Prayers at Mid-day for Thursday, 16 July, 2020 (Proper 15, Trinity 5)


Today we remember Osmund (1099), medieval scholar and bishop of Salisbury.






O God, make speed to save us.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.



The Lord is our refuge and our strength:  O come, let us worship.


Hebrew Scriptures

Joshua 3.14 – 4.7



Psalm 37.1-18 (Exhortation to Patience and Trust)


1 Do not fret because of the wicked;

   do not be envious of wrongdoers, 

2 for they will soon fade like the grass,

   and wither like the green herb. 

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;

   so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. 

4 Take delight in the Lord,

   and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

5 Commit your way to the Lord;

   trust in him, and he will act. 

6 He will make your vindication shine like the light,

   and the justice of your cause like the noonday. 

7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;

   do not fret over those who prosper in their way,

   over those who carry out evil devices. 

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.

   Do not fret—it leads only to evil. 

9 For the wicked shall be cut off,

   but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. 

10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;

   though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there. 

11 But the meek shall inherit the land,

   and delight in abundant prosperity. 

12 The wicked plot against the righteous,

   and gnash their teeth at them; 

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

   for he sees that their day is coming. 

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows

   to bring down the poor and needy,

   to kill those who walk uprightly; 

15 their sword shall enter their own heart,

   and their bows shall be broken. 

16 Better is a little that the righteous person has

   than the abundance of many wicked. 

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,

   but the Lord upholds the righteous. 

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,

   and their heritage will abide for ever;



Romans 12.1-8



Matthew 26.1-16


When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.’

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5But they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’

Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, ‘Why this waste? 9For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.’ 10But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.



Commentary (Father Michael)


The story of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany is almost cinematic in that it is a scene of tenderness and foreboding, sandwiched between two scenes where Jesus’ enemies plot his death and betray him.    We don’t know what the house of Simon looks like (the fact that it is the house of a leper may tell us something) but surely it is a humble place next to the palace of Caiphas, a simple dwelling contrasting with the halls of power.


While the disciples want to make this incident about economics, Matthew encourages us to see the anointing as being a sign of Jesus’ kingly status as the heir of David, as well as a sign of his mission of salvation.    This king must die, and Jesus knows it.  The woman seems to know it as well.   It is pointless to ask who she is or how she’s paid for the “costly ointment”.  Like the Magi in Matthew 2, her gift signifies both Jesus’ royal status and the death that he is born to suffer.  The issue is not the fate of the poor (surely Jesus honour the poor by being the guest of a leper?) but rather the identity of Jesus as the messianic Son of Man.


The woman’s devotion to Jesus opens many doors for devotion and meditation.     What gifts and what appreciation can we offer Jesus?   What costly sacrifices can we make of our time, treasure, and talent?   What would it mean in our prayer life if we showed Jesus this same honour and tenderness?    How can we honour the poor as Jesus honoured the house of Simon the Leper with his presence?





In peace let us pray to the Lord, saying “Lord, hear and have mercy.”


We pray for all who confess the name of Christ.  In our Anglican Communion cycle of prayer, we pray for the clergy and people of Northern Michigan (The Episcopal Church) and their bishop, The Rt Revd Rayford Ray, for the clergy and people of Barisal (Bangladesh) , and their bishop, the Rt Revd Shourabh Pholia, and the clergy and people of Barrackpore (North India), , The Rt Revd Paritosh Canning 

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray for those whose lives are bound in mutual love, and for those who live in celibacy, remember especially the Sisters of St. John the Divine, Toronto, and the Franciscans of Marylake, King Township.  Be their joy and strength.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all in danger, for those essential workers, working poor, and medical staff who must risk the Covid19 virus in their daily work.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who are facing trials and difficulties, for those facing isolation, loneliness, sickness, and fear in this time of pandemic.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray for one another, that we may always be united in service and love.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray to be forgiven our sins and set free from all hardship, distress, want, war, and injustice.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


May we discover new and just ways to share the goods of the earth, enjoy the abundance of your mercies, and find joy together.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


May we be strengthened by our communion with all Christ’s saints.

Lord, hear and have mercy.



The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.





Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.  May we find peace in your service, and in the world to come, see you face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified: hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


Thanks be to God