“Whenever anyone gets seriously sick, people will ask many questions,”said Fr Martin Arlando during his homily at the Mass celebrating World Day of the Sick on the 11th February. He said that they will ask how they got sick. Was it something they did or didn’t do? In some cases they would ask if they had done something offensive or bad and was being punished. Is it their fault or perhaps their parents? Most often these questions do not benefit the sick person but are mainly for those asking to find out ways so that they themselves can avoid getting sick. Is it important to ask these questions? More importantly, we should ask what we can do for this sick person. How can their health condition make the work of God resonate in our lives and displayed in helping them.
He related a story about visiting a dying alcoholic and heavy smoker in hospital and instead of admonishing the man of his life style that led him this stage of his life, Fr just listened to him and offered a word of hope and spoke about a saviour who forgives all wrong. The man then asked for baptism and three days later that person died and went to meet Jesus. Jesus looks at these people with compassion. It is in His ministry to heal as shown when he healed Peter’s mother-in-law and many others.
As a child, the perception of God is that He is strong as often sang in the famous song Jesus, loves me this I know. His omnipotence is reflected in the theme of this World Day of the Sick, The Almighty has done great things for me. God heals by fixing not only ailing parts but more importantly the soul. But how do people get spiritually sick today? In Genesis 3, our first parents chose not to listen to God and to betray their responsibility and relationship with God. Fr Martin went on to relate a story of a man who had a car accident which just dented his back bumper. He had car accident insurance and when he went to collect his car from the repair shop, other dents were also repaired. This is the way God heals us if we surrender to him to fix us. We need to let go so that God can do great things in our lives.
In this year’s Anointing of the Sick as many as 65 people were prayed over. They ranged from a 9 month baby to to a 92 gentleman. There was also a non Catholic. Some were brought in by ambulance and wheeled to the front near the altar. At the end of mass each person received an Ang Pow and two oranges from Fr Martin. All were then invited to lunch in Faustina Hall. At this fellowship many expressed the joy of feeling the healing presence of God during mass.
Dr. Ivan Filmer
14th February, 2017