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Thursday, 25 May 2023 08:03

Office of Readings

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INVITATORY

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ, the Son of God,
who has redeemed us with his blood.

PSALM 95                                          Invitation to praise God
Encourage yourself daily while it is still “today” (Heb 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord; *
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving, *
and sing joyful songs to the Lord. (Ant.)

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands. (Ant.)

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
the flock he shepherds. (Ant.)

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: Do not grow stubborn, *
as your fathers did in the wilderness, †
when at Meriba and Massah
they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works. (Ant.)

Forty years I endured that generation; †
I said: “They are a people whose hearts go astray *
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.” (Ant.)

Glory to the Father and to the Son *
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever will be. Amen (Ant.)

Alternative Invitatory Psalms: 100, 67, 24


HYMN

Father, mysterious creative power,
in your love, you raise up life;
we sing hymns of praise to your mercy
which has redeemed us in the Blood of Christ.

With the everlasting light that shines
from the open wounds in his Body
He drew to himself, beside his cross,
the virgin Saint Maria De Mattias.

She gave herself unhesitatingly,
and responded with intense joy
to the sublime invitation of her Spouse,
consecrating her whole life to him.

Praise to the everlasting Blessed Trinity:
to the Father who generously gives us life,
to the Son who saves us on the cross
and to the powerful breath of the Spirit. Amen.

Or another suitable hymn approved by ecclesiastical authority.


Ant. 1 The announcement has gone out to the entire world:
Jesus loves us; he washes us in his blood.


PSALM 19                                                      A Hymn to God the Creator
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation ( Isaiah 52:7).

The heavens proclaim the glory of God *
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story *
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard †
yet their span extends through all the earth, *
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun; †
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent, *
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun; †
to the furthest end of the sky is its course. *
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.


Ant. 1 The announcement has gone out to the entire world:
Jesus loves us; he washes us in his blood.

Ant. 2 I love you and want to love you forever.
You are my love and I am all yours.


PSALM 45, 2-10 (I)                                                            The marriage of the king
At midnight there came a cry, “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” (Matthew 25:6).

My heart overflows with noble words. †
To the king I must speak the song I have made; *
my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe.

You are the fairest of the children of men †
and graciousness is poured upon your lips: *
because God has blessed you for evermore.

O mighty one, gird your sword upon your thigh; †
in splendor and state, ride on in triumph *
for the cause of truth and goodness and right.

Take aim with your bow in your dread right hand. †
Your arrows are sharp: peoples fall beneath you. *
The foes of the king fall down and lost heart.

Your throne, O God, shall endure forever.*
A scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom.

Your love is for justice; your hatred for evil. †
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you *
with the oil of gladness above other kings.

Your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh. *
From the ivory palace you are greeted with music.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones. *
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.


Ant. 2 I love you and want to love you forever.
You are my love and I am all yours.

Ant. 3 God wanted me wholly for himself,
and I wanted to belong wholly to God.


PSALM 45,11-18 (II)                                                        The Queen and the Bride
I saw the new Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2).

Listen O daughter, give ear to my words: *
forget your own people and your father’s house.
So will the king desire your beauty: *
he is your lord, pay homage to him.

And the people of Tyre shall come with gifts, *
the richest of the people shall seek your favor.

The daughter of the king is clothed with splendor, *
her robes embroidered with pearls set in gold.

She is led to the king with her maiden companions. †
They are escorted amid gladness and joy; *
they pass within the palace of the king.

Sons shall be yours in place of your fathers: *
you will make them princes over all the earth.

May this song make your name forever remembered.*
May the peoples praise you from age to age.


Ant. 3 God wanted me wholly for himself,
and I wanted to belong wholly to God.

V. The Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
R. and lead them to springs of life-giving water.


FIRST READING
From the Book of Revelation of Saint John, the apostle                    Revelation 7: 1-4, 9-17

They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb


I, John, saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on land or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites.
After this I saw before me a huge crowd, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed:
“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“For this reason they stand before God's throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger
or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun
or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”



RESPONSORY                                                         cf. Revelation 7:9-10

R. The redeemed cried out in a loud voice: * Salvation comes from our God and from the Lamb.
V. To our God be blessing, glory and wisdom.
R. Salvation comes from our God and from the Lamb.


SECOND READING
From the writings of Saint Maria de Mattias, virgin

(Rules and Constitutions of 1857, Preface; Letters of Saint Maria De Mattias, nn. 91; 151; 254; 328; ed. 1944 and 1947)

We are called to work in the vineyard of Jesus Crucified

For the triumph of his mercy and to show his infinite love for us, our divine Redeemer Jesus Christ shed all his precious Blood with great suffering and humiliation, as price of salvation and of glory. He gave it all, he gave it for all, and he does not stop giving it. His Blood is a fountain, or rather, a life-giving river available to all. It springs up and flows on unendingly for all the children of Adam and remains with them, accompanying them every moment of their life on earth to make them holy and to bring them to eternal joy of life in heaven.
This lowly Congregation, which lives and labors under the glorious title of the most precious Blood of Jesus Christ, must itself take on the shape and pattern of a living image of that divine love with which it was shed, and of which it was and is symbol, expression, measure and pledge.
The spirit of this holy work is all charity. We have carved this word in our minds and on our hearts. I repeat: Charity! Charity toward God and our dear neighbor.
What a beautiful consolation it is to see the spouses of the divine Lamb, the Adorers of his most precious Blood, motivated by one sole will, the will of God, forming but one heart and one soul, and thus united, making the heavens resound with a hymn of thanksgiving to the infinite goodness of God, while at the same time they offer the Blood of his Son for the reconciliation of heaven with earth, and of earth with heaven.
We are called to labor in the vineyard of Jesus Crucified. Oh, what a beautiful honor it is for us to weary ourselves so that souls may be forever happy in the beautiful Jerusalem where Jesus will reunite us one day!
Be strong in the vocation you have chosen, which will one day reunite all of us in heaven with Jesus our Spouse, carrying the palm of victory in our hands and chanting the glories of the divine Blood.


RESPONSORY                                                               cf. Rev 5:9-10, 19:5

R. You have redeemed us for God with your blood. * You have made us a kingdom for our God.
V. Praise our God, all you his servants, the small and great, who revere him.
R. You have made us a kingdom for our God.

Or

SECOND READING
From the Funeral Oration written by Venerable Fr. Giovanni Merlini, Missionary of the Most Precious Blood, spiritual director of Maria De Mattias

(Giovanni Merlini’s Letters to Maria De Mattias, vol. II, n. 400, p. 106)

We celebrate a life


We are celebrating Maria De Mattias, a strong woman, a tireless worker, a mirror of Christian virtues, an ornament of the Church, the Foundress of the Congregation of the Adorers of the Most Precious Blood.
She lives, and will live for all eternity in the company of the blessed, in the kingdom of heavenly bliss, victor over the world and even over death. She lives, and will live in the memory of humankind and, as I hope, will live also in the annals of the Church.
She lives and will live forever because God wanted her to be wholly his and she wanted to belong entirely to him.
When God selects anyone and wishes to use this person for works pertaining to his glory, he usually prepares the way and dispenses those gifts of nature and grace necessary for the attainment of the end. And so he designed to establish an institute of religious women in his Church … and having chosen Maria De Mattias, he granted her special protection and favored her in advance with special aptitudes for such a noble and difficult position. Therefore, he gave her a heart that was sensitive and open to the impressions of grace, a ready and energetic spirit and a character of angelic purity.
The holy Virgin took it upon herself to instruct her in her inner heart, and she gave her explanations, reproving her for her vanity and showing her Jesus, her divine Son, and the desire that he had to be loved by the souls he redeemed with his most precious Blood. The most holy Virgin showed her Calvary and the cross, and invited her to ascend.
Thus, by degrees, grace began molding that soul which was destined to form numerous religious and instruct many other women whom God would send to her. Furthermore, God wanted to perfect her virtue and prepare her to carry out his will. As it is a grace to know how to suffer for God out of love, God purified her with sufferings of mind and spirit, which became all the more painful when they involved also her soul.
But what will you say when I reveal also those gifts of nature which the most gracious God was pleased to add to those of his grace, so that nothing would be lacking to make of her an excellent foundress, a woman able to govern numerous communities and many daughters dispersed here and there in various towns to promote the glory of God? You may find this hard to believe. Yet you need only recall what she said, what she did, and you will find a woman of talent and genius, of charity and sweetness, strong and kind, wise and alert, joyous, friendly and lively, compassionate, affectionate and loving; simple as a dove, prudent as a serpent, accurate in judgment; sensible, just in her principles, beautiful. In a word, you will find in her a mingling of qualities that will delight and charm you.
And oh! how many and various are the sufferings she has to endure! She suffers for her sisters who are in pain and makes all their troubles her own. For herself she reserves the bitter and gives others all the sweetness she can.
She is wholly sold to the glory of God and the neighbor’s wellbeing. She no longer thinks of herself; her days are consecrated to God and she wants to live only to please him.


RESPONSORY


R. She lives and will live forever * because God wanted her totally for himself.
V. In the assembly of the just and in the kingdom of happiness, she will live forever.
R. because God wanted her totally for himself.


Hymn Te Deum

We praise you, O God; *
we acclaim you Lord and Master.
Everlasting Father, *
all the world bows down before you.

All the angels sing your praise, *
the hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers;
All the cherubim and seraphim *
call out to you in unending chorus:

Holy, holy, holy *
is the Lord God of angel hosts!
The heavens and the earth are filled, Lord, *
with your majesty and glory.

Your praises are sung *
by the renowned Apostles;
By all the prophets, *
who themselves deserve our praise;

By that mighty white-robed army *
who shed their blood for Christ.
And to the ends of the earth, *
the holy Church proclaims her faith in you:

Father, *
whose majesty is boundless;
Your only Son, *
who is true God and who is to be adored;

The Holy Spirit, *
sent to be our Advocate.
O Christ, the King of glory! *
You alone are the Father’s eternal Son.

When you were to become man so as to save humankind, *
you did not shrink back from the chaste Virgin’s womb.
When you triumphantly destroyed death’s sting, *
you opened up to believers the kingdom of haven.

You are now enthroned at God’s right hand, in the Father’s glory: *
We believe that you will come for judgment.
We therefore implore you to grant your servants grace and aid, *
for you shed your precious blood for their redemption.

Admit them all to the ranks of your saints *
in everlasting glory.
Be their Shepherd, Lord, *
uphold and exalt them forever and ever.

Day by day we praise you, *
daily we acclaim you.
We will confess and glorify your hold name, *
now and for all eternity.

In your great mercy, Lord, throughout this day *
keep us free from sin by your protection.
Have mercy on us, we humbly pray; *
Lord, have mercy on us.

May your mercy, Lord, your loving-kindness, always remain with us; *
for we have placed our confidence in you.
In you alone, Lord, I have hoped; *
may I not be disappointed.


PRAYER

Father most holy, who in your loving plan adorned Saint Maria De Mattias with exceptional gifts of grace so that in the Church she might be a witness to the blood of Christ; grant that, through her intercession, we may faithfully adore the Lamb without blemish who died and rose for us, celebrate with thanksgiving the new and eternal covenant in his blood and with zeal proclaim to all peoples the power of the love of Christ crucified. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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