CALL TO PRAYER
"Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give." (Mt 10:8)
In Matthew's gospel, Jesus sends out his disciples, endowing them with the abilities to heal those in their communities who have been afflicted in body and soul. On National Doctors Day, we offer deep gratitude for the physicians who use their gifts and talents from God to help heal their brothers and sisters.
Let us pray.
READING (Sirach 38: 1-9, 12-14)
Reader: A reading from the book of Sirach.
Make friends with the doctor, for he is essential to you; God has also established him in his profession. From God the doctor has wisdom, and from the king he receives sustenance. Knowledge makes the doctor distinguished and gives access to those in authority. God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent should not neglect; was not the water sweetened by a twig, so that all might learn his power? He endows people with knowledge, to glory in his mighty works, through which the doctor eases pain, and the druggist prepares his medicines.
Thus, God's work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. My son, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to God, for it is he who heals.
Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; you need him too, for there are times when recovery is in his hands. He too prays to God that his diagnosis may be correct, and his treatment bring about a cure.
The word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God
Doctors have specific wisdom, knowledge and power to help ease pain and heal others. But this passage is also clear that while recovery and treatment is in the hands of the doctor, it is God who heals. The work and vocation of doctors is in our communities and one that requires patience, wisdom and knowledge—doctors are vital to our well-being overall. However, theirs is work that is always done in collaboration with God, whether we realize it or not. It is always God who heals, but the work of doctors and (and many others!)which help to facilitate that healing. Indeed, healing is always relational: ourselves, God, and our patients. We do our part and rely on our team as well.
Blessing of Doctors
Leader: Now let us ask God to share abundant blessings on all doctors, that they may continue to walk with and help to heal their patients. (If doctors are present: I invite everyone to extend their hands in blessing over them.)
Please also recall any doctor you know, any you have worked with, any you know who may be struggling or need extra support, and hold them in prayer as we bless them.
Bless their minds, that they may be endowed with the knowledge and the capacity to recognize what they do not know and the willingness to strive to learn more.
Bless their minds, that they may be endowed with wisdom, that they may know what they can heal and offer consolation when they cannot.
Bless their hearts with courage, to make difficult decisions, to believe in their gifts, and to remain steadfast in their commitment to those they serve.
Bless their hearts with humility, that they may know where their limits lie, what is beyond their capability, and that they may recognize when they cannot offer healing, but can still provide comfort.
Bless their bodies, that they may remain strong and steadfast as they endure long hours and use their hands, eyes, nose and ears to care for their patients.
Leader: God pour out your blessings on these physicians and all those in need of your care. May they never forget that they carry on the work of Jesus, in healing those in our communities that may be restored to life in the world or entrusted carefully to eternal life with you. Amen.