God of all goodness, Look with mercy on all who suffer any kind of infirmity, sickness or injury, that they may be comforted. Let your hand of healing and protection be upon them. When they are fearful, ease their fear and anxieties. When they are afraid, give them strength and courage. When they feel alone, send them someone to listen and to care. When they are confused, provide reassurance and direction. When they are in pain, ease their suffering. When they despair, give them hope. May they experience your healing presence in the comfort of a caregiver’s calm gaze and tender touch. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.
Psalm 103: 1bc-2, 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18a
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits. R.
He pardons all your iniquities, He heals all your ills, He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. R.
Merciful and gracious is the Lord, Slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He will not always chide, Nor does he keep his wrath forever. R.
As a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear him, For he knows how we are formed; He remembers that we are dust. R.
But the kindness of the Lord is from all eternity To eternity toward those who fear him, And his justice toward his children’s children Among those who keep his covenant. R.
READING FROM SCRIPTURE
Luke 13: 10-17
(Jesus) was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering
This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
A reflection on the scripture readings or the themes of health, healing, and hope may be offered here.
God is the source of all healing and hope, to whom we now lift up in prayer the needs of the sick and those who care for them. The response to each petition is “God of healing and hope, hear our prayer.”
That all who suffer any form of illness or infirmity may find relief from their pain, meaning in their struggles, and healing in body, mind and spirit, we pray to the Lord:
That the human dignity of those with chronic illnesses may always be upheld and affirmed, we pray to the Lord:
That those who struggle with mental illness and addictions may find understanding and acceptance, we pray to the Lord:
That sick infants and children may be blessed with healing and joy, we pray to the Lord:
That those who suffer alone may find consolation through the gentle presence of others, we pray to the Lord:
That those who are dying may be filled with serenity and peace, we pray to the Lord:
That family and friends who care for sick loved ones may be strengthened and supported in their service, we pray to the Lord:
That doctors, nurses, and other professional caregivers may be guided by wisdom, strength, skill, and generosity, we pray to the Lord:
That accessible and affordable health care may be available to all who seek it, we pray to the Lord:
That national leaders may be guided by the principles of justice and compassion as they work for health care reform, we pray to the Lord:
(An opportunity for additional petitions may be offered here.)
God of gentleness and love, We entrust to your care all those in need of any form of healing, and ask you to guide and sustain all who offer them healing and hope.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.