Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jesus Loves the Sick

    Although God allows suffering to exist in the world, he does not enjoy it.  Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, loved the sick; he devoted a great part of his earthly ministry to healing the sick and comforting the afflicted.

    Our God is a God of compassion and consolation.  And he expects us to take the ordinary means to prevent, relieve and remove suffering and sickness.  Therefore we have preventive health-care programs; we have doctors, nurses, paramedicals and medical institutions of many kinds.  Medical science has made much progress.
We should take advantage of all this.

    But even after all these efforts, suffering and sickness still exist.  A Christian sees meaning in suffering.

    He bears such suffering with patience, love of God and generosity.
He offers it all to God, through Christ, especially during the Sacrifice of the Mass.  When the sick person receives Holy Communion he unites himself with Christ the Victim....

                    -- Blessed Pope John Paul II
                        13 February 1982

Night Prayer

Watch, Lord, with those who wake
or watch or weep tonight,
and give your angels charge
over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ;
rest your weary ones;
bless your dying ones;
soothe your suffering ones;
pity your afflicted ones;
shield your joyous ones;
and all for your love's sake.   
        -- Saint Augustine (354-410 AD)

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