Sunday we celebrate the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time. If it were not a Sunday, we’d celebrate Our Lady of Lourdes. We always celebrate the World Day of the Sick on February 11th; this year it is the 25th anniversary. This feast, The World Day of the Sick, was initiated by Pope St. John Paul II. Although the Church has always cared for the sick, this brings special attention to the many factors that surround caring for the sick. As I mentioned in the announcements after Mass recently and as published in the bulletin last weekend, the Catholic Medical Association held its annual White Mass and presentation on February 10th. The keynote presenter this year was a Religious Sisters from the Sister Servants of Mary. She spoke on caring for the sick when their end of life is imminent, close at hand. You can learn more about the Sisters at http://sisterservantsofmary.org/. One of my Master’s Degree questions was on the importance of the food and hydration for perpetually unconscious patients. You can read a very accessible address on this topic by doing a search for Pope St. John Paul II’s address “TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON “LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENTS AND VEGETATIVE STATE.”
We turn to Our Lady in all ways trying to stay close to her son, Jesus. We can turn to her aid in following him and his teachings as handed on by the Church too! The role of the Blessed Mother in assisting the Church in her work of aiding the sick is always real. Pope Francis said this about Mary regarding his address for this year’s feast, “The gaze of Mary, Comfort of the Afflicted,” he said, “brightens the face of the Church in her daily commitment to the suffering and those in need.”
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!