Today is observed as World Day of Prayer for the Sick, introduced originally by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to unite throughout the world in prayer for those suffering from any illnesses. The day coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes and, this year, with the Sixth Sunday of the Church’s Year. It is an important opportunity for those who serve in hospitals and clinics, those involved in health ministries, those who are engaged in family care for loved ones, and all of us who support the sick and their caregivers to reflect on what genuine caring is and what motivates it.
Pope Francis offers these insights with regard to what “caring love” looks like and why we do it: “From the beginning, God, who is love, created us for communion and endowed us with an innate capacity to enter into relationship with others. Our lives, reflecting in the image of the Trinity of God, are meant to attain fulfillment through a network of relationships, friendships, and love, both given and received. We were created to be together, not alone. Precisely because this ‘project of communion’ is so deeply rooted in the human heart, we see the experience of abandonment and solitude as something frightening, painful, and even inhuman. This is all the more the case at times of vulnerability, uncertainty, and insecurity, caused often by the onset of illness.”
Let us pray. “ Lord our God, help us to see in our sick brother and sister the face of Christ Himself who, by suffering, dying, and rising, achieved the salvation of the whole human race. Through Christ your Son, our Healer and our Peace. Amen.”
Desde hace 30 años, el 11 de febrero se conmemora la Jornada Mundial del Enfermo. Coincide en el calendario litúrgico católico con la festividad de la Virgen de Lourdes y, hoy, el sexto domingo del año.
En una sociedad tecnificada y tecnológica como la occidental, la Jornada nos recuerda que la enfermedad forma parte de nuestras vidas y que todos debemos afrontarla en diversos momentos, a nivel personal o en personas de nuestro entorno. Reflexionar sobre la naturaleza del dolor y la fragilidad de la condición humana nos enriquece como personas. En el ámbito de la salud, aprender a cuidar es una destreza necesaria del buen médico. Santísima Virgen de Lourdes, ruega por nosotros.