Companions on the Journey
World Day of the Sick was marked on Thursday, the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes. When we go on pilgrimage to Lourdes, we are surrounded by fellow pilgrims who come to pray for healing sometimes for themselves and often for others. The vulnerability that comes with sickness is visible all around us in Lourdes. Compassion and care are also visible as the dignity of those who are sick is deeply honoured and profoundly respected. We hear stories of the challenges that come with illness of body and mind. We witness extraordinary courage, devotion and faith. We experience solidarity of prayer and hope.
Although we are all staying close to home at the moment there is a sense in which we are on a pilgrimage journeying through a global pandemic. As we experience and witness suffering and grief, we are called to reach out to those who are suffering with kindness, patience and gentleness, with genuine care and compassion. As fellow pilgrims we hold those who are sick and all who care for them in hearts of prayer as we share this challenging journey in a spirit of faith, hope and love.
Jesus has no hesitation in reaching out to heal the man who suffered with leprosy, a painful illness that left him excluded and isolated from his community. OF COURSE I DO is his response when his desire to heal is questioned. He understands the trauma this man has suffered through his illness. In his compassion and healing, he restores him to health and brings an end to his exclusion and isolation.
Our God of love desires to bring healing and strength to each one of us and to our world. God is with us in whatever suffering we experience. Jesus experienced suffering and death and brings us the promise that it will never have the last word in our lives. We are all called to be part of God’s healing mission, to reach out to those who are suffering in ways that bring comfort, peace, encouragement, reassurance and companionship. Every kind word and deed bring a promise to those who are suffering that they are not alone. The loving kindness of the heart of our God holds us all safely and guides us as pilgrims on our journey.
We remember Jimmy Doherty, Margaret O’ Toole and Patrick Lyons who died recently. May they rest forever in the peace of God’s love. We pray for all who grieve so deeply for them.
Our Lady of Lourdes
Pray for Us