you together from the peoples, I will bring you all back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. They will come and will purge it of all the horrors and the filthy practices. I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh instead, so that they will keep my laws and respect my observances and put them into practice. Then they shall be my people and I will be their God. But those whose hearts are set on their idols and their filthy practices I will call to account for their conduct – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
The cherubs then spread their wings and the wheels began to move with them, while the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. And the glory of the Lord rose to leave the city and paused on the mountain to the east of the city.
The spirit lifted me up in vision, in the spirit of God, and took me to the Chaldaeans, away to the exiles, and so the vision I had seen faded; and then I told the exiles everything that the Lord had shown me.

Responsory
Ezk 10:4,18; Mt 23:37-38

℟. The glory of the Lord rose to the threshold of the Temple, which was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord;* and the glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold.
℣. How often have I been ready to gather your children together, O Jerusalem, and you refused it! Behold, your house is left to you, a house uninhabited,* and the glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold.


Second Reading
From a sermon of St Bernard of Clairvaux
His mother stood by the cross

The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.
Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus – who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours – gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.
Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!
Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.
Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.

Responsory

℟. When they reached the place called the Skull, they crucified Jesus there,* but his mother took her stand beside his cross.
℣. As she stood there, a sword of anguish pierced her blessed heart,* but his mother took her stand beside his cross.


Let us pray.

Father,
as your Son was raised on the cross,
his mother Mary stood by him, sharing his sufferings.
May your Church be united with Christ
in his suffering and death
and so come to share in his rising to new life,
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.


Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

Copyright © 1996-2021 Universalis Publishing Limited: see http://www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.

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