135 Sunday 23

Sentence: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

Collect: O God whose word is life, and whose delight is to answer our cry; give us faith like that of the woman who refused to remain an outsider, so that we too may have the wit to argue and demand that our children be made whole, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Isaiah 35:4-7a

Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you." Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. Hear the word of the Lord, thanks be to God.

Psalm 146 APBA p 377

1. Praise the LORD, praise the LORD, O my soul:

while I live I will praise the LORD;

2. While I have any being:

I will sing praises to my God.

3. Put not your trust in princes:

nor in flesh and blood, which cannot save.

4. For when their breath goes from them, they return again to the earth:

and on that day all their thoughts perish.

5. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob:

whose hope is in the LORD their God,

6. The God who made heaven and earth:

the sea and all that is in them,

7. Who keeps faith for ever:

who deals justice to those that are oppressed.

8. The LORD gives food to the hungry:

and sets the captives free.

9. The LORD gives sight to the blind:

the LORD lifts up those that are bowed down.

10. The LORD loves the righteous:

the LORD cares for the stranger in the land.

11. He upholds the widow and the fatherless:

as for the way of the wicked, he turns it upside down.

12. The LORD shall be king for ever:

your God, O Zion, shall reign through all generations. Praise the LORD.

James 2:1-17

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. Hear the word of the Lord, thanks be to God.

Mark 7:24-37 ... Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.

From (the villages around Gennesaret) Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." But she answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." Then he said to her, "For saying that, you may go -- the demon has left your daughter." So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak." For the Gospel of the Lord, praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.