Vespers: Wednesday, wk 1

During Lent, this O.T. Canticle, based on Isaiah 58:5-9,
replaces the one for ordinary time

Such fasting as you do today,
will not make your voice heard on high.
Is this the kind of fasting that I wish,
a day to humble yourself?

Is it to bow your head like a reed,
and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
a day pleasing to your God?

Is not this the fast that I wish:
Loose the bonds of injustice;
undo the thongs of the yoke,
and let the oppressed go free.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed.
When you call for help, God will answer,
saying to you: Here I am!

Psalm 56  (Unshakable confidence in God)

Have pity on me, God, when they oppress me.
All day long I am trampled underfoot.
My enemies attack me every day;
many are hostile against me.

I trust in you, then I have no fear.
Your promise, O God, is my boast.
I trust in you, so I am not afraid;
what can anyone do against me?

They twist my words all the day long;
every plan they make is to harm me.
They band together and watch for me;
they lie in wait to seek my life.

Repay them for this evil, O God;
in your anger overthrow the nations.
You know all my sorrows and my tears;
are they not recorded in your book?

My foes will retreat and turn back,
on the day I call out to you, O God.
I know this, for you are on my side.

I trust in you and I praise your word;
your promise, O God, is my boast.
I trust in you, so I am not afraid;
what can anyone do against me?

I am bound by the vows I have made;
a thanksgiving offering I bring.

For you have saved me from death,
and kept my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before you, O God,
in the light of life.

Psalm 115  (The one true God)

Not to us, O God, not to us,
but to your Name give the glory,
because of your faithfulness and love.
Why do nations ask: Where is their God?

Our God is in heaven;
whatever God wills shall be done.
Their idols are silver and gold,
fashioned by human hands.

They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear;
noses, but cannot smell.

They have hands, but cannot feel;
feet, but cannot walk;
their throats give forth no sound.

Those who make them are like them;
so are all who trust in them.

House of Israel, trust in God,
your help and your shield.
House of Aaron, trust in God,
your help and your shield.

Trust and revere the Most High,
who is your help and your shield.

God remembers us and will bless us,
will bless the house of Israel,
and bless the house of Aaron.

All who fear God will be blessed,
the small and the great together.
May God increase your numbers,
both you and your children.

May you be blessed by God,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
To the Most High the heavens belong,
but the earth God entrusts to our care.

It is not the dead who praise God,
nor those who go down into silence.
But we will bless our God,
both now and forever.

Psalm 8  (Divine glory and human dignity)

O Lord, our God,
how great is your Name in all the earth!
The heavens reflect your splendor.

Through the mouths of infants and children
you are praised, and foes are put to shame.
You silence the avenger and the hostile.

When I behold the heavens you created,
and see how you arranged the moon and stars,
what is flesh that so deserves your care,
mere human beings that you visit us?

Yet, you have made us little less than gods,
and crowned us with glory and honor,
giving power over all that you have made;
you have put everything in our care:

All creatures, the sheep and the oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,
the birds of heaven and the fish in the sea,
all that lives in the depths of the waters.

O Lord, our God,
how great is your name in all the earth!

N.T.Canticle, based on Philippians 2:6-11

Have this mind among yourselves,
which was in christ Jesus,
who though he was in the form of God
did not cling to his equality with God.

Rather, he emptied himself
and took the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form,
in this way he humbled himself
and became obedient unto death,
even death on a cross.

Therefore God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every other name,

So that at Jesus’ name every knee must bend,
in heaven, on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim to God’s glory:
Jesus Christ is Lord!

Psalms Trans. ©Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 2008