Be gracious to your people, we entreat you, O Lord, that they, repenting day by day of the things that displease you, may be more and more filled with love of you and of your commandments; and, being supported by your grace in this life, may come to the full enjoyment of eternal life in your everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Readings

Exodus 4:10–31

But Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.’ But he said, ‘O my Lord, please send someone else.’ Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘What of your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.’

Moses Returns to Egypt

Moses went back to his father–in–law Jethro and said to him, ‘Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.’ The Lord said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.’ So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.

And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son. I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may worship me.’ But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.”’

On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, ‘Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’ So he let him alone. It was then she said, ‘A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.’

The Lord said to Aaron, ‘Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.’ So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.

Psalm 31

Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
 do not let me ever be put to shame;
 in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
 rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
 a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
 for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
 for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
 you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
 but I trust in the Lord.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
 because you have seen my affliction;
 you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
 you have set my feet in a broad place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbours,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.
Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord,
 for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
 let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be stilled
 that speak insolently against the righteous
 with pride and contempt.

O how abundant is your goodness
 that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
 in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
 from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
 from contentious tongues.

Blessed be the Lord,
 for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
 when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm,
 ‘I am driven far from your sight.’
But you heard my supplications
 when I cried out to you for help.

Love the Lord, all you his saints.
 The Lord preserves the faithful,
 but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
 all you who wait for the Lord.

I Corinthians 14:1–19

Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues

Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their building up and encouragement and consolation. Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves, but those who prophesy build up the church. Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you in some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is the same way with lifeless instruments that produce sound, such as the flute or the harp. If they do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is being played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different kinds of sounds in the world, and nothing is without sound. If then I do not know the meaning of a sound, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.

Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

St. Mark 9:30–41

Jesus Again Foretells His Death and Resurrection

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Who Is the Greatest?

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Another Exorcist

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.


“The most important key to remember in such a life of following Christ is continuous repentance when we fall short. Keep a short account with God; and His grace is sufficient.”
— excerpt from Road to Reality
—— Metropolitan Yohan

Fasting

Humility, fasting, prayer, watchfulness. These are the tools which advance men and women toward holiness, and they are the fruits, too, of that advancement. Humility brings us to a more realistic and understanding view of ourselves, and thus of the grace of God. Fasting trains the body, so long left to unrestrained gluttony, and through its training brings clarity to the mind and soul. Prayer lifts our whole being into the embrace of God and propels us to divine union. Finally, watchfulness brings our whole mind and soul to rest in the heart, there to know the love and grace of God. It is the tool by which we are guided by Christ to know good from evil, to maintain the former in our person and repel the latter before it has the opportunity to work harm in our lives. The combined use of these tools brings us closer to Christ, who has promised that whoever knocks, to him the door shall be opened.

—Hesychios the Priest


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Source for Collects: The Collects are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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