World Day of the Poor Novena – Day 6

The sixth of nine days of prayer and readings. On Day Six, we pray for those who experience disability.

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For those who experience disability

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen


In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low, the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.
Isaiah 40: 3-5

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Scripture Reading

Then some people came, bringing to him a paralysed man, carried by four of them. And when they
could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2: 3-5

Many of our places of worship and events are still not fully accessible by people with a disability. A person with a disability once said, “I am disabled by society’s lack of willingness to accommodate me.” In the saying which is often used when discussing the needs of persons with disability, “Nothing about me, without me.” Persons with disabilities need to be seen and heard by those without disabilities and their voices should be at the heart of any discussion about greater accessibility. In the gospel, the paralysed man was able to reach Jesus with the help of his friends, but we shouldn’t have to take the roof off the church to make that possible.

We pray for those with disabilities of different kinds, whose everyday life is sometimes harder than it should be due to the inattentiveness of most of us to accommodate society to their needs. May we honour the dignity of every person, made in the image and likeness of God.

Loving Father
your risen Son sent us out
into the world as ambassadors for the kingdom of God; inspire us with your Spirit
of compassion, justice and truth to declare the Good News
to those who are poor, to work
for the relief, defence and liberation of all who are trapped
in oppressive circumstances. We make this our prayer through Christ our Lord.

“Love is expressed first in being with before doing to someone. We have to continually renew our awareness of this because we can get caught up in a lot of the doing for. You see, if our actions do not first come from the desire to be with a person, then it really becomes just social work. When you are willing to be with a poor person you can recognise his need, and if your love is genuine, you naturally want to do what you can as an expression of your love. Service, in a way, is simply a means of expressing your being for that person – and often with the poorest people you cannot completely alleviate their problem, but by being with them, by being for them, whatever you do for them makes a difference.”

Saint Teresa of Calcutta, A Simple Path, p. 91


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