Father Cantalamessa on the Sick
The Church's Most Active Members, He Says
ROME, FEB. 5, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the commentary by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household, on the Gospel from this Sunday's liturgy.
* * *
5th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)
He Cured Many Sick
The Gospel passage of this Sunday gives us a faithful report of a typical day of Jesus. When he left the synagogue, Jesus went first to Peter's house, where he cured his mother-in-law, who was in bed with a fever; in the afternoon, they took all the sick to him and he cured many, affected by different illnesses. In the morning, he rose while it was still dark and went to a solitary place to pray; then he left to preach the Kingdom to other towns.
From this account we deduce that Jesus' day consisted of a mixture of curing the sick, prayer and preaching of the Kingdom. Let us dedicate our reflection to the love of Jesus for the sick, also because in a few days, in the liturgical memorial of the Virgin of Lourdes, Feb. 11, the World Day of the Sick will be observed.
The social transformations of our century have changed profoundly the conditions of the sick. In many situations science gives reasonable hope of a cure, or at least prolongs in many the period of the illness' evolution in cases of incurable sicknesses. But sickness, as death, is not yet and will never be altogether defeated. It is part of the human condition. Christian faith can alleviate this condition and also give it meaning and value.
It is necessary to express two approaches: one for the sick themselves and another for those who look after them. Before Christ, sickness was considered closely linked to sin. In other words, people were convinced that sickness was also the consequence of some personal sin that had to be expiated.
With Jesus, this attitude changed somewhat. "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases" (Matthew 8:17). On the cross, he gave new meaning to human suffering, including sickness: It is no longer punishment, but redemption. Illness unites us to him; it sanctifies, refines the soul, prepares the day in which God will dry every tear and there will be no longer sickness, or weeping, or pain.
After the long hospitalization that followed the attack in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II wrote a letter on suffering in which, among other things, he said: "To suffer means to become particularly susceptible, particularly open to the working of the salvific powers of God, offered to humanity in Christ" (cf. "Salvifici Doloris" No. 23). Sickness and suffering open between us and Jesus on the cross an altogether special channel of communication. The sick are not passive members of the Church, but the most active, most precious members. In God's eyes, one hour of their suffering, endured with patience, can be worth more than all the activities of the world, if they are done only for oneself.
Now a word for those who must look after the sick, at home or in health structures. The sick person certainly has need of care, of scientific competence, but he has even more need of hope. No medicine alleviates the sick person more than to hear the doctor say: "I have good hopes for you." When it is possible to do so without deception, hope must be given. Hope is the best "oxygen tent" for a sick person. The sick must not be left alone. One of the works of mercy is to visit the sick, and Jesus warned us that one of the points of the Last Judgment will be precisely this: "I was sick and you visited me. I was sick and you did not visit me" (Matthew 25:36,43).
Something we can all do for the sick is to pray. Almost all the sick of the Gospel were cured because some one presented them to Jesus and pleaded for them. The simplest prayer, which we can all make our own, is the one that the sisters Martha and Mary addressed to Jesus, in the circumstance of the sickness of their brother Lazarus: "Lord, he whom you love is ill" (John, 11:3).
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Cantalamessa, Sick, Liturgy, Gospel, Mass
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 13, 2017
- St. Lucy: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, December 13, 2017
- Pope Francis wants to change the Lord's Prayer, but what do the new ...
- How does the Vatican fight money laundering?
- Here's when you'll see the first self-driving trucks on the road
- Daily Reading for Thursday, December 14th, 2017 HD Video
- Is Facebook ripping apart human civilization? HD Video
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 HD
- Attempted terror attack fails in Manhattan as pipe bomb explodes early HD
- Here's how Pope Francis wants to change the Lords Prayer HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way