SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST PSALM READING

      I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

      Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

      The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.

      Then I called on the name of the Lord:

      “O Lord, save me!”

      The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

      The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

      Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

      For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling

      that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:1-9

SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST FIRST READING

      The Sovereign Lord has given me and instruction tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.

      He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listenlike being taught.

      The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.

      I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

      Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.

      Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.

      He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!

      It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me?

      They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.

Isaiah 50:4-9

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST GOSPEL READING

      Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was posessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek , born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

      “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

      “Yes, Lord.” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

       Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

      She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

      Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through  Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

      After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha (which means, “Be opened!”) At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

      Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so , the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well.” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Mark 7:24-37

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SECOND READING

     My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes. and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

     Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones that are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

     If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture,”Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adulterybut do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

      Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgmentwithout mercy willl be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

      What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way  faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:1-10, {11-13}, 14-17

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST PSALM

      Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

      I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

      Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

      When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

      Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,

      the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — the Lord, who remains faithful forever.

      He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry The Lord sets prisoners free,

      the Lord gives sight to the blind the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down the Lord loves the righteous.

      The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

      The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.

      Praise the Lord.

Psalm 146

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST FIRST READING

      Say to those hurtful heats, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

     Then willl the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

     Then the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

     The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

Isaiah 35:4-7

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST GOSPEL READING

     The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating good with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they ovserve many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

     So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with unclean hands?

     He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written

     ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’

     Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’

     For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'”

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SECOND READING

     Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth throught the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

     My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bing about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalant and humbly avvept the word planted in you, which can save you.

      Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like, But the man who looks intentl into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.

     If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:17-:27