FOR THE SICK AND THE SUFFERING
I would like to begin today's reflection with a prayer: "O God, Your Son accepted our sufferings to teach us the virtue of patience in human illness. Hear the prayers we offer for our sick sisters and brothers. May all who suffer pain, illness or disease realize that they are chosen to be saints, and know that they are joined to Christ in His suffering for the salvation of the world, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We also celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. This can serve as a reminder of Jesus' reputation - that of a great healer. The sick people of Jesus' day were often assumed to be on God's wrong side and as such, were often excluded from society. Healing was rare. While medicine is now a science that is able to help many people recover from illness, it is still true that a caring, human touch, can also have a healing effect. Many from all over the world still go to Lourdes - the greatest of Marian shrines - seeking a miracle of healing.
In Mark's Gospel, we read that whatever village, town, or countryside that Jesus and His disciples went to, people came and laid the sick in marketplaces, begging Jesus that they might touch only the tassel of His cloak. Those who did touch it were healed. Jesus always showed His compassion and mercy in difficult moments. He prayed for them and touched them, making them whole.
What is the real miracle in all of this?