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Saturday, December 18, 2010
VATICAN: POPE MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF SICK
Pope Benedict XVI's Message for World Day of Sick
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI is inviting leaders, lawmakers and all those in authority to increase investment in health care facilities that help and support the suffering, especially the poor and needy. This is just one of the highlights of Pope Benedict’s Message for the upcoming World Day for the Sick, which was released Saturday. Drawing on the passage from the 1st letter of Peter, which reminds us that it is by Christ’s own wounds that we are healed, Pope Benedict says the World Day for the Sick, “becomes a fitting occasion to reflect on the mystery of suffering and, above all, to make our community and civil society more responsive towards those brothers and sisters who are sick.”
The Holy Father goes on to stress a point he had made in his encyclical letter Spe salvi: A society that is unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘com-passion’, is a cruel and inhuman society.'
The Holy Father also addresses a special message to young people who are struggling with illness, inviting them to embrace the Cross of Christ as the supreme expression of his love and the source from which eternal life flows. “Indeed,” writes Pope Benedict, “it is from Jesus’ heart, pierced on the Cross, that the divine life streamed forth, ever accessible to those who raise their eyes towards the Crucified One.”
Recalling his recent pastoral visit to Turin to view the sacred shroud, the Holy Father writes that in contemplating the burial cloth of Christ, we are invited to reflect on St. Peter's words: “By his wounds you have been healed.” The Son of God suffered, died, but rose again, and for that, those wounds become the sign of our redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation with the Father.
“However,” continues Pope Benedict, “they also become a testing ground for the faith of the disciples and our faith: each time the Lord speaks of his passion and death, they do not understand, they refuse, oppose. For them, as for us, suffering is always full of mystery, difficult to accept and carry.”
The Holy Father goes on to say, “It is through the wounds of Christ that we can see, with eyes of hope, all the evils that afflict humanity. Rising, the Lord has not taken away suffering and evil from the world but has vanquished them at their root. He has countered the arrogance of evil with the omnipotence of his love.”
World Day for the Sick is to be celebrated February 11th, 2011.