Prayer for the sick

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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

Matthew 5,1-12

Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 'Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Starting today, the liturgy of the Church, introduces us to the continued reading of the Gospel of Matthew. It starts with the Beatitudes that open the famous speech of the Mountain. Jesus wants to show to the crowds the way of bliss, of happiness. He wants to show his way. Certainly it is not that of the Pharisees and of a religiosity made of norms but devoid of the heart. The Psalms had already accustomed the believers of Israel to the true sense of bliss: "Blessed is the man who has placed his trust in the Lord", "blessed is the man who cares for the weak", "blessed is the man who trusts in you", the Psalms sing. Here is the bliss of the believer of Israel. Jesus, continuing along this line, affirms that the men and women who are poor in spirit, that is, the humble (those who trusted in God and not in riches), are blessed. And blessed are also the merciful, the afflicted, the meek, the hungry for justice, the pure in heart, the persecuted for the sake of justice and also those who are insulted and persecuted because of his name. No one had ever said words like these before. It was the first time they resonated on that mountain of Galilee. Even to us, who listen to them today, they seem distant and completely unreal. We admit their beauty. But it is impossible to implement them. For Jesus it is not so. He wants true, full, lasting happiness for us. Normally, we care about living a little better, of being just a little calmer. Some speak of a world of "sad passions". Precisely because of this estrangement from the culture of the majority, this page of the Beatitudes is a true Gospel, true "good news". They tear us away from an increasingly banal life and push us towards an existence full of meaning, a deep joy much more than we can imagine. The Beatitudes are not too high for us, as they were not for the crowd that heard them first. The Beatitudes have a human face: Jesus' face. He is the man of the Beatitudes, the poor man, the meek man and the one who is hungry for justice; he is the passionate and merciful man, the persecuted and the one put to death. Let us look at him and follow him; we too will be blessed.