Thursday 5 August

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Holy Father,
who gathers us together in Christ
as the whole household of God:
in that new world where you reveal the fullness of your peace,
gather people of every race and language
to share in the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Mark 1.29-45
 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

Psalm 63
    O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you;
   my soul is athirst for you.
    My flesh also faints for you,
   as in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
    So would I gaze upon you in your holy place,
   that I might behold your power and your glory.
    Your loving-kindness is better than life itself
   and so my lips shall praise you.
    I will bless you as long as I live
   and lift up my hands in your name.
    My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness,
   and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
    When I remember you upon my bed
   and meditate on you in the watches of the night.
    For you have been my helper
   and under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.
    My soul clings to you;
   your right hand shall hold me fast.
      But those who seek my soul to destroy it
   shall go down to the depths of the earth;
      Let them fall by the edge of the sword
   and become a portion for jackals.
      But the king shall rejoice in God;
      all those who swear by him shall be glad,
   for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.