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

Mark 10, 17-27

He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, 'Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

You know the commandments: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.'

And he said to him, 'Master, I have kept all these since my earliest days.'

Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, 'You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.'

But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!'

The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, 'My children,' he said to them, 'how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of God.'

They were more astonished than ever, saying to one another, 'In that case, who can be saved?'

Jesus gazed at them and said, 'By human resources it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This page of the Gospel is among the ones which have marked most of the lives of many men and women who had begun to follow Jesus. It is a word that resonates loud even to our generation. Many are the people who run to someone who may give them happiness or who could show them a way to it. Often this run ends in the desert or worse, at the bottom of the ravines. The man, the Gospel tells about, ended that run by kneeling before Jesus. He summoned Jesus by calling him “good”; but Jesus corrected him: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” With this answer, which may appear exaggerated, Jesus ridicules the claim that we all have, to feel with a clear conscience, to feel good. This is indeed an excuse not to change our lives and hearts. Also the Pharisee felt to have a clear conscience and to be good when he went and prayed in the temple, but he went back home the same as before and not forgiven by God. That man had observed the commandments. He could feel with a clear conscience. However the issue for the believer is not to have a clear conscience, rather to decisively and humbly follow the Lord. Daily, Jesus keeps looking at us with love so that we not hold for ourselves too many of the possessions we have accumulated, and which burden our lives and slow down our following the Gospel. Possessions are not only material. They are all that which keeps us tied and imprisoned by our ego, by our habits, even by our way of being, or by our expectations that often move us away from the Lord. The only real wealth that is worth living is to become disciples of Jesus, to follow him: meaning walking after him and not ourselves or the many promises of our world. The latter are often real delusions that promise success and self-realization. The man chose for his possessions and went away sad. Sadness is often the result of selfishness, of self-love, which causes many fears. Of course we should be faithful to all commandments, but this is not all for Christians. Even more, the exclusive fulfilment of norms could hide the risk of self –sufficiency. The true vocation of the disciple is following Jesus, going after him and living like him. To follow him our lives should not be linked to other possessions. Leaving behind what we have means not to believe that happiness relies on riches. Woe to those who are slaves of them, as it often happens. Let us trust the Lord with the humility of disciples, for only in Him we can find the joy we often seek unsuccessfully. If we do it we shall be free from possessions which keep us imprisoned, because “for God all things are possible.”