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

Genesis 28, 10-22a

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.

When he had reached a certain place, he stopped there for the night, since the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he made it his pillow and lay down where he was.

He had a dream: there was a ladder, planted on the ground with its top reaching to heaven; and God's angels were going up and down on it.

And there was Yahweh, standing beside him and saying, 'I, Yahweh, am the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The ground on which you are lying I shall give to you and your descendants.

Your descendants will be as plentiful as the dust on the ground; you will spread out to west and east, to north and south, and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you and your descendants.

Be sure, I am with you; I shall keep you safe wherever you go, and bring you back to this country, for I shall never desert you until I have done what I have promised you.'

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Truly, Yahweh is in this place and I did not know!'

He was afraid and said, 'How awe-inspiring this place is! This is nothing less than the abode of God, and this is the gate of heaven!'

Early next morning, Jacob took the stone he had used for his pillow, and set it up as a pillar, pouring oil over the top of it.

He named the place Bethel, but before that the town had been called Luz.

Jacob then made this vow, 'If God remains with me and keeps me safe on this journey I am making, if he gives me food to eat and clothes to wear,

and if I come home safe to my father's home, then Yahweh shall be my God.

This stone I have set up as a pillar is to be a house of God, and I shall faithfully pay you a tenth part of everything you give me.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

A stairway joins heaven and earth. This is Jacob’s dream, and the dream of every man and woman. Our earth is often as hard as the rock on which Jacob rests his head. But God sends His angels, who climb towards the Lord from that place so that Jacob will not remain closed in the narrow horizons of his world. The land in which he is living is hard but not cursed; the world that surrounds us is going through difficult times, but it is not condemned to destruction. God has hope for the world and blesses the earth to make it fertile and fulfil his plan. And believers are called upon to take part in this dream, which is a dream for all the peoples of the earth, especially those whose destiny is the most heavy and painful. Believers recognize the Lord’s presence on earth and feel him beside them like a promise of blessing. The house that God has placed among men and women is the community of believers, which becomes the gate to heaven and the stairway that allows people to climb towards the Lord. Jesus completely fulfils the dream of the stairway, because with him we see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. He opens the way to heaven for men and women once and for all. He himself is the stairway, and the teachings of the Gospel are the steps that help us rise out of our weakness. Jacob discovers that the Lord was in that place, even though he had not realized it. He becomes afraid, because he is clever, and yet he knows God’s presence is terrifying. He preserves that fear that allows us to learn to respect and love the presence of God.