Pastoral Thought



            We give the Anointing of the Sick today to all who experience serious illness, the diminishment brought by age, or other conditions of body and mind which attack our human existence.

            What are we praying for when we ask God to heal us? Like the blind man in today’s Gospel we may be asking for the recovery of sight, or bodily health. Yet God gave the blind man more:  he “followed Jesus up the road.” In receiving bodily sight he received faith, and became a disciple, following the Way (road) of Jesus.

            Healing means ‘wholeness’...integrity...being entirely who I am meant to be. The anointing restores the whole person:  body, mind, emotions, spirit. This is a hidden transformation, drawing us closer to the Resurrection even as we struggle with the weakness that comes at the end of life.

            The mystery of suffering confronts us, too. The anointing of the sick consecrates a person’s suffering to be joined with the suffering of Jesus for the salvation of the world. In your time of unavoidable suffering remember that you unite with Him in the work of redemption. Offer Him this; you will share His mission as the Beloved Son. This prayer, of a paralyzed young man of 20, voices that offering:


      “I am weak, my God, and it is very possible that shortly I will refuse what I now accept.

      And so I hasten to offer you everything and I beg the grace to always maintain in my spirit a true sense of union with your suffering which led to the redemption of the human race. 

     Help me to see the wider horizon in spite of the four walls of my sickroom.”

                        Father John Hynes