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Friday, 26 May 2023 07:08

Office of Readings

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Ant. In memory of Mary
united with her Son in his passion,
let us adore Christ our Lord.

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


At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
all his bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother highly blessed
of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
‘whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?

For the sins of his own nation
saw him hang in desolation
till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! Font of love,
touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with yours accord.

Christ, when you shall call me hence,
be your Mother my defense,
be your cross my victory. Amen.

Or another suitable hymn approved by ecclesiastical authority.

Ant. 1 Mary, you are blessed by the Lord;
the God of salvation has made you holy.


The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds, *
the world and those who live there.
For God founded it on the seas, *
established it over the rivers.

Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? *
Who can stand in his holy place?

“The clean of hand and pure of heart, †
who are not devoted to idols, *
who have not sworn falsely.

They will receive blessings from the Lord,*
and justice from their saving God.
Such are the people that love the Lord, *
that seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates; †
rise up, you ancient portals, *
that the king of glory may enter.

Who is this king of glory? †
The Lord, a mighty warrior, *
the Lord, mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates; †
rise up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter.

Who is this king of glory? *
The Lord of hosts is the king of glory.

Ant. 1. Mary, you are blessed by the Lord,
the God of salvation has made you holy.

Ant. 2. The Most High has sanctified his dwelling-place.


God is our refuge and our strength, *
an ever-present help in distress.

Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken *
and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,
Though its waters rage and foam *
and mountains totter at its surging.

The Lord of hosts is with us; *
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Streams of the river gladden the city of God,*
the holy dwelling of the Most High.

God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken; *
God will help it at break of day.
Though nations rage and kingdoms totter, *
God's voice thunders and the earth trembles.

The Lord of hosts is with us; *
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Come and see the works of the Lord, *
who has done fearsome deeds on earth;

Who stops wars to the ends of the earth, †
breaks the bow, splinters the spear, *
and burns the shields with fire;

Who says: “Be still and confess that I am God! *
I am exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”

The Lord of hosts is with us;*
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Ant. 2 The Most High has sanctified his dwelling-place.

Ant. 3 Marvelous things are said of you,
O Virgin Mary!


The Lord loves the city founded on holy mountains, †
loves the gates of Zion *
more than any dwelling in Jacob.

Glorious things are said of you,*
O city of God!

From Babylon and Egypt I count those who acknowledge the Lord. †
Philistia, Ethiopia, Tyre, *
of them it can be said: “This one was born there.”

But of Zion it must be said: “They all were born here. *
The Most High confirms this.”

The Lord notes in the register of the peoples: *
“This one was born here.”
So all sing in their festive dance:*
“Within you is my true home.”

Ant. 3 Marvelous things are said of you,
O Virgin Mary!

V. In the fullness of time, God sent his Son, born of a woman,
R. to redeem us and to make us his children by adoption.

From the first letter of Saint Paul the apostle to the Corinthians 1:17-30
Wisdom of the world and Christian wisdom

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong; and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.


R. Blessed are you among women; you changed the curse of Eve into blessing;
* thanks to you, the blessing of the Father has shone upon all men and women.
V. Through you, your ancestors found salvation;
R. thanks to you, the blessing of the Father has shone upon all men and women.

From the writings of Saint Maria De Mattias, virgin.

(Letters of Saint Maria De Mattias nn. 498, 471: Vol. II, ed. 1947)

The condescension of God toward us

Dearest daughter in Jesus, remember to be very, very devoted to Mary Most Holy; be persevering in often invoking her with confidence. Tell her to set you totally afire with love for Jesus. Let your thoughts dwell on the most holy Passion of her Son and his bitter sufferings. Often speak of God’s infinite charity in having given us his most Holy Son; speak also of the great beauty of Jesus and Mary. Let us love all with tender affection: they cost Jesus his blood and caused bitter sorrows to his Virgin Mother. Our hearts should be filled with zeal for their salvation, and we should offer our prayers for the salvation of souls.
Let us offer the blood of Jesus at the throne of Divine Mercy for the fulfillment of our desires, which are the gift of his goodness and which he wishes us to foster because they are his, not ours. Let us thank him.
Let us not become dismayed at the hardships and the fatigue to be borne. Let us reflect that a God endured the hard death of the cross to save souls. With infinite condescension he calls on us to help him.
Let us humble ourselves to the depths, and even lower, because of our sins. Let us place all our confidence in God and in the blood of Jesus Christ. Over and over let us abandon ourselves into the arms of the divine mercy, protesting that we should be happy to die for the salvation of souls. In this way we shall give joy to Jesus and Mary. My daughter, meditate on the great condescension of a God toward us.
I lose myself; I do not know how to express what I feel. We, work for Jesus? We, suffer for Jesus? …(I cannot understand). We, die for Jesus?…We? Who are we?
O great condescension of a God! O great condescension of Jesus! Let us consider, dearly loved daughter, that the law given us, to walk the way of sorrow and suffering, is not due to any hardness on the part of our most beloved God, because there cannot be such in that holiest and sweetest Heart. Rather, it is the effect of a most tender and unlimited love toward us, so that we can atone for our sins and make ourselves worthy of him. With profound respect and true attachment, let us adore the admirable mystery of the Cross…
They tell me I am always speaking about the Cross. My daughter, believe me, that is not just for form’s sake, but for the true love of my heart and the high esteem I have for that adorable Standard. And we can say in all truth that anyone who shares the sufferings of Jesus Christ is immensely honored.
As for myself (I admit the truth), I do not suffer anything; I feel ashamed and humiliated to appear before my Crucified Jesus. I shrink from every little inconvenience. Pray for me so that the Lord may make me worthy of his disappointments.
Let us lovingly embrace hardships for Jesus, and carry his most holy Cross in triumph.

R. Let us place all our trust in Mary Most Holy * and live hidden in the Cross.
V. In any need whatsoever, let us turn to Our Lady of Sorrows,
R. and live hidden in the Cross.

From the writings of Saint Gaspar del Bufalo, priest
(“Sorrows of Mary Most Holy”, 3,1: Spiritual Writings, I, Rome 1995, 6 –12, selections)

The Passion of Jesus in Mary

Turn your eyes to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of incense, to lovers’ mountain, oh faithful people. Look at the tender Mother to whom it was once prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul. Truly, O Mother, your sorrow is as big as the sea. The heart of Mary is afflicted and in anguish by a twofold love: the love of her Son, innocent and crucified, causes her an ineffable martyrdom; the love for the redeemed sinner inflicts upon her unparalleled pain. Just like a ship battered by opposing winds, she is tossed back and forth, and at the end stands still.
After following the trace of Jesus’ blood from a distance, her mind overwhelmed by sorrow at the thought of his pain, Mary makes her way out of the crowd and places herself facing him; she became both a viewer and a performer of the cruel event.
And now she ponders Jesus’ pains, contemplates the gashes, and reflects on the killing. A bundle of thorns pierces Mary’s mind.
Where the world’s ruin began from Eve, there, the reparation began by Christ, who, after tasting the bitterness of the wood of the cross, passed it to his Mother to taste.
She stood there as a Priestess, more than as a Mother, contributing by her pain to the sacrifice for us human beings.
Mary’s sufferings were increased by the fact that she could not be of any solace to Jesus. She suffered most when she saw Jesus’ final agony, after he had suffered for several hours.
Oh Mother! My sin is the sword that Simeon foretold. I pierce through two hearts when I sin: your soul and that of your Son.
You, angels of peace, were weeping while she stood firm at the sight of her Son: her eyes were pitiful, but full of great dignity; they were in pain, but without tears. When, in compassion for Jesus the Redeemer, the tears, as tiny drops heralding suffering, would appear on her pupils, her love for redeemed humanity would stop their flow down the cheeks. While Jesus’ love touched her heart, her love for us human beings held back her tears.
The eternal Father gave us his Son out of his excessive love for us; Mary gave her own Son to us out of tender benevolence.

RESPONSORY             cf. Lk 23:33; Jn 19:25; Lk 2:35
R. When they reached Calvary’s summit, they crucified him. * Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother.
V. The sword of sorrow pierced her soul.
R. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother.

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.


Father most holy, who willed to associate Our Lady of Sorrows, Woman of the New Covenant, to the sacrifice of your Son; through the merits of his precious blood, grant, we pray, that your Church, born of Christ’s pierced side, may always celebrate the memorial of his work of redemption with the love of our Mother Mary showed. 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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