ANOINTING OF THE SICK
We will be having a communal celebration of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at the Family Center at 11 am on Saturday March 23rd for all the elderly sick, chronically sick, and all those whose illness is beginning to place them in even remote danger. This time of Lent will also be a good time to call the parish to arrange for a priest to visit the homebound who would like to have the opportunity for Confession and Anointing of the Sick.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of Sick was established by Christ. The Gospel of Mark, referring to the apostles, relates that Jesus sent them out “…and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” -Mk 6:12-13. In the Epistle of James, one of those apostles, we hear a more explicit description of the Sacrament. “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” -James 5:14
Recently Pope Francis gave a Catechesis on this Sacrament.
“In our catechesis on the sacraments, we now turn to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which expresses God’s merciful presence to the sick, the suffering and the aged.
The parable of the Good Samaritan reflects our Lord’s tender concern for those who suffer; like the Samaritan, and following Christ’s example and teaching, the Church brings God’s healing presence to the suffering through the sacramental sign of anointing with oil.
As we learn from the Letter of James (5:14-15), the early Church continued his ministry to the sick through prayer and anointing by her presbyters.
Through the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church accompanies us in facing the profound mystery of suffering and death.
In a culture which all too often refuses to speak of these realities, we need all the more to recognize the beauty of this Sacrament and to appreciate, in spiritual solidarity with the whole Church, the presence of the Lord Jesus, who strengthens us in faith and hope, and reminds us that nothing – not even evil and death – can ever separate us from the saving power of his love.”