February 11

World Day of the Sick

Reflection

We have all known the physical and mental suffering of sickness either personally or in someone we love. Everyone accompanying a sick person whether a medical professional or someone close who is facing the unbearable thought of loss wishes for something that will effect a cure and restore health. Yet, we go on living in conditions that if changed could reduce or prevent illness without making the connections.  Think of the possibilities for prevention and cure which could be available with funding for research, pollution control, regulation of pharmaceutical industries, and education for healthier life styles. Yet, these are not priorities on the national scene.

Jesus was known as a healer. His compassion reached to everyone. They flocked to him when they heard he was near looking for the same solace and relief that we seek. His response after the healing was often, “Go now and sin no more.” There seem to be implications here that we should notice.

Prayer

May our compassion and presence comfort those who are ill and their loved ones; may our informed citizenship guide us to work toward disease prevention and control.

Action

Inform yourself on the conditions in this country and around the globe that are factors in the increase in disease. Be aware of decisions made by Congress on which programs are funded and which are protected or cut. Examine your own lifestyle and choose to live in ways that promote health.

Suggested Reading

When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.  As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus.  They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.  And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Mark 6:53-56

As Jesus and a large crowd was leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth passing by, he shouted to Jesus to have mercy on him. Although he was told to keep quiet by many, he shouted louder. Jesus stood still and called Bartimaeus to Him. Throwing off his cloak the man sprang up and came to Jesus, asking Jesus to let him see again. Jesus said to him “Go your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus regained his sight and followed Him on the way.
Mark 10:46-52

 How many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are “eyes to the blind” and “feet to the lame”! They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating. This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome. It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is! In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church’s mission.
Pope Francis

 Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented.
Barry Commoner

 The health effects of air pollution imperil human lives. This fact is well-documented.
Eddie Bernice Johnson

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

 The fact is that there is enough food in the world for everyone. But tragically, much of the world’s food and land resources are tied up in producing beef and other livestock–food for the well off–while millions of children and adults suffer from malnutrition and starvation.
Dr.Walden Bello

Our work seeks to focus attention on the necessity of developing security for the global village, meeting its need for clean air, water, food and a healthy habitat, as well as fostering clarity of vision on cooperation and development.
Rosalie Bertell

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