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

1 John 3, 11-21

This is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we must love one another,

not to be like Cain, who was from the Evil One and murdered his brother. And why did he murder his brother? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's upright.

Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you.

We are well aware that we have passed over from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love, remains in death.

Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you are well aware that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.

This is the proof of love, that he laid down his life for us, and we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If anyone is well-off in worldly possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God be remaining in him?

Children, our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine.

This will be the proof that we belong to the truth, and it will convince us in his presence,

even if our own feelings condemn us, that God is greater than our feelings and knows all things.

My dear friends, if our own feelings do not condemn us, we can be fearless before God,


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle John, building on what he had just written about love for our brothers and sisters, affirms the primacy of love and reminds his readers that the first words they had heard as Christians - and which he had proclaimed from the beginning - were to “love one another.” Only by loving one another can people be saved from murderous violence. The example of Cain (“who was from the evil one”) effectively demonstrates the murderous strength hidden in selfishness and pride. The Christian should be the exact antithesis of Cain. Not only does the Christian “not hate” others; he or she must “love” them. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders shall be liable to judgement.' But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool’, you will be liable to the hell of fire” (Mt 5:21-22). The love of Jesus, that is, the love that makes us give our lives for others, is the primary inspiration for the disciple's interior life. Those who do not love like this fall into the devil's coils. He begins to dupe us with indifference that slowly pushes towards complicity with evil that plunges us into the abyss. There are no middle words between love and hate: either we choose the first and are freed or we chose the second and become its slaves. It is this radical incompatibility that inspires the world's opposition to Christians: love is violently blocked by those who are far from it and want to banish it from life at all costs. This is what happened to Jesus, and it is what continues to happen to his disciples every time they give witness to the commandment of love. But those who love their brothers and sisters are already in life, and death no longer has power over them. Christians are called to witness to love not in word but in deed, that is, in concrete service to the poorest. This is what reveals the Lord's love.