So there we have it!!
Paragraph 1506 says, “Christ invites his disciples to follow him by taking up their cross in their turn.”
Jesus has recast the vision for the role of illness, the role of sickness
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story…
God uses illness to correct us and give us wisdom and to grow in maturity
God allows us to get what we choose in this life
God allows us to experience the consequences of sin, like suffering, so that we can wake up and change our lives
God wants us to mature
God wants us to grow in this understanding
God wants us to grow in patience
God wants us to grow in His grace
God wants to soften our hearts
God wants to make us more compassionate, more patient with others
Jesus gives us the final thing and that is SUFFERING IS REDEMPTIVE
SUFFERING IS REDEMPTIVE!!
Sometimes God does not take away the pain
Paragraph 1508 says, “Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,’ and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that ‘in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s affliction for the sake of his Body, the Church.’”
St. Paul begged the Lord, “Three times I came before the Lord, and I begged him to take this thorn in my side away from me.”
We don’t know that that thorn in his side was
But he begged the Lord to take it
He did not get the healing he wanted
He got the response from the Lord
“MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU. FOR MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.”
St. John Paul II wrote Salvifici Doloris, which is on human suffering
What is lacking in Christ’s affliction?
What is lacking in the sufferings of Jesus?
St. John Paul II said (from Fr. Mike paraphrasing), “But so that you and I might participate in the mystery of Christ’s redemptive work of this world. He extends to us a sliver of his Cross so that you and I can be co-workers. We can participate with Jesus in the Salvation and redemption of the world.”
In my flesh…
In YOUR flesh…
In OUR sufferings…
We complete what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ
What is lacking?
Because Jesus Christ wants us to not only participate and share in His glory…
Jesus also wants us to SHARE IN HIS AFFLICTION
Jesus doesn’t just want us to share in His Resurrection…
Jesus wants us to SHARE IN HIS CRUCIFIXION
Because He knows that not only…
Why is the big question and the answer is a mystery
There are many things that happen to us as we carry that cross
Maybe the most important is that WE BECOME MORE LIKE HIM WHO DID NOT AVOID HIS CROSS
Jesus did not run away from His Cross
Jesus embraced His Cross OUT OF LOVE FOR HIS FATHER AND LOVE FOR US
So when we embrace OUR CROSS with the heart of Jesus, we embrace it OUT OF LOVE FOR THE FATHER AND OUT OF LOVE FOR OUR FELLOW MAN
WE BECOME MORE LIKE HIM!!
THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT!!
God has extended His grace to heal to the Apostles, to the disciples, to Christians now
There are some people who have a charism of healing today
God still heals today
Not everyone gets healed
Everyone does have an opportunity to UNITE THEIR SUFFERINGS TO JESUS
Why does God allow this to happen?
SUFFERING IS REDEMPTIVE!!
Softening of our hearts
C.S. Lewis wrote “The Problem of Pain”
He wrote about the mystery of evil in the world from three different perspectives
One is intellectually
One is imaginatively
And the third is emotionally
“The Problem of Pain” is the intellectual approach
“Till We Have Faces” is the imaginative approach
“A Grief Observed” is the emotional approach after his wife Joy had died
Ok back to “The Problem of Pain”...
Lewis says, “We can ignore even pleasure, but pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our paints. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. No doubt pain is God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument. It may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man may have for amendment. It removes the veil. It plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.”
Pain reminds us that we are limited and finite and that this life will not go on forever
Sometimes, that is God’s megaphone to rouse a drowsy and deaf world
The Church does come and meet the sick
We want the sick to know that they are not abandoned
Paragraph 1510 says, “However, the Church has its own rite for the sick, attested to by St. James: ‘Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders [presbyters] of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.’ Tradition has recognized in this rite one of the seven sacraments.”
IT IS A TRUE AND PROPER SACRAMENTS!!
Jesus would reach out and TOUCH the sick
He would come into contact with the sick
This is one of the ways Jesus extends His healing ministry
Jesus reaches out THROUGH THE BODY OF CHRIST and touches the sick through the Anointing of the Sick
Paragraph 1513 says, “The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil-pressed from olives or from other plants-saying, only once: ‘Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.’”
THIS IS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE GRACE!!
If you have received Anointing of the Sick, it is a gift to you
If you have been there when your loved one has received the Anointing of the Sick, it is so consoling and such a blessing, particularly at the hour of death
Those men who will leave their warm beds in the middle of the night and go through the night to be at the bedside of any sick person…
With no regard for self, they show up
IT IS AMAZING!!
Let’s pray for those priests who get called on, day or night
Let’s pray for those who are sick, especially those who suffer alone
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!