Prayer for the sick

Share On

The prayer for the sick is held in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.


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

Psalm 104, 1.5-6.10.12.24.35

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul.
  O Lord my God, you are very great.
  You are clothed with honour and majesty,

5 You set the earth on its foundations,
  so that it shall never be shaken.

6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
  the waters stood above the mountains.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
  they flow between the hills,

12 By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
  they sing among the branches.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
  In wisdom you have made them all;
  the earth is full of your creatures.

35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
  and let the wicked be no more.
  Bless the Lord, O my soul.
  Praise the Lord!

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With today’s liturgy we are chanting a few verses from psalm 104. Faced with the beauty of creation, the psalmist contemplates the Creator: “Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honour and majesty” (v. l). The Lord’s power is described with cosmological language: his mantle is light, he stretches out the heavens like a tent; he sets the earth on its foundations, the rivers are his paths; he sets an impassable boundary around the ocean, he looks on the earth and makes it quake, and he touches the mountains and they smoke. Even in just these few verses, there emerges a description of the variety of creatures and relationships among them which the Lord has established: the springs and the rivers together give the wild animals water to drink; the grass is ready for the cattle; the sun and the moon take turns marking the seasons; the fir trees rise up so that the stork can place its nest in their branches. According to the psalmist, creation is not a formless mass; it is a tightly-woven net of relationships, reciprocal service, and exchanged gifts. Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” comes to mind. The believer is enchanted before the variety of God’s gifts, before the care that he has for all life: "You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills " (v. 10). The amazement for this beauty of creation and for the greatness of God is transformed into gratitude so that it continues to sustain and direct that which it has created, to the point: "when you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust " (v. 29). The order of the things of earth is due to God’s faithfulness: “These all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things” (v. 27-28). The Lord wants creation to rejoice: the birds sing among the leaves of the trees, the sea monsters play in the ocean (v. 26), and to men and women God gives bread that sustains and wine that gladdens (v. 15). God created for His own joy (v. 31), but also for the joy of men and women (v. 34), at whom he looks with care and tenderness: “People go out to their work and to their labour until the evening” (v. 23). The psalmist is attentive to God, who has turned his face towards his creatures: “When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground” (v.30). Men and women are invited to look at the world the same way God did when he created it: “And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1). The psalm ends with a threat that might surprise us but that reveals God’s plan: “Let the sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more” (v. 35). Evil exists and men and women need to join with God in fighting to eliminate it. The book of Sirach in its wisdom comments on this by saying, “Each supplements the virtues of the other. Who could ever tire of seeing his glory?...We could say more but could never say enough; let the final word be: ‘He is the all.’…For he is greater than all his works” (42:25; 43:27-28).