FOR THE SICK AND THE SUFFERING
Jesus always shows His compassion and mercy in difficult moments and prays for us, like He did for them, and touches us, too, making us whole.
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, and it is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, a reminder that Jesus' reputation was 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 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, to seek a miracle of healing.
In the Responsorial Psalm we acclaim, "How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God" (Ps 84:2)! Our hearts and flesh cry out for You, our merciful and loving God and Father (cf. Ps 84:2). Yesterday, we heard that wherever Jesus and His disciples went, people "laid the sick in marketplaces and begged Him that they might touch only the tassel on His cloak; and as many as touched it were healed" (Mk 6:56). Jesus always shows His compassion and mercy in difficult moments and prays for us, like He did for them, and touches us, too, making us whole.
What is the real miracle in all this?