Wednesday 11 August

Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Mark 3.19b–35
Then Jesus went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
 ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’

Psalm 77
    I cry aloud to God;
   I cry aloud to God and he will hear me.
    In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord;
   by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire;
      my soul refuses comfort.
    I think upon God and I groan;
   I ponder, and my spirit faints.
    You will not let my eyelids close;
   I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
    I consider the days of old;
   I remember the years long past;
    I commune with my heart in the night;
   my spirit searches for understanding.
    Will the Lord cast us off for ever?
   Will he no more show us his favour?
    Has his loving mercy clean gone for ever?
   Has his promise come to an end for evermore?
    Has God forgotten to be gracious?
   Has he shut up his compassion in displeasure?
      And I said, ‘My grief is this:
   that the right hand of the Most High has lost its strength.’
      I will remember the works of the Lord
   and call to mind your wonders of old time.
      I will meditate on all your works
   and ponder your mighty deeds.
      Your way, O God, is holy;
   who is so great a god as our God?
      You are the God who worked wonders
   and declared your power among the peoples.
      With a mighty arm you redeemed your people,
   the children of Jacob and Joseph.
      The waters saw you, O God;
      the waters saw you and were afraid;
   the depths also were troubled.
      The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered;
   your arrows flashed on every side;
      The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
      your lightnings lit up the ground;
   the earth trembled and shook.
      Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the great waters,
   but your footsteps were not known.
      You led your people like sheep
   by the hand of Moses and Aaron.