Serve the sick out of love – bishop

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A sick person receives the Anointing of the Sick during a Mass celebrated for the 22nd World Day of the Sick at the Espiritu Santo Parish Church, February 11.

MANILA, Feb. 11, 2014— A Catholic bishop on Tuesday called on doctors, nurses and all those who deal with suffering to serve the sick out of love.

In order to embrace the sick people like Christ did, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez said in his homily during a Mass for the 22nd World Day of the Sick, “We must have His heart”.

“To doctors, nurses, caregivers, therapists and all the volunteers caring for the sick, let the love of Christ reign in your hearts,” Bishop Cortez said at the Espiritu Santo Parish Church in Manila.

“If you want to work with the Lord, we must have the eyes of Jesus. If you want to work with the Lord, we must have the hands of Jesus… we must have the heart of Jesus,” he said.

During the liturgy, the bishop also gave the “sacrament of the anointing of the sick” to those who are suffering with serious health problems and elderly present.

Bishop Cortez also called on the sick and their families to continue to pray because, according to him, God alone is capable of granting them recovery from illness.

Following the Mass, a “healing session” was held with Fr. Ferdinand Hernando, a known healing priest.

Other activities inside the church’s compound include free medical consultations and pycho-spiritual counseling hosted by the Order of Malta.

The World Day of the Sick is an annual event celebrated on February 11 – the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, whose shrine has become a sanctuary of human suffering.

Blessed Pope John Paul II initiated the day in 1992 to encourage the faithful to pray for those who suffer from illness and for their caregivers.

This year’s theme is Faith and Charity: “We too must give our lives for the brethren” and Pope Francis, in his message, turns his attention especially to the sick and those who provide them with care.

“The Church recognizes in you, the sick, a special presence of the suffering Christ. At the side – and indeed within – our suffering is the suffering of Christ; he bears its burden with us and he reveals its meaning,” part of the pope’s message read.

“When the Son of God mounted the cross, he destroyed the solitude of suffering and illuminated its darkness,” he also said. (CBCPNews)

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