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

1 Samuel 1,1-8

There was a man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the highlands of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one called Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children but Hannah had none. Every year this man used to go up from his town to worship, and to sacrifice to Yahweh Sabaoth at Shiloh. (The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there as priests of Yahweh.) One day Elkanah offered a sacrifice. Now he used to give portions to Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; to Hannah, however, he would give only one portion: for, although he loved Hannah more, Yahweh had made her barren. Furthermore, her rival would taunt and provoke her, because Yahweh had made her womb barren. And this went on year after year; every time they went up to the temple of Yahweh she used to taunt her. On that day she wept and would not eat anything; so her husband Elkanah said, 'Hannah, why are you crying? Why are you not eating anything? Why are you so sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

As it is told at the end of the book of Judges, Israel is a people who has lost their religious references and thus lives without moral or civil orientation. Israel occupies a small area at whose centre is Shiloh with the Ark of the Covenant. Surrounded by people ruled by kings, Israel asks for a king who can protect and defend from the attacks of the neighbouring peoples. The books of Samuel describe the wait and arrival of a king. It will be David, who will not only stabilize the kingdom of Israel but also extend it from Egypt to the Euphrates. The story of David's kingship over Israel, however, starts in a modest way, with the story of a barren and embittered woman named Hannah. It is the beginning of the first book of Samuel. The Word of God wants to show that Israel's transition from difficulty to wellbeing begins with a poor and barren woman. The family of Elkanah, which had a great past as one can guess from its genealogy, however, was destined to have no future whatsoever. The situation seemed not have any way out. Furthermore, Hannah had to bear the insults of her rival, Peninnah, the second wife of Elkanah, in addition to her barrenness. At the sacrificial meals in the sanctuary, Peninnah probably pointed out to Hannah that her husband was giving her multiple portions (for her and her sons), whereas he was only giving one portion to Hannah. Despite her husband's love, Hannah is terribly depressed and desperate, even to the point of losing her appetite. Her husband's words are not sufficient for her; she understands that only the Lord can help her. It is God who intervenes and only with His help everything can change.