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

At the end of his conversation with his disciples, Jesus summed up his mission: “I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.” (v.28). At the beginning of the passage that we just heard, the disciples, struck by this clarity, enthusiastically say to Jesus, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech!” They assume they have already understood everything. Perhaps they think they no longer need to listen; they may even believe that Jesus should now be quiet. 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 reduce faith to a simple question of understanding formulas. Nonetheless, Jesus does not lose patience, as we would. He is a good and patient teacher, and he 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 arrived. Instead, he shows them their weakness, that is, the fragility of their lives, which, in a little while, will make them fear for themselves and flee at the threat of being caught up in their Teacher’s passion. This too is a sign of his most tender mercy. He brings the disciples back to a true sense of themselves, because it is only by recognizing their limitations that they will be able to accept the help that he continues to offer them. He tells them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone.” Jesus knows well their weakness. Jesus warns them that they will be scattered precisely because they do not entrust themselves to their Teacher and his teaching. It is the bitter story of his passion, from his arrest in Gethsemane all the way to Golgotha. Everyone abandons him, even his closest friends. Only the Father remains by his side. Indeed he says, “Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.” Jesus knows this. During the 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 share in it. True peace does not come from thinking we are free from all problems and limitations, but 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. It is no longer the last word on life, but the tribulation through which we must pass in order to encounter the Resurrection to new life.