Prayer for the sick

Deel Op

The Prayer for the Sick is held in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Memory of Saint Nicholas (+343), whose relics are found in Bari. He was bishop of Mira in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) and is venerated in the entire East. Memory of all the Christians living in the East.


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

Isaiah 35,1-10

Let the desert and the dry lands be glad, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom; like the asphodel, let it burst into flower, let it rejoice and sing for joy. The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; then they will see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God. Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to the faint-hearted, 'Be strong! Do not be afraid. Here is your God, vengeance is coming, divine retribution; he is coming to save you.' Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame will leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy; for water will gush in the desert and streams in the wastelands, the parched ground will become a marsh and the thirsty land springs of water; the lairs where the jackals used to live will become plots of reed and papyrus. And through it will run a road for them and a highway which will be called the Sacred Way; the unclean will not be allowed to use it; He will be the one to use this road, the fool will not stray along it. No lion will be there, no ferocious beast set foot on it, nothing of the sort be found; it will be used by the redeemed. For those whom Yahweh has ransomed will return, they will come to Zion shouting for joy, their heads crowned with joy unending; rejoicing and gladness will escort them and sorrow and sighing will take flight.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Chapter 35 of the book of Isaiah opens a luminous future for Jerusalem and Judah. Why rejoice in a difficult time? It is easier to give up, to have weak hands and feeble knees, like someone who no longer believes in the possibility of being useful in constructing a better future, like someone with a "fearful heart." How many elderly people, how many poor and fragile people, feel the weight of uselessness especially in challenging times! But the Lord does not leave his people alone; he does not want resignation to prevail. His Word invites the people to hope, asks them to look to the future and the works that God can still perform. Not everything is in our hands, but we can help make the world better by listening to the Lord and believing that nothing is impossible for God. This is why the prophet is sent to give words of hope: "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God." If welcomed, the Word of God transforms people and history: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy..." Nothing is impossible for God. This is why the prophet urges to trust God's promise in this difficult time, when evil seems to prevail, leaving us without hope or answers. If we have lost our way following ourselves, if we have given in to resignation, if we have put our trust in those who encourage us to complain and take our frustrations out on others, if we have occasionally blamed the poor for our unease and the difficulties of our times, today is the day to change our minds, putting our uncertainty and our doubts in the hands of the Lord. He will not leave us alone without answers. Rather a "holy" way is pointed to us, which means a way preserved from evil, where we all can walk, even the lame, and the blind will go without concern. This way is holy because it allows us to see the "glory of the Lord" already here and now.