READINGS FOR 29  AUGUST

 Deuteronomy 4.1-2, 6-9
So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you. You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!’ For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

 But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children—

This is the word of the Lord.
All Thanks be to God.

Psalm 15
1  Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle? •
  Who may rest upon your holy hill?
2  Whoever leads an uncorrupt life •
  and does the thing that is right;
3  Who speaks the truth from the heart •
  and bears no deceit on the tongue;
4  Who does no evil to a friend •
  and pours no scorn on a neighbour;
5  In whose sight the wicked are not esteemed, •
  but who honours those who fear the Lord.
6  Whoever has sworn to a neighbour •
  and never goes back on that word;
7  Who does not lend money in hope of gain, •
  nor takes a bribe against the innocent;
8  Whoever does these things •
  shall never fall.

James 1.17-end
 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

This is the word of the Lord.
All Thanks be to God.


Gospel Reading
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
All Glory to you, O Lord.


Mark 7.1-8, 14, 15,21-23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
  but their hearts are far from me;
 in vain do they worship me,
  teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All Praise to you, O Christ.

Readings for Sunday 5 September

Isaiah 35:4-7a

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah

Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

PSALM Psalm 146

R The Lord shall reign for ever.

Alleluia.

Praise the Lord, O my soul:

while I live will I praise the Lord;

as long as I have any being,

I will sing praises to my God.

Put not your trust in princes,

nor in any human power,

for there is no help in them.

When their breath goes forth,

they return to the earth;

on that day all their thoughts perish. R

 

Happy are those who have the God of

Jacob for their help,

whose hope is in the Lord their God;

Who made heaven and earth,

the sea and all that is in them;

who keeps his promise for ever;

Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong

and bread to those who hunger. R

 

The Lord looses those that are bound;

the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed

down;

the Lord loves the righteous; R

The Lord watches over the stranger in the

land;

he upholds the orphan and widow;

but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.

The Lord shall reign for ever,

your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

Alleluia. R

Epistle

James 2.1-17

A reading from the letter of James

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. (For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.)

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Gospel

Mark 7.24-37

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

Glory to you O Lord

From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you O Christ

 

Sunday 12 September


FIRST READING Isaiah 50.4–9a

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

The servant of the Lord said:

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens –

wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord GOD has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

It is the Lord GOD who helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

 

PSALM Psalm 116.1–8

R I will walk in the presence of the Lord

in the land of the living.

 

1 I love the Lord,

because he has heard the voice of my supplication,

because he has inclined his ear to me

whenever I called upon him.

2 The cords of death entangled me;

the grip of the grave took hold of me;

I came to grief and sorrow. R

3 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:

‘O Lord, I pray you, save my life.’

4 Gracious is the Lord and righteous;

our God is full of compassion. R

5 The Lord watches over the innocent;

I was brought very low and he helped me.

6 Turn again to your rest, O my soul,

for the Lord has treated you well. R

7 For you have rescued my life from death,

my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.

8 I will walk in the presence of the Lord

in the land of the living. R

 

SECOND READING James 3.1–12

A reading from the letter of James.

Not many of you should become teachers,

my brothers and sisters,

for you know that we who teach

will be judged with greater strictness.

For all of us make many mistakes.

Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect,

able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle.

If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us,

we guide their whole bodies.

Or look at ships:

though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them,yet they are guided by a very small rudder

wherever the will of the pilot directs.

So also the tongue is a small member,

yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!

And the tongue is a fire.

The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity;

it stains the whole body,

sets on fire the cycle of nature,

and is itself set on fire by hell.

For every species of beast and bird,

of reptile and sea creature,

can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,

but no one can tame the tongue –

a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With it we bless the Lord and Father,

and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.

My brothers and sisters,

this ought not to be so.

Does a spring pour forth from the same opening

both fresh and brackish water?

Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters,

yield olives, or a grapevine figs?

No more can salt water yield fresh.

 

GOSPEL Mark 8.27–38

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi;

and on the way he asked his disciples,

‘Who do people say that I am?’

And they answered him,

‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah;

and still others, one of the prophets.’

Jesus asked them,

‘But who do you say that I am?’

Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’

And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them

that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering,

and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,

and be killed, and after three days rise again.

He said all this quite openly.

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But turning and looking at his disciples,

he rebuked Peter and said,

‘Get behind me, Satan!

For you are setting your mind not on divine things

but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them,

‘If any want to become my followers,

let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

For those who want to save their life will lose it,

and those who lose their life for my sake,

and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

For what will it profit them to gain the whole world

and forfeit their life?

Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

Those who are ashamed of me

and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation,

of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed

when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

 

Sunday 19 September

FIRST READING

Wisdom of Solomon 1.16 – 2.1, 12–22

 

A reading from the book of Wisdom.

 

The ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death;

considering him a friend,

they pined away and made a covenant with him,

because they are fit to belong to his company.

For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,

‘Short and sorrowful is our life,

and there is no remedy when a life comes to its end,

and no one has been known to return from Hades.

Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,

because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;

he reproaches us for sins against the law,

and accuses us of sins against our training.

He professes to have knowledge of God,

and calls himself a child of the Lord.

He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;

the very sight of him is a burden to us,

because his manner of life is unlike that of others,

and his ways are strange.

We are considered by him as something base,

and he avoids our ways as unclean;

he calls the last end of the righteous happy,

and boasts that God is his father.

Let us see if his words are true,

and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;

for if the righteous man is God’s child, he will help him,

and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.

Let us test him with insult and torture,

so that we may find out how gentle he is,

and make trial of his forbearance.

Let us condemn him to a shameful death,

for, according to what he says, he will be protected.’

Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray,

for their wickedness blinded them,

and they did not know the secret purposes of God,

nor hoped for the wages of holiness,

nor discerned the prize for blameless souls;

 

PSALM Psalm 54

R The Lord sustains my life.

1 Save me, O God, by your name;

in your might, defend my cause.

2 Hear my prayer, O God;

give ear to the words of my mouth. R

3 For the arrogant have risen up against me,

and the ruthless have sought my life,

those who have no regard for God.

4 Behold, God is my helper;

it is the Lord who sustains my life. R

5 Render evil to those who spy on me;

in your faithfulness, destroy them.

6 I will offer you a freewill sacrifice

and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.

7 For you have rescued me from every trouble,

and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes. R

 

SECOND READING James 3.13 – 4.3, 7–8a

A reading from the letter of James.

 

Who is wise and understanding among you?

Show by your good life

that your works are done with gentleness

born of wisdom.

But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts,

do not be boastful and false to the truth.

Such wisdom does not come down from above,

but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.

For where there is envy and selfish ambition,

there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.

But the wisdom from above is first pure,

then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,

full of mercy and good fruits,

without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace

for those who make peace.

Those conflicts and disputes among you,

where do they come from?

Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?

You want something and do not have it;

so you commit murder.

And you covet something and cannot obtain it;

so you engage in disputes and conflicts.

You do not have, because you do not ask.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly,

in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.

Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw near to God,

and he will draw near to you.

 

GOSPEL Mark 9.30–37

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

 

After leaving the mountain

Jesus and his disciples went on from there

and passed through Galilee.

He did not want anyone to know it;

for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them,

‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands,

and they will kill him,

and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’

But they did not understand what he was saying

and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum;

and when he was in the house he asked them,

‘What were you arguing about on the way?’

But they were silent,

for on the way they had argued with one another

who was the greatest.

He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them,

‘Whoever wants to be first

must be last of all and servant of all.’

Then he took a little child and put it among them;

and taking it in his arms, he said to them,

‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me,

and whoever welcomes me

welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

 

SUNDAY 26 September

Numbers 11.4-6, 10-16, 24-29
 The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.’

 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favour in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child”, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, “Give us meat to eat!” I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favour in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.’

 So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you.

 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, ‘My lord Moses, stop them!’ But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!’

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Psalm 19.7-end

R The commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes
7  The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; •
  the testimony of the Lord is sure
      and gives wisdom to the simple.
8  The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart; •
  the commandment of the Lord is pure
      and gives light to the eyes.
R
9  The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; •
  the judgements of the Lord are true
      and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold,
      more than much fine gold, •
  sweeter also than honey,
      dripping from the honeycomb.
R
11  By them also is your servant taught •
  and in keeping them there is great reward.
12  Who can tell how often they offend? •
  O cleanse me from my secret faults!
R
13  Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins
      lest they get dominion over me; •
  so shall I be undefiled,
      and innocent of great offence.
14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
      be acceptable in your sight, •
  O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
R

James 5.13-end
 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Gospel Reading(Mark 9.38-end)
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Glory to you, O Lord.



 John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me.

Whoever is not against us is for us.

For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

 ‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

 ‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.