Prayer for the sick

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 16, 29-33

His disciples said, 'Now you are speaking plainly and not using veiled language.

Now we see that you know everything and need not wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.'

Jesus answered them: Do you believe at last?

Listen; the time will come -- indeed it has come already -- when you are going to be scattered, each going his own way and leaving me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The disciples assume that they already understand everything. Jesus opened his heart to them, revealing the beauty of his life with the Father and offering it to them in turn, and now they believe that they already posses it. They demonstrate the superficiality of those who think faith is just a simple question of understanding formulas on an intellectual level. Nonetheless, Jesus does not lose patience, as we would. He, who is a good and patient teacher, continues to speak to them to help them grow in knowledge and love. He does not leave his disciples at the mercy of their pride, and he does not want them to remain slaves to the presumptuous belief that they have already made it. Instead, he shows them their weakness, that is, the fragility of their lives that in a little while will make them flee for fear of being involved in their Teacher’s passion. This, too, is a sign of his tender mercy. He brings the disciples back to a true sense of themselves, because it is only by recognizing their need and their great limitations that they will be able to accept the help that he will continue to offer them. Jesus warns them that they will be scattered precisely because they do not entrust themselves to their Teacher and his teaching. Jesus will be left alone. It is the bitter story of his passion, right to the cross. Even his closest friends abandoned him. The only one who will stay close to the Son is the Father. Jesus is well aware of this, and, during his passion, the Father will be his only refuge. This unbreakable bond with the Father is true peace for Jesus. And he wants his disciples to be part of this peace too. True peace does not come from thinking we are free from all problems and limitations, it comes from the awareness that the Lord is ready to help us in any situation. We can trust in his good power, which has conquered death. This latter sad inheritance is no longer the last word of life, but the tribulation through which we have to pass in order to meet the Resurrection to the new life.