Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity – 6 September

Almighty God,
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Mark 7.24–37
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.’

Psalm 115
    Not to us, Lord, not to us,
      but to your name give the glory,
   for the sake of your loving mercy and truth.
    Why should the nations say,
   ‘Where is now their God?’
    As for our God, he is in heaven;
   he does whatever he pleases.
    Their idols are silver and gold,
   the work of human hands.
    They have mouths, but cannot speak;
   eyes have they, but cannot see;
    They have ears, but cannot hear;
   noses have they, but cannot smell;
    They have hands, but cannot feel;
      feet have they, but cannot walk;
   not a whisper do they make from their throats.
    Those who make them shall become like them
   and so will all who put their trust in them.
    But you, Israel, put your trust in the Lord;
   he is their help and their shield.
      House of Aaron, trust in the Lord;
   he is their help and their shield.
      You that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord;
   he is their help and their shield.
      The Lord has been mindful of us and he will bless us;
   may he bless the house of Israel;
      may he bless the house of Aaron;
      May he bless those who fear the Lord,
   both small and great together.
      May the Lord increase you more and more,
   you and your children after you.
      May you be blest by the Lord,
   the maker of heaven and earth.
      The heavens are the heavens of the Lord,
   but the earth he has entrusted to his children.
      The dead do not praise the Lord,
   nor those gone down into silence;
      But we will bless the Lord,
   from this time forth for evermore.