Catholic World News

World Day of the Sick focuses on role of the faithful in cooperating with Christ's healing power, cardinal says

January 28, 2016

The celebration of the 24th World Day of the Sick, which will take place in Nazareth in February, should highlight both the role of Christ as healer and the active participation of the People of God, says Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski.

At a January 28 press conference in Rome, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care stressed the importance of direct personal contact with those suffering from physical ailments:

The human being suffers in different places and, at times, suffers terribly. He calls to another person as he is in need of his help and his presence. At times we are intimidated by the fact of not being able to heal, of not being able to help like Jesus. Let us try to overcome this embarrassment. The important thing is to keep going, to stay beside the man who suffers. He needs, perhaps more than healing, the presence of another person, of a human heart full of mercy, of human solidarity.

The World Day of the Sick will be observed on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The message of Pope Francis for the occasion, released in September 2015, is on the theme: “Entrusting oneself to the merciful Jesus like Mary: 'Do whatever he tells you.” Reflecting on that theme, with its reference to the miracle of the wedding feast at Cana, Archbishop Zimonski took special note of Jesus’ request for the stewards to fill the jars. “Naturally, the miracle takes place through Christ’s work,” he said. “However, He sought human help in completing the prodigy.” Similarly the Lord asks the faithful to cooperate in his healing work today, the cardinal said.

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