Monday 9 August

God of our pilgrimage,
you have willed that the gate of mercy
should stand open for those who trust in you:
look upon us with your favour
that we who follow the path of your will
may never wander from the way of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Mark 2.23–3.6
One sabbath he was going through the cornfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?’ And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.’ Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.’
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Psalm 71
    In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge;
   let me never be put to shame.
    In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
   incline your ear to me and save me.
    Be for me a stronghold to which I may ever resort;
   send out to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
    Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
   from the grasp of the evildoer and the oppressor.
    For you are my hope, O Lord God,
   my confidence, even from my youth.
    Upon you have I leaned from my birth,
      when you drew me from my mother’s womb;
   my praise shall be always of you.
    I have become a portent to many,
   but you are my refuge and my strength.
    Let my mouth be full of your praise
   and your glory all the day long.
    Do not cast me away in the time of old age;
   forsake me not when my strength fails.
      For my enemies are talking against me,
   and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
      They say, ‘God has forsaken him;
      pursue him and take him,
   because there is none to deliver him.’
      O God, be not far from me;
   come quickly to help me, O my God.
      Let those who are against me
      be put to shame and disgrace;
   let those who seek to do me evil
      be covered with scorn and reproach.
      But as for me I will hope continually
   and will praise you more and more.
      My mouth shall tell of your righteousness
      and salvation all the day long,
   for I know no end of the telling.
      I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;
   I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
      O God, you have taught me since I was young,
   and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
      Forsake me not, O God,
      when I am old and grey-headed,
   till I make known your deeds to the next generation
      and your power to all that are to come.
      Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;
   in the great things you have done, who is like you, O God?
      What troubles and adversities you have shown me,
   and yet you will turn and refresh me
      and bring me from the deep of the earth again.
      Increase my honour;
   turn again and comfort me.
      Therefore will I praise you upon the harp
      for your faithfulness, O my God;
   I will sing to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
      My lips will sing out as I play to you,
   and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
      My tongue also will tell of your righteousness all the day long,
   for they shall be shamed and disgraced
      who sought to do me evil.