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

Numbers 11, 4b-15

'Think of the fish we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic!

But now we are withering away; there is nothing wherever we look except this manna!'

The manna was like coriander seed and had the appearance of bdellium.

The people went round gathering it, and ground it in a mill or crushed it with a pestle; it was then cooked in a pot and made into pancakes. It tasted like cake made with oil.

When the dew fell on the camp at night-time, the manna fell with it.

Moses heard the people weeping, each family at the door of its tent. Yahweh's anger was greatly aroused; Moses too found it disgraceful,

and he said to Yahweh: 'Why do you treat your servant so badly? In what respect have I failed to win your favour, for you to lay the burden of all these people on me?

Was it I who conceived all these people, was I their father, for you to say to me, "Carry them in your arms, like a foster-father carrying an unweaned child, to the country which I swore to give their fathers"?

Where am I to find meat to give all these people, pestering me with their tears and saying, "Give us meat to eat"?

I cannot carry all these people on my own; the weight is too much for me.

If this is how you mean to treat me, please kill me outright! If only I could win your favour and be spared the sight of my misery!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

How easily God’s people complain, thinking that the problem that makes them vulnerable to difficulties and uncertainty is not their disbelief. They do not address the problems they face on their path, but think that the problem is that the Lord does not protect them enough! And fear makes small problems big; it fills them with nostalgia and makes them look for false security. Even the disciples think that Jesus had not sufficiently cared about their real needs, so much so that Peter asks assurances about what will happen to those who left everything to follow him. Evil always generates in us the belief we do not have enough, the sad conviction of being abandoned, and hides the many signs of mercy and the presence of God. So we are taken by “greed,” the temptation to possess, consume, measure, to have today, to seize the reward. The past becomes nostalgia, fantasies of what has been lost, forgetting that we were actually slaves, and that the food we ate was full of bitterness. And when we look back we no longer recognize the gifts we have and what they mean. Manna fed the people and protected them, but they did not feel joy, they longed for what they had not. Moses hears the cry of the people and in some ways makes it his own. The Lord is indignant for the disbelief of the people but Moses complains to God, because he feels that the whole burden of the people has been placed upon him. He thinks that he is the one who has to find the answer and he obviously does not have the strength. Moses is uncertain facing the disbelief of his people and does not know how to respond to their cries. He feels all his inadequacy and he submits it to God. “I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me.” Often the disciples of the Lord feel the labour the journey requires, and they demand security and a full life. But God is not offended; he listens to everything and leaves no request unheard.