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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 Ecclesiasticus 44:1 - 13 ©
Next let us praise illustrious men,
 our ancestors in their successive generations.

Some have left no memory,
 and disappeared as though they had not existed,
they are now as though they had never been,
 and so too, their children after them.

But here is a list of generous men
 whose good works have not been forgotten.
In their descendants there remains
 a rich inheritance born of them.
Their descendants stand by the covenants
 and, thanks to them, so do their children’s children.
Their offspring will last for ever,
 their glory will not fade.
Psalm or canticle: Psalm 149
Gospel Mark 11:11 - 26 ©
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. And he addressed the fig tree. ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ he said. And his disciples heard him say this.
So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons. Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. And he taught them and said, ‘Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples? But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’ This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching. And when evening came he went out of the city.
Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots. Peter remembered. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he said to Jesus ‘the fig tree you cursed has withered away.’ Jesus answered, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the sea”, with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too.’ But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.

7 posted on 06/01/2007 7:50:29 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Office of Readings and Invitatory 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 54 (55)
Against a faithless friend
Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
 and do not hide when I call on you:
 turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
 by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.

They let loose their wickedness on me,
 they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
 and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
 terror holds me tight.

I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
 I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
 and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
 from the stormy wind and the tempest”.

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 54 (55)
Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
 for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
 high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
 scheming and fraud fill its squares.

For if my enemy had slandered me,
 I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
 perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
 my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
 we walked together in the house of God.

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 54 (55)
Let death break in upon them!
 Let them go down alive to the underworld,
 for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
 and the Lord will rescue me.

Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
 and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
 and give it peace from those who attack me –
 for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
 God, the eternal.

They will never reform:
 they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
 he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
 but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
 but they were sharp as drawn swords.

Throw all your cares on the Lord
 and he will give you sustenance.
 He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.

No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
 to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
 will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in 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.

Reading Job 12:1 - 25 ©
Job spoke next. He said:
Doubtless, you are the voice of the people,
 and when you die, wisdom will die with you!
I can reflect as deeply as ever you can,
 I am no way inferior to you.
 And who, for that matter, has not observed as much?
A man becomes a laughing-stock to his friends
 if he cries to God and expects an answer.
 The blameless innocent incurs only mockery.
‘Add insult to injury,’ think the prosperous
 ‘strike the man now that he is staggering!’
And yet, the tents of brigands are left in peace,
 and those who challenge God live in safety,
 and make a god of their two fists!
If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
 seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
 and the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
There is not one such creature but will know
 this state of things is all of God’s own making.
He holds in his power the soul of every living thing,
 and the breath of each man’s body.

The ear is a judge of speeches, is it not,
 just as the palate can tell one food from another?
Wisdom is found in the old,
 and discretion comes with great age.
But in him there is wisdom, and power, too,
 and decision no less than discretion.
What he destroys, none can rebuild;
 whom he imprisons, none can release.
Is there a drought? He has checked the waters.
 Do these play havoc with the earth? He has let them loose.
In him is strength, in him resourcefulness,
 beguiler and beguiled are both alike his slave.
He robs the country’s counsellors of their wits,
 turns judges into fools.
His hands untie the belt of kings,
 and bind a rope about their loins.
He makes priests walk barefoot,
 and overthrows the powers that are established.
He strikes the cleverest speakers dumb,
 and robs old men of their discretion.
He pours contempt on the nobly born,
 and unties the girdle of the strong.
He robs the depths of their darkness,
 brings deep shadow to the light.
He builds a nation up, then strikes it down,
 or makes a people grow, and then destroys it.
He strips a country’s leaders of their judgement,
 and leaves them to wander in a trackless waste,
to grope about in unlit darkness,
 and totter like a man in liquor.

Reading From the Acts of the martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companion saints
I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians
The saints were seized and brought before the prefect of Rome, whose name was Rusticus. As they stood before the judgement seat, Rusticus the prefect said to Justin: “Above all, have faith in the gods and obey the emperors”. Justin said: “We cannot be accused or condemned for obeying the commands of our Saviour, Jesus Christ”.
Rusticus said: “What system of teaching do you profess?” Justin said: “I have tried to learn about every system, but I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians, though these are not approved by those who are held fast by error”.
The prefect Rusticus said: “Are those doctrines approved by you, wretch that you are?” Justin said: “Yes, for I follow them with their correct teaching”.
The prefect Rusticus said: “What sort of teaching is that?” Justin said: “Worship the God of the Christians. We hold him to be from the beginning the one creator and maker of the whole creation, of things seen and things unseen. We worship also the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was foretold by the prophets as the future herald of salvation for the human race and the teacher of distinguished disciples. For myself, since I am a human being, I consider that what I say is insignificant in comparison with his infinite godhead. I acknowledge the existence of a prophetic power, for the one I have just spoken of as the Son of God was the subject of prophecy. I know that the prophets were inspired from above when they spoke of his coming among men”.
Rusticus said: “You are a Christian, then?” Justin said: “Yes, I am a Christian”.
The prefect said to Justin: “You are called a learned man and think that you know what is true teaching. Listen: if you were scourged and beheaded, are you convinced that you would go up to heaven?” Justin said: “I hope that I shall enter God’s house if I suffer that way. For I know that God’s favour is stored up until the end of the whole world for all who have lived good lives”.
The prefect Rusticus said: “Do you have an idea that you will go up to heaven to receive some suitable rewards?” Justin said: “It is not an idea that I have; it is something I know well and hold to be most certain”.
The prefect Rusticus said: “Now let us come to the point at issue, which is necessary and urgent. Gather round then and with one accord offer sacrifice to the gods”. Justin said: “No one who is right thinking stoops from true worship to false worship”.
The prefect Rusticus said: “If you do not do as you are commanded you will be tortured without mercy”. Justin said: “We hope to suffer torment for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so be saved. For this will bring us salvation and confidence as we stand before the more terrible and universal judgement-seat of our Lord and Saviour”.
In the same way the other martyrs also said: “Do what you will. We are Christians; we do not offer sacrifice to idols”.
The prefect Rusticus pronounced sentence, saying: “Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the command of the emperor be scourged and led away to suffer capital punishment according to the ruling of the laws”. Glorifying God, the holy martyrs went out to the accustomed place. They were beheaded, and so fulfilled their witness of martyrdom in confessing their faith in their Saviour.

Concluding Prayer
O Lord, guide the world in order and peace according to your plan:
 may your Church rejoice
 and worship you in tranquillity.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.

8 posted on 06/01/2007 8:03:52 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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