Monday 8 March

Collect
Merciful Lord,
grant your people grace to withstand the temptations
   of the world, the flesh and the devil,
and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 11.1–17
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be anyone who does not heed the words of this covenant, which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron-smelter, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, that I may perform the oath that I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then I answered, ‘So be it, Lord.’
 And the Lord said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of an evil will. So I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.
 And the Lord said to me: Conspiracy exists among the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors of old, who refused to heed my words; they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their ancestors. Therefore, thus says the Lord, assuredly I am going to bring disaster upon them that they cannot escape; though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they will never save them in the time of their trouble. For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars to shame that you have set up, altars to make offerings to Baal.
 As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? The Lord once called you, ‘A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit’; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.

Psalm 101
    I will sing of faithfulness and justice; 
   to you, O Lord, will I sing.
    Let me be wise in the way that is perfect: 
   when will you come to me?
    I will walk with purity of heart 
   within the walls of my house.
    I will not set before my eyes 
   a counsel that is evil.
    I abhor the deeds of unfaithfulness; 
   they shall not cling to me.
    A crooked heart shall depart from me; 
   I will not know a wicked person.
    One who slanders a neighbour in secret 
   I will quickly put to silence.
    Haughty eyes and an arrogant heart 
   I will not endure.
    My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, 
   that they may dwell with me.
      One who walks in the way that is pure 
   shall be my servant.
      There shall not dwell in my house 
   one that practises deceit.
      One who utters falsehood 
   shall not continue in my sight.
      Morning by morning will I put to silence 
   all the wicked in the land,
      To cut off from the city of the Lord 
   all those who practise evil.

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