Monday 27 September

Gracious God,
you call us to fullness of life:
deliver us from unbelief
and banish our anxieties
with the liberating love of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Mark 14.1–11
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’
 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’
 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray 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.