February 11

World Day of the Sick
Reflection

Jesus was known as a healer. His compassion reached to everyone. People flocked to him when they heard he was near looking for the same solace and relief that we seek. We have all known the physical and mental suffering of sickness either personally or in someone we love. This past year especially, when so many families have had Covid-19  invade their homes, the need for compassion and mutual caring is more important than ever. 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. Although we cannot cure people, there are many things we can do by way of prevention. Yet, many of us go on living in ways that if changed could reduce or prevent illness.

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 of disease. Be realistic about the effects of climate change on the spread of diseases. Be aware of executive deciions that allow further pollution of air and water. 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. Cooperate for the common good.

Suggested Reading

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
Mark 1:40-45

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 him were healed.
Mark 6:53-56

The commandment of love that Jesus left to his disciples is also kept in our relationship with the sick. A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love. Let us strive to achieve this goal, so that no one will feel alone, excluded, or abandoned.
Pope Francis

Nothing is so healing as the human touch.
Bobby Fischer

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
Hubert H. Humphrey

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

Prevention is better than cure.
Desiderius Erasmus

Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity, perhaps ever. Global temperatures are rising at an unprecedented rate, causing drought and forest fires and impacting human health.
Cary Kennedy

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

I think that at the end of the day, wearing masks, washing your hands, and keeping your distance is still the name of the game right now. We’re now adding to that the vaccinations, but we’re going to have to speed that up in a dramatic way for us to be really effective in controlling this outbreak, but it’s a big problem, and people need to understand that those basic public health measures of mask-wearing, washing hands and keeping your distance work, and anything that we do that exacerbates that, is going to continue this outbreak.
Georges C. Benjamin, MD

As the climate changes, so will the infectious diseases that we confront. And here’s the catch: Walls will not keep these pathogens out. No borders are going to protect us. That’s what awaits us unless we act
Ashish Jha, MD

Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges to the long term health of the world’s population.  With rising global temperatures and sea levels, decreased agricultural outputs, and deforestation – climate change impacts the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the land on which we live.
Harvard Global Health Institute

 

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