The Sick and Dying
“They stripped and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead.”
Today’s gospel speaks to us of Jesus’ great concern and love for the sick and dying. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus’ compassion and love for the sick shines through. In several instances, we read how Jesus cured the sick and restored them to friendship with His Father. The Church continues Jesus’ ministry of caring for the sick and dying with deep compassion and respect for human dignity.
The Church especially continues Christ’s ministry to the sick and dying through the Sacraments. In offering the Sacrament of Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum, which is Holy Communion of the Sick and Dying, the priest brings to those who are ill the loving and redeeming embrace of Jesus. In these moments rich with grace, the priest acting in the Person of Christ brings to the patient, forgiveness, inner healing and strength for what lies ahead. Together with deacons, religious, lay ministers, and volunteers, the priest shares with the patient, and with the patient’s family, the Good News of Jesus, the Gospel of life and salvation. Through the grace of God, patients are enabled to unite their sufferings with the Lord’s so as to share His everlasting joy and glory. So also the Church reaches out to families facing the serious illnesses of loved ones with deep respect for the precious gift of life and with the hope for the gift of eternal life. Continue reading