Wednesday 25 August

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray
and to give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid
and giving us those good things
   which we are not worthy to ask
but through the merits and mediation
of 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 7.14–23
 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’
 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, ‘It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

Psalm 112
    Alleluia.
      Blessed are those who fear the Lord
   and have great delight in his commandments.
    Their descendants will be mighty in the land,
   a generation of the faithful that will be blest.
    Wealth and riches will be in their house,
   and their righteousness endures for ever.
    Light shines in the darkness for the upright;
   gracious and full of compassion are the righteous.
    It goes well with those who are generous in lending
   and order their affairs with justice,
    For they will never be shaken;
   the righteous will be held in everlasting remembrance.
    They will not be afraid of any evil tidings;
   their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
    Their heart is sustained and will not fear,
   until they see the downfall of their foes.
    They have given freely to the poor;
      their righteousness stands fast for ever;
   their head will be exalted with honour.
      The wicked shall see it and be angry;
      they shall gnash their teeth in despair;
   the desire of the wicked shall perish.