Patrick, Bishop, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
Give judgement for me, O Lord, for I have walked with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered. Test me, O Lord, and try me; examine my heart and my mind. For your love is before my eyes; I have walked in your truth. I have not joined the company of the false, nor consorted with the deceitful. I hate the gathering of evildoers and I will not sit down with the wicked. I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord, that I may go about your altar, to make heard the voice of thanksgiving and tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house of your habitation and the place where your glory abides. Sweep me not away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty, whose hands are full of wicked schemes and their right hand full of bribes.
As for me, I will walk with integrity; redeem me, Lord, and be merciful to me. My foot stands firm; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.
Happy the one whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.
Happy the one to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
For I held my tongue; my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long. Your hand was heavy upon me day and night; my moisture was dried up like the drought in summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful make their prayers to you in time of trouble; in the great water flood, it shall not reach them. You are a place for me to hide in; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance.
‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye.
‘Be not like horse and mule which have no understanding; whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, or else they will not stay near you.’
Great tribulations remain for the wicked, but mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord; shout for joy, all who are true of heart.
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, ‘Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.’ The man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph’s house. Now the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, ‘It is because of the money, replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make slaves of us and take our donkeys.’ So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the entrance to the house. They said, ‘Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; and when we came to the lodging-place we opened our sacks, and there was each one’s money in the top of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it back with us. Moreover, we have brought down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.’ He replied, ‘Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.’ Then he brought Simeon out to them. When the steward had brought the men into Joseph’s house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they had heard that they would dine there.
When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. He inquired about their welfare, and said, ‘Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?’ They said, ‘Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.’ And they bowed their heads and did obeisance. Then he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, ‘Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!’ With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, ‘Serve the meal.’ They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. When they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,
‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you’?
‘I will be his Father, and he will be my Son’?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’
Of the angels he says,
‘He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.’
But of the Son he says,
‘Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever, and the righteous sceptre is the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’
‘In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.’
But to which of the angels has he ever said,
‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?
Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
who in your providence chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people:
keep alive in us the fire of the faith he kindled and strengthen us in our pilgrimage towards the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.